Every election, since elections began for me, I have voted, willingly, appreciatively, some times gleefully for my choice candidates.

This election? Not so much. I, like many others, would rather not vote at all, because as far as all the candidates go, not a single one of them is offering any real solutions to the very real problems all Americans are facing right now. We’ve got a hurricane pummeling the southern East Coast. It is going to destroy a lot of lives, a lot of property and a lot of jobs. Scientists have been warning all of us about the dangers of global warming and climate change for years, and yet politicians spend precious time squabbling over whether climate change even exists…Nero is playing the violin while Rome is burning.

The economy is not recovering. It’s just not. Wages haven’t risen since 1970, and usually there is this disclaimer (when you account for inflation) but that’s no longer true, wages are not rising -at all. Which is to say, if you were making $40,000 in 2000 you’re probably making $40,000 today — and this is where median American income hovers. None of our presidential candidates spend a sufficient amount of time discussing any of this. And why is that? Because none of them have any viable solutions to these problems.

Everyone should be deeply concerned about the air we breath, the water we drink, the food we eat and the money we have to spend on any of it. All of these things are under attack, and these are really basic things which affect quality of life for all; and yet in the national debate we spend so little time discussing any of these things. Why?

We are being distracted, with a lot of different topics, but the underlying sentiment of all the distractions is hate and fear. No matter what you do, if you vote this year, you are casting a vote that is tied up into a lot of hate and fear; and for me that feels like voting with a gun to