Exit 132. It reminded me of the way I’ve been mistreated.

I voted for Gary Johnson.

This is not going to be a political post, so I’m not going to go into detail on my thoughts on the issues.  So here’s the short version: I wasn’t expecting him to win a majority of the electoral vote.  I mostly just didn’t want a vote for Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump on my conscience.  I dislike them both, for different reasons.  And I don’t agree with Gary Johnson on some things, but the thought of him in the White House scared me less than the thought of either of the two major candidates in the White House.  And I do not regret one bit voting the way I did, so all of you who kept telling me that a third party candidate can’t win, save your I-told-you-sos for someone else.

So… anyway… even though I wasn’t 100% behind all of Gary Johnson’s views on the issues, and I don’t agree with all of the Libertarian Party’s stances, this year felt different.  With Clinton and Trump so widely disliked, many voters were looking for an alternative. Johnson had previously won two terms as governor of New Mexico, so he had relevant political experience.  He was polling over 10% in many states a few months before the election.  He was popular with certain subgroups of the population, and in a few states, such as New Mexico and Utah, his numbers were looking like he might actually have a chance to win.  No third party candidate had won a state since 1968, and in an election projected to be close, like this one, just winning one or two states might be enough to ensure that neither of the two major candidates would win a majority of the electoral vote.  According to the Constitution, this would lead to the House of Representatives choosing the President, with each state getting one vote (as opposed to each Representative), and this would open up the possibility of a compromise with the Republican Congressional delegation not being unified behind Trump.  The chance of that actually happening was small, but like I said, this year felt different, and it felt like time for the unexpected to happen.

But it did not happen.

Evan McMullin of Utah entered the race late and took most of the Utah anyone-but-Clinton-or-Trump voters away from Johnson.  Johnson got a little over nine percent of the vote in his home state of New Mexico, and over five percent in only a few other states.  Nationally, Johnson won a little over three percent of the popular vote, a number very similar to his showing in my home state of California.

Watching this phenomenon kind of annoyed and disappointed me, because it reminded me of the way I’ve been mistreated over the years by people who I thought cared for me.  People get all excited about something that I’m also a part of, but then in the moment of truth, they back out and abandon me, much as many people who polls said were voting for Gary Johnson apparently abandoned him and the rest of the Johnson voters.  There have been times when I have made group plans to go out to dinner, game nights, movie marathons, sporting events, and the like.  Many of my friends act interested at first, and then many of them back out at the last minute.  Not only is this frustrating, but sometimes this leaves me with tons of uneaten food at my house, or a responsibility to find someone at the last minute to take a ticket I’ve already paid for.

Similarly, in my 20s, I was surrounded by Christians who preached an extremely restrictive and conservative message regarding dating and sexuality.  I did my best to conform: I made friends with girls instead of actively pursuing them as romantic interests.  I tried my hardest not to masturbate or have overly flirtatious and sexually explicit chat room and instant message conversations, and when my willpower wasn’t strong enough, I felt immensely guilty and down on myself.  Meanwhile, many of my friends who were so passionate about this lifestyle eventually threw all that stuff out the window and started doing all the things they preached so loudly against.  They told me that I was single because God doesn’t want me dating and I wasn’t praying enough, just before they went home to watch porn and have sex with their significant others that they weren’t married to.

Why do people do this?  I don’t know.  I do have a few theories as to where all the prospective Gary Johnson voters went.  There probably were not as many of them to begin with, since much of what I was reading on the subject came from the Johnson campaign itself, which had a vested interest in skewing statistics to make their candidate seem more popular.  As I said before, many of them, especially in Utah, voted for Evan McMullin instead.  Some of them probably decided that they were so repulsed by one candidate that they voted for the slightly less objectionable candidate just to stop the slightly more objectionable one.  Some of them probably were so repulsed by both candidates that they did not vote at all.  Some of them probably lost faith in the ability of anyone to go up against the two-party system that they voted for the slightly less objectionable candidate.  That’s their right, and I’m not here to blame third-party voters for a major party candidate winning or losing any state.  That’s not how it works.

