I’ve been mostly silent about this year’s presidential contest. Since I’ve been pretty opinionated about such things in the past, this has worried some of my loved ones. And so, for this one post, I will tell you what I think.
My worldview is much different than it was in my younger years. I used to think the fate of humanity hinged on each election. If the candidate I supported was in a tight race or losing, it would make me sick.
As I’ve gone through my personal growth journey, I’ve found that national and global politics are less important to me than the local politics. Tip O’Neill once said that all politics are local, but he was from a time when politicians knew how to compromise at the national level. Things are so polarized now that nothing of consequence can get done.
Still, I care about who my president is, because they are our representative to the world. I like my presidents to be moderate, middle-of-the-road pragmatists who don’t let ideology blind them to situations that demand flexible thinking.
In a lot of ways, Hillary Clinton would be my ideal candidate. She’s not as moderate as her husband was, but I think her experience as a senator and secretary of state would serve the country well on the global stage. I also think it’s past time we had a woman as president.
But as an internet security guy, I can’t get past the recklessness of how she managed her email during her State Department years. She had access to extremely sensitive information on the country’s diplomatic and military dealings, and to run that data through an unprotected server in her house may well have endangered the lives of agents in the field.
We in the security profession have been telling businesses for years that conducting business via personal email is a bad idea; that company email systems with extra security protections are a must. Since I’ve written a lot about that, it would be hypocritical of me to vote for someone who can’t abide by the same rules.
Donald Trump is an entertainer, a mogul with a mixed business record and a flamethrower. His campaign speeches have been blatantly racist and sexist. His big boast is that he’ll build a wall all along the Mexican border and have Mexico pay for it. If elected, he won’t accomplish any of the things he says he’ll get done (not that I think that’s a bad thing). He’ll just keep making dumb statements that will make us look bad to the rest of the world. So, no, I won’t be voting for him.
The Libertarian candidate, Gary Johnson, is more my speed: socially liberal and fiscally conservative. He’s been a governor, so he has executive experience the others don’t have. His running mate, Bill Weld, was my governor back in the ’90s, and I thought he did a good job cutting government waste and holding the line on taxes. I see Johnson-Weld as the most harmless choice, so that’s where my vote is going.
More than one person has said I’m foolish for voting for someone who “can’t possibly” win. That’s a foolish line of thinking in any election cycle. The most important thing a voter can do is obey their conscience. It’s one thing if you have two choices where one is close enough to your convictions and most likely to win to make sense. This year, in my opinion, both major-party candidates are too far off the reservation for me to support.
Feel free to try and change my mind. I doubt you will.