Why does anyone care about Hillary’s character, or any politician’s character, for that matter.

I don’t think they should get a free pass just because they’re politicians. This goes for the entire elite. Character flaws and criminal behavior keep people from being teachers, doctors, lawyers, food service employees, teachers, scientists, and so on, rightly in many cases. Why not hold politicians to the same standards?

I am a pragmatist. Congress will hysterically overreact to forward-thinking — all in moderation, of course! — policy proposals. Third party candidates are symbolic of the spirit of change; otherwise, they are just spoilers.

They aren’t just symbols. They are change. It would be a literal change for third-party candidates to start getting elected, and that cannot happen until people vote for them, which, itself, cannot happen until people feel empowered to vote for them. My contention is this is an accretive process, not an all-or-nothing switch that gets flipped. This is why maligning third-party voters instead of the system they are voting against is so deleterious, because it slows that accretion.

The U.S. will not be a progressive or humane country for a long time. Our culture teaches us that we are entitled, and that we have “Rights,” and, essentially, our freedom is more important than the well-being of others.

We have some say in how long that transition takes. If the development of the electorate is a chaotic system that we cannot entirely predict going forward from today, our choices today represent the initial conditions, and, as with the butterfly effect, initial conditions can heavily influence the outcome.

Odd example: Pit Bull attacks don’t elicit sympathy for the victim. Instead, “champions for the downtrodden” jump in to defend the dog. Pits are symbols of scrappy independence…they are anthropomorphized. They represent the underclass. It is telling that those at the bottom of the socioeconomic ladder (and the selectively tender-hearted) will berate a Pit victim, even a child. What’s wrong with our culture?

The pit bulls are often victims, too. About two-thirds of pet abuse cases in the United States involve dogs, with a quarter of the abused dogs being pit bulls. Why people choose to identify with the dog instead of the other person is anyone’s guess. Why people also identify with dogs but not pigs in factory farms is another obvious example of cognitive dissonance. I agree that our culture is pretty sadistic in its treatment of victims of animal attacks, victims of animal abuse, and in its acceptance of a cruel factory farming system.

How does any of this change? Not by doing the same things and keeping the same power structure in place. You correctly identify this as a problem at a cultural level, which demands solutions at that same level. Chastising individuals won’t get us anywhere.

Entitlement and “rights.” This country was founded on manifest destiny (cousin to Lebensraum). We are fundamentally selfish people.

I don’t think we are inextricably bound to repeat the same mistakes our ancestors did or to inherit their same outmoded views. Science has enlightened us as to how a great many of their beliefs were incorrect, and our sense of morality develops more, year by year. We know that slavery is an immoral act, but many of the founders of our country did not. We know that displacing and oppressing Native Americans is an immoral act (at least, most of us do, not that it gets talked about very much…), but our ancestors obviously did not. It’s true that our nation was founded by fundamentally selfish people, but it isn’t the same nation they founded anymore.

You will not live to see a “Great Leap Forward.” The solution is to abandon ship. Personally, I will not choose a clear loser. I’m not a hero, nor do I feel loyalty. One life, I will relocate and let U.S. right-wing nutcases battle it out, while this wimpy, diluted left-in-name party tries to compromise — even if no one else is willing to extend the same courtesy.

UGH. I just want out.

high as always, not dumb, overlook poor grammar and structure

Nobody is telling you whom to choose, and you are certainly not alone in wanting to choose a “clear loser,” as you say. It is true that the odds of anyone but Clinton or Trump winning are so minuscule as to be negligible. My argument is only that choosing third-party candidates is a valid choice nonetheless, and no moral person has any business maligning third-party voters. It’s clear that you and I both recognize the United States government as a failed system, but we disagree on methods to change it or, perhaps, whether it can even be changed for the better at all.

Just the facts: Writer. Gamer. Feminist. Educated in Astrophysics. Professional Gambler. Student of Language. Satanist. Anarchist.

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