As for why my friends acted in ways that made me feel abandoned and backed out on, I know even less.  Some of the people in my life just aren’t true friends, just as many potential Johnson voters weren’t truly on board with his candidacy.  With social plans, sometimes things genuinely do come up.  People get sick.  Family members have emergencies.  And as for the Christians-don’t-date lifestyle, sometimes people get caught up in a certain lifestyle or viewpoint because of the people around them, without actually having a life-changing commitment to this lifestyle, and when circumstances change and they see other viewpoints, sometimes they fall away.  I don’t want to be angry with my friends.  I understand that things come up sometimes.  And everyone has their own journey of faith, and everyone who has left Christianity or become more liberal in their interpretation of Scripture has their reasons for doing so.  It is not my place to judge their faith.  I have things to learn from them, and I certainly see some things differently now than I did as a new Christian 20 years ago.  Many of these things happened to me a long time ago, and I don’t think it is healthy to carry grudges.

I guess I’m mostly angry at the world in general.  Unfortunately, there isn’t much I can do about it.  Life isn’t fair, and people will disappoint.  I’m just going to have to find a way to deal with it, and this is a process that will take a long time.

Advertisements

6 comments

  1. Well, when the world treats you like shit, it is normal to be angry. My sister, Liz, is angry at the world too. I was a bit angry but mainly disappointed. Lol Life isn’t what I thought it would be. I’ve made peace with that now. I didn’t realize how awful life could be, even for a believer in God. It came as a big shock to me.

    I think this new government, run by the religious right, will try to unite church and state. They will pass religious laws and persecute unbelievers or those, like me, whose beliefs differ from theirs. Jesus will return very soon after this happens. This world will pass away and won’t be able to hurt us anymore.

  2. I’m a little confused about some of your statements on politics and how it relates to friendship. You said in this entry that you weren’t 100% behind Gary Johnson or the Libertarian party. So, do you think that it is normal for a citizen to be 100% behind their candidate? TBH, I thought about voting for Johnson for awhile and did some research on him, but voted for Clinton in the end. Does that make me a bad person? I don’t think so. I just was undecided for a long time and explored my options. Even when I was more excited about a political candidate, I was aware enough to realize that this person would not agree with everything I believe in.

    As far as the connection of politics to friendship, do you expect your friends to fulfill 100% of your expectations? Do the people who have let you down in the past even realize that they have let you down? Or have your expectations gone unspoken? Have you tried confronting a friend after they flaked on you? Perhaps if you were honest with them about their flightiness, they wouldn’t back out on you as often.

    And in my faith, I have struggled with many of the cultural Christian tenets that were taught to me since high school. Life used to be black and white (don’t have sex, don’t do drugs, don’t lie or cheat, etc.), but there are so many shades of gray that have confused and enlightened me over the years. Adult life isn’t as tidy as I imagined it in my college years. But it’s not to say it’s been bad. In fact, the surprises in experience and thought have taught me more than any university course or best selling book.

    I’m sorry that people and life have let you down. But I don’t know of any mortal person that can fulfill 100% of your needs. I don’t even fulfill my own needs 100% of the time, so I could never expect anyone else to, not even my wife. Perhaps you need to look at yourself honestly and see if you are expecting too much, both of yourself and the people around you.

    1. Good points… People do change their minds for healthy reasons, and there’s nothing wrong with that. I guess I just didn’t think of that because I rarely change my mind at the last minute in high-profile races. (But, for the record, I did change my mind on one race this year literally at the last minute, while sitting in the parking lot of my polling place, voting No on a local sales tax increase that I had originally considered voting Yes on.)

      “Adult life isn’t as tidy as I imagined it in my college years”… that’s exactly what I’m experiencing, and hearing about your struggles with Christianity have definitely been eye-opening. I probably am expecting too much, and I probably don’t voice my hurt often enough (although I have in some cases). I think all of this, life not being black and white, people letting me down, are just a normal part of growing up that I need to learn to deal with. There isn’t necessarily going to be a fix to any of this. Thanks for sharing.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s