Firesale Voting

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I used to have a bumper sticker: Get involved, the world is run by those who show up. In the madness of the election cycle, this phrase has come to mind often.

I hear people suggest they are disgusted by the available candidates and somewhat righteously declare their support for x or y third party candidate. Or they proudly announce they are opting out of the election process. My friends that I have engaged around this clearly want to be regarded as pure patriots or above the dirty political fray in which we are currently mired as a country. It comes across as an investment in being able to say "I didn't vote for this, don't blame me". 

I do really respect and admire the people who are truly committed to a third party option. The people who labor year round, in local elections and government, to create an option that is truly viable for their community and better reflects their values and vision for our country. These people vote more frequently than every 4 years. They campaign for 3rd party candidates and they are working to build the necessary infrastructure, from the bottom up, to potentially launch a third party candidate into the national arena. They are too few in number for that to happen anytime soon. And they are committed to creating a new opportunity for us all. 

I used to run the LGBT community center in Tacoma, WA and regularly people would call me in July or August to complain about Seattle Pride. It was so disorganized, it didn't have enough volunteers, they lacked certain vendors- the complaints were varied. I would usually ask the caller two questions, how much money did you donate to the Pride committee for the event? And how much time did you volunteer to help with the event? The answer to these two questions was always none. I then suggested they get involved if they wanted to see an improvement. I hope some of them did. 

The election ends tonight and we will move forward with a new President. I hope the people who have been so vocally unhappy with our choices will take the step to get involved, maybe even tomorrow. If we all pitch in, we will be able to make the world a better place.