Your Vote for President ~ Stuck between a Rock and a Hard Place? Some tools to help you choose.

The 3rd Presidental Debate of the 2016 election is over, and now more than ever, for many, it feels like a choice between a red rock and a hard blue place. What turmoil the United States of America is in at the moment.  It’s hard to think of another time in recent history when we were so divided as a Nation, so fractured in our philosophies, so confused as to our purpose and agendas. So blatantly lied to by the media, so meddled with by other countries, so prone to delusion. Never has a Presidential candidate, in advance of the tallying of the votes, suggested they would reject the results of an election.

Dislike it if you like, but if you want to participate in the outcome of this election in any substantial way, you are going to have to choose between these two.  The red rock and the hard blue place. I know, I know: many of you refuse!

Since the Primary, those of us who were excited about a revolution led by Bernie Sanders have faced the Five Stages of Grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and, I hope in the end, acceptance. While many of us have reached acceptance, it is my hope that this article/video will help move the rest of you towards that, and towards making a heart based, not head based or misinformed based decision.

Unhappy with the choices, (Republican (Red) and Democrat (Blue)), many of us are looking to cast our vote in a different direction, either by choosing a 3rd party candidate or by writing in a choice of our own.

I set out the other day, to call every State in our Country with the purpose of documenting how a Write-In vote gets handled.  I got as far as Oregon, Washington, and Pennsylvania.  I called a bunch of other States but quickly discovered that voter registration is up to the extent many offices are overwhelmed both with registrations and questions.

But with just these few States contacted, it became apparent that a write-in vote will not count, and in fact may not ever get viewed!.  The real reason behind this is the Electoral College.  Even IF a write-in candidate were to get enough popular votes to get counted, the system works against them. No, it is not “rigged!” It is just how the system works and has worked from the beginning.  Winning the popular vote means they would need more votes than either the Red or Blue candidate and more than any other 3rd party or other write-in candidates on the ballot. Even with those votes, without pre-appointed Electors (members of the Electoral College) there is no mechanism for those votes to be “brought forward” into the process to be counted. Further, in most cases, all “write-in” will votes go into the same pile and may never get broken down by name.

To additionally clarify: Each State has a certain number of Electoral votes, based on the number of Senators and Representative for the State.  Each Party on the ballot has to appoint that number of Electors, who, when the time comes, will cast a vote for their party at the Electoral College in December. Voters determine which Party’s Electoral attend; popular vote wins.  Unless a write-in Candidate has registered with each State the necessary number of Electorates for their “write-in party,” even if they were to win the popular vote, they would have no Electorates to vote for them in December. All write-in votes that fit this description are “lost” votes. Bernie Sanders is not running a write-in campaign, and there are no Electorates designated in any of the 50 States to vote for him should write-in votes for him win. This outcome is not the miracle so many of you wish for, I am very sorry to say.

This news is hard to swallow, I realize. For illustration purposes, let’s take a specific example: Let’s use Alaska, where I live.  In the State of Alaska, there are six different Presidential Candidates listed on our Ballot in 2016 (this will also vary by State; for example, Colorado has 20 Presidental Candidates on their ballot). Back to Alaska: Each of these 6 Parties has designated 3 Electors to represent them in the Electoral College. For the purpose of example, let’s say that 30% of the popular votes go to the Red candidate and 30% go to the Blue candidate and then, just for argument’s sake let’s say the remaining 40% all went to Bernie Sanders in write-ins. Because Bernie has no Electoral members named, all of these votes would be termed “lost” or “dead.” The Board of Elections would have to go back to the tally of the Red and Blue Votes.  If the Red candidate received 100 votes and the Blue candidate got 99 votes, the Red candidate would win all three Electoral votes. (With the exception of two States (Nebraska and Maine) who split the electoral votes proportionately, this formula applies to 48 States.) While there is no law requiring the Elector to vote their party’s ticket at the Federal level or sighted in the Constitution, 27 States require the Electors to vote the way of the popular vote. You might think in this example, that would mean Bernie would win Alaska, but remember, he has no Electors, so there would be no one to vote for him because in the example given, the Red Electors would be the ones voting since Red received the popular vote for officially recognized candidates.  The likelihood of the Electors themselves having a crisis of consciousness and voting against their party line is more than doubtful. And it’s not as if you can fill those empty Electoral seats after the election in November and before the Electoral College meets on the Monday after the 2nd Wednesday of December. It doesn’t work that way.

Here is an excellent general reference article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/06/what-is-the-electoral-college_n_2078970.html.

