Lollar

I’m sure a fair few of you tuned in to the WWE Seniors match incorrectly labeled a Presidential Debate. I’m almost positive most of you were equally sickened by the spectacle. 

Don’t dare get me wrong; I loved it! I was shocked and somehow simultaneously entertained. My mouth was wide open throughout the majority of the 90 minutes.

I didn’t know from one moment to the next if there was going to be a West Side Story-esque dance battle or if those two were going to fly out from behind those podiums with swords drawn. The mutual hatred was tangible. 

Beyond the entertainment value was a sickness in the pit of my stomach and a deep disappointment in what was missing from that stage. 

No, I’m not referencing the lack of decorum but the lack of opponents. 

Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon aren’t the only names you’ll see on this year’s ballot, so why were they the only faces we saw on stage? Who even knows about the other candidates? 

I’ll be honest; I had no idea this many people were running. Apart from the two babies starring in the 90-minute episode of Toddlers and Tiaras we’ve already watched, there are nine more candidates in this election! Nine more parties represented, most of which I didn’t even know existed. 

At the top of my list for viable candidates sits Jo Jorgensen, the Libertarian nominee, and its first-ever female choice. Dr. Jorgensen holds a Ph.D. in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from Clemson, a Master’s in Business Administration from Southern Methodist University, and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Baylor. She may not be a Texan, but she clearly knows us well enough to realize that this is the best place to get an education. Our Mamas didn’t raise no dummies. 

She’s been a full-time Senior Lecturer in Psychology at Clemson since 2006. She’s obviously not feeble-minded, so she’s already got a leg up on her more well-known opponents. 

I may not 100% agree with every portion of her platform, but I come a lot closer than I do with any other party. 

I agree with her environmental ideas, but only partially. While I recognize nuclear energy as a clean, affordable source of power, I think the way this country should be going is toward solar, wind, and hydroelectricity. Those, in my mind, are the only real clean, safe, and renewable sources. The doomsday prepper in me is terrified of a country full of unmanned nuclear power plants in the event of a survivable apocalypse. I’d hate to know I survived this dumpster fire only to find that the world was still going to burn around my feet. 

She opposes mask mandates in favor of personal choice, supports cutting government spending to reduce taxes, supports smaller government, promises to eliminate trade barriers, and remove the government’s finger from the healthcare pulse. Her plans for criminal justice reform and the unsuccessful war on drugs are so forward-thinking, I almost can’t stand it. 

And where is she? You can find her on Facebook, you can catch a live stream of her, and she’s been holding rallies all across the country. The one place she should have been was on that stage in between the grumpy, old men spouting logic in the milliseconds of silence while the blowhards prepared for the next barrage of insults. 

She should have been allowed to make herself and her platform known to this country because our need for a better option is clear and present. 

Our two-party government is failing us in a million and one ways, and yet here we sit, watching it happen. 

There are candidates on the ballot that would appeal to every voter. There is a Green candidate, a Constitution candidate, an Independent, and even a Party for Socialism and Liberation candidate. There’s an American Solidarity candidate, a Socialist Workers Party candidate, and an Alliance candidate. If your political leanings reside a bit further in the atmosphere, you can vote for Kanye West under the “Birthday” party. 

We should be able to vote our conscience!  We shouldn’t have to choose between the lesser of two evils. It’s up to us to make these changes, to weigh our options and these scales aren’t two-sided. The decision is ours to make.

There are nearly a dozen options, and we the People should stop herding elephants and asses long enough to get to know what else is out there. 

Do some research. Make up your own mind. Then get your butt out of your chair, slap that stupid mask on, and GO VOTE. 

Amber Lollar is the senior reporter for The Henderson News. Her e-mail address is <reporter@thehendersonnews.com>. © 2020, Henderson Newspapers Inc.

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