“You should have voted your interests Bryce! What reason did you have to vote against Hillary unless you’re a billionaire ?”
I thought about that for a second . Not because I was stymied . Liberals rarely stump me . No , I was simply trying to figure out what talking point she would rely on once I explained that socialized medicine has made me more poor while I am simultaneously pursuing wealth . This of coarse put two solid interests against her right there . “ Tax the rich” I thought to myself . That is definitely what she will go with . I looked at my co-worker Barbie , lathering pizza sauce on another nine inches (a small pizza where I work ) and I lay it on her . She bites …
“ If the rich paid their fair share your insurance would be almost nothing “ she said with a pleading look of desperation.
I quickly explained that the rich already pay a much higher rate then her or I currently pay. I pointed out that as someone who WILL be a rich and successful writer someday (just you wait and see) I had zero motivation to increase the tax rate on a group of individuals I hope to be a part of someday (financially speaking of coarse . I could never hang out with most of those people ) . I brought this conversation to a climax by explaining that with the amount we have seen premiums go up , combined with inflation , that even taxing the rich more would be ultimately ineffective . Her look of total and utter defeat was actually quite heartbreaking . I like Barbie . She has a heart of gold and is one of the sweetest ladies I know . Shutting her argument down brought me no pleasure. This is abnormal as winning political debates usually brings me an incredible amount of joy.
Inevitably , it came back to what it has always come back to ever since the election . Ever since a real estate mogul turned reality television star became the 45th President of the United States of America. Ever since 7 million Americans decided that both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were EQUALLY undesirable for the job of being the leader of the free (ish) world . I was almost hoping for a rush ( of customers ) . I tried to remember what it was that I said that got this whole skid mark of a mid-shift conversation started . ( I am fully confident it was 100% my fault ) . It came back to “ Stopping Trump should have been your first priority . Just think of how many will suffer under his rule “ (because liberals for some reason think we elected a king ).
I immediately went back in my mind. Back towards two very important things. First, the aforementioned “ vote your interests “ nonsense that both Democrats and Republicans peddle all the time. And then an interview with Hillary Clinton a few months before. I would like to discuss the latter first (but don’t worry … we will revisit the whole “ vote your interests “ narrative after that ).
Up until this interview in New York Magazine ( which was very well written by Rebecca Traister) the former FLOTUS and Secretary of State had been somewhat of a recluse . The only evidence I had seen that she still existed was a picture of her Christmas shopping at some point in December . I only remember it because I had quite literally JUST decided to become a writer and figured politics was the best coarse for me , fresh off spending hours online campaigning for Gary Johnson . So I watched more news and less “ The Walking Dead “ (never a good choice by the way ) . But as President-elect Trump was already making people say “ What the f*** ?“ I quickly forgot about it and jumped on the bandwagon of people criticizing him for the slightest verbal blunder (what can I say , I was trying to get noticed ) .
Now I am not a regular reader of New York Magazine. It’s not that I think it is a bad publication . It is just so far removed from life here in Vermont that I can’t find many compelling articles in it . I suppose if I lived in New York City among the literary world I would . It is just so hard to relate to. It becomes that piece of reading material I peruse while waiting for my father to get out of his appointment at the VA . But it was not the VA where I saw what would make my liberty loving blood boil . It wasn’t in New York Magazine at all that I saw it . It was a simple social media post about how Hillary Clinton had called 3rd party voters “crazy” .
“No way,” I thought to myself. She isn’t that stupid. Not when so many Hil-bots are still clamoring for one more run. One more Rocky Balboa style chase for the prize. She wouldn’t insult over 7 million people that voted for someone OTHER than her or Trump … there is just no way.
So I got on my tablet and read the article. She did it alright.
It’s not that I was insulted. I care more about the opinions of my plumber then Hillary Clinton (one wrong move and my toilet are awry, no good I tell you ). It was just laughable. How arrogant to think WE are crazy rather then you were simply not believable, likable and ultimately electable. That was the part that made my blood boil. The sheer and utter arrogance.
The article itself mentioned how she might be (or was, I can’t remember ) the worst politician/candidate in history because she lost to the worst politician/candidate in history. I have to admit, I giggled.
So back to voting my interests … THIS was the supposed “smart choice”? The woman who holds virtually NONE of the same ideals as I was the one I should fall in line for? The woman that just called me crazy! Why ? Just because Donald Trump says mean things? Don’t get me wrong, I passionately LOATH Donald Trump (and did long before the election season began). But I vote policy, not emotions (imagine if more did that).
Vote your interests. Leading up to November the Trump supporters tried this line on me also.
They knew I was voting for Gary Johnson. I had already been an ideological libertarian for a few years by then and made no secret I was joining the party after the election. Not to say I think Gary is much of a libertarian. More of a very basic “ classical liberal “, but I knew getting 5% of the popular vote would be a huge thing for the party. So that’s where I was and I was not budging.
“ But Bryce, Trump wants to leave marijuana legalization up to the states “ (yes, they would say complete hogwash like that ). As if I was a one issue voter. “Trump will protect our Second Amendment rights !” I would shake my head. The liberals have been coming for our guns most of my life (and possibly before ). They still haven’t succeeded. It was like they were scrambling. Desperately trying to find ANYTHING that would convince me . “Vote your interests Bryce!” The whole thing just made me nauseous.
The truth is that interests, like ideals, morals, and every other point of view is relative. Call it a plea for the legitimacy of moral relativity all you want, it is the truth.
Telling people to vote their interests as if you (and only you ) know what those interests are is nothing more then conceited politics. When I was young I didn’t much care for my mother saying “ I know what’s best for you “ and I do not want my politicians doing it either.
That is what drew me to Gary. He wasn’t telling me to vote my interests and neither were his supporters. He explained his platform and simply asked that you give him a chance. So I did, proudly!
Of course, on November 9th we (the Libertarian Party ) did NOT get the 5% we were lookfor.or . Trump shocked the world and won (and in turn made all the anti-Hillary memes I had created go to waste … and I had some real gems ) and I heard for three weeks straight how Gary was a spoiler and I was a jerk (they didn’t say jerk , but I think The Libertarian Vindicator is a more PG rated publication so I am keeping it semi-clean ) .
Vote your interests … I will probably never understand that pathetic and weak phrase . My interests are to be able to negotiate my own pay (which I can’t ,due to a minimum wage that eats up my employers pay roll by forcing them into paying under-performers more then they are worth ) and being able to purchase a decent bag of weed after a hard ten hour shift without risking a civil citation (it is decriminalized here ) and having to consort with a criminal (who I personally see as nothing more then a independent businessman ) .
Vote my interests you say ? Show me a non-libertarian who is serious about my interests and then we can talk . Until then , how about you vote your interests… and I’ll vote mine .