Additionally, the link listed below this paragraph shows the laws of each State regarding how their Electors’ votes are obligated.  In general, each Elector vows to vote as directed, either as dictated by State Law or by Party Lines.  Throughout history, more than 99% of Electors have voted as pledged. At one time I thought there would be some benefit to contact the 2016 Electors, but so many would have to be convinced to break ranks it appeared a lost cause so late in the game. A movement such as that would have to have gotten started many months ago.  Many months ago people didn’t imagine we could end up here between this red rock and the hard blue place.  https://www.archives.gov/federal-register/electoral-college/electors.html#restrictions

This news about the Electoral College may lead you to think that a 3rd party candidate is your next best option.  While it is true that a 3rd party candidate appears on the ballot and has appointed Electors, the likelihood of a 3rd party winning is beyond remote. Perhaps if we had gotten organized sooner, we could pull off a 3rd party win. Maybe in four years we can do it. The state of the Country now, however, is too fractured. We failed to organize or even agree on what direction to take.  Many bitter Bernie Sanders supporters have swung to the right in retaliation and anger. Others are spread across the spectrum from 3rd party candidates to staying home. These are all signs of some of the five stages of grief (anger, depression, etc.)

A gentleman who is running in Utah as a write-in may win the State of Utah; he may even win some other States where he appears on the ballot. While he would never make it to the Presidency, if there were enough States that were won by 3rd party candidates it would deny either of the mainline candidates a clear path to victory.  Someone must receive 270 electoral votes or the 12th Amendment kicks in giving the decision of President to the House of Representatives and Vice-President to the Senate to make. This situation may feel like a good solution, but we have no idea how that would turn out.

Since mainstream media can not be trusted to be unbiased, the validity of WikiLeaks is suspect, and we really can’t believe a lot of what we see on Facebook or social media, it is incumbent upon each of us to do our research, make our phone calls and share our findings.  Raise your awareness above the labels you hear. Please avoid the rhetoric of “us” and “them” when referring to your neighbors, family, and friends and the candidate of their choice.  The Unites States is a country founded on the freedom of thought, but it also a nation based on equal rights and a premise that we all count; we all matter; we are all entitled to love and understanding. We are all entitled to be happy, but not at the cost of each other. We are also by our nature, a country of loving open borders. We must remember our promise to the world: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.” This quote is inscribed on the Statue of Liberty and is a hallmark of the United States.

While you may not understand why someone you know supports the candidate they do, practice loving compassion and acceptance of them, just as you would want them to do for you. We can not let this situation tear us apart or cause us to lose faith in our Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights.  Love these people for bringing to light our differences, so that we can know where we need to do our work.  We were at one time the United States.  We must work to become that again.  We must heal our differences.

The TV Show “Queen For a Day” first aired in the 1940s and may be considered by some to be the first “reality tv” show. But the reality tv as we know it today didn’t start until the 1980s.  Since then, we have gotten sold a bill of goods about “life.” We’ve gotten marketed to and brainwashed into believing that what we see on our screens is “real” or “reality.” In fact, it is nothing more than the result of a bunch of script writers, a director, and some actors.  Sure, the “actors” may not be career stars, but that doesn’t make what they do any more real.  It’s television folks, NOT reality!

Repeating marketing phrases over and over is just sheer brainwashing and spin; there is no substance to much of what we hear and see. Seriously. This blather we get subjected to is not a plan for running a country; this is spin marketing from all sides. Reality TV brainwashes us into thinking that the marketing ploys are real, that the script is accurate and correct. Nothing can make false or deceptive claims the truth, no matter how much you spin them. The facts are ultimate; elusive in this election cycle, but ultimate nonetheless.

When Citizen’s United passed, allowing billions of dollars to pour into our political system, we needed to have acted immediately. We did not, and we got ruined as a result, we have crashed upon the rocks of deception. Our airwaves and media are bought and paid for by the billionaire class who control what we get told. They also control what we eat, our health care, our education system, our retirements, our travel. They control just about everything, don’t they? The red rock and hard blue place fit right into this, don’t they? And that makes you want to vote 3rd party or write-in.

So, here we are, back where we started, between the red rock and the hard blue place. Do you feel the urge to scream because it’s so frustrating to feel so stuck between these choices? Dislike it as you may, it is what it is.  There is no way out.  If your vote is going to count, you must either vote for a 3rd party who is 100% sure to win in your State or choose between the red rock or the hard blue. If you decide to stay home, you are giving up your voice. If you write someone in you are throwing your voice away.  As it stands, if you vote for anyone other than the red rock or the hard blue place you are choosing not to participate in the process.

We have to learn new tools for our problem solving.  You’re likely familiar with the sayings “If you do what you have always done you will get what you have always gotten,” or “If you can’t change it, change the way you think about it.”

Ultimately, the way we change the world is we change ourselves.  The way we heal the world is we heal ourselves.

The way to make this decision between the red rock and the hard blue place the easiest is to leave it up to your heart. Now, if you have walled your heart in, as many of us have from fear, this may be a harder thing for you to do, but try,  try as hard as you can. Shift your focus away from everything you think you “know” about either candidate.  Shift your focus from the trenches to the heavens. Remember that there is a much grander world beyond our petty annoyances and grievances with each other.  Remind yourself of the splendor that is life and that you came here to feel and live a life of joy, not resentment or judgment or any of the other emotions you may be feeling as you consider the red rock and the hard blue place.

You will need to find a few minutes alone where you can tune into your heart; your heart has something to say.  You already know what your mind has to say; these are the things you’ve been saying up till now.

When you stop, and quiet your thoughts and listen to your heart, you are going to hear something else, something new. It may be supportive of what your mind has been saying, or it may be something very new or something you have suspected but have been resisting. In any case, your heart will guide you in this choice much better than your head.  It is imperative that we always try to find joy in each moment.  We are here to be joyous beings, not fearful and unhappy.

If you are still struggling, let’s make a T-chart that we measure with our hearts!  As you ask yourself each question, quiet your mind first, close your eyes and focus hard on how you feel as you say these words.  It will help if you say them out loud.  Don’t be surprised if you need to repeat them several times before you feel anything. If you can sketch this out on paper and write your answers down, all the better. Draw a large T on your paper and label the left column Red and the right column Blue, then write your answers in the appropriate column.

Remember as you go through these questions, your vote needs to be for the candidate who matches your personal values the closest and who appears to you to be the best choice for the good of the whole.  The entire Earth hangs in this balance. Again, put everything else about these two aside and focus on what these questions bring up for you.

Red                               Blue

Does the candidate exude hope or fear?

Does the candidate exude a love for all people?

Does the candidate give generously to others?

Does the candidate handle himself or herself graciously?

Does the candidate appear wise and knowledgeable?

Does the candidate seem consistent in temperament?

Are their policies based on thoughtful approaches or fear and retaliation?

Does the candidate seem kind and loving?

Allow your heart to speak to you.  Forget everything you’ve gotten told. Forget everything you’ve read. Forget the “he said,” “she said.” Forget it all.  Focus on what you alone have observed yourself firsthand.  That limits you to things like the debates and live interviews. If you don’t have that experience and only have 2nd hand information, find the live recordings of the debates. Any edited replay is suspect. CNN is full of paid shills defending the red rock. The six corporations that control most of the media monitor and control the content. The truth is elusive. Reliable sources are hard to find. One way to know if a news source is objective is to follow the money of its funding. That can be a dark rabbit hole and be more time consuming than fruitful.

I can imagine many of you don’t feel any better and that the exercise above has left you wanting.

Here’s another way to look at this. Everything is energy; the 3rd dimension is an illusion, and there is no such thing as time, only now. [Don’t get bogged down in these details right now, go with the flow, and we can discuss these concepts in depth elsewhere.] But let’s look at this voter situation with this stuff in mind. We have no idea what the Universe has in store for us. All we can see and know is the moment we as we live it. Our purpose at the moment that we are in is to find joy. If you always steer your attention toward finding that feeling of joy at the moment, it gives you a goal upon which to focus.

From an energy standpoint, red is the lowest frequency colored light that we can see with the human eye. The color red is the color of our Root Charka, the first energy center in the body and the chakra of survival and fear. This chakra is your seat of security and safety and when threatened can result in the formation of rigid boundaries.  Blue is considerably higher on the spectrum of light waves, a higher frequency energetically; it is the color of the sky and our Throat Chakra, the chakra of communication. The Throat Chakra is the energy center of expression, and of being heard.

If you can’t choose any other way, between the red rock and the hard blue place, make a choice between the colors. Energetically, you can’t go wrong following this path and the beauty of looking at things this way entirely removes the emotional charge and the personalities.  Let your heart resonate with the colors and the energy of the colors as you sit with the energetic question of “What is the best choice for the good of the whole?”  [I’ll be teaching a course on the Human Energy (Chakra) System shortly, message me if you’d like to sign up or get more information.]

If you are familiar with Kinesiology or the use of a Pendulum, you can also turn to those tools for additional feedback.  I had one friend tell me that they feel they would be out of congruence with their soul if they voted for either the red rock or the hard blue place and I totally understand that.

If you put yourself in the mindset of voting for the solution your heart tells you is the best for the Good of the Whole, with the understanding you now have of how your vote gets counted, you will have done the best you can do, and you will have voted responsibly.

Peace to us all as we navigate these challenging times. I wish you the feeling of becoming un-stuck! I wish you the peace of accepting what is and choosing to move our country forward with a vote of your heart.

P.S. If the popular vote is clear, our current situation will get settled on 11/8/16.  If there is no clear winner of the 270 votes, we may not know the outcome until December 19, 2016, or beyond.  Final closure of the election occurs January 6, 2017, at 1:00 PM ET when the results of the Electoral College votes get announced by the Vice President in a joint session of the House of Representatives and Senate. Happy New Year. Our work will just be starting!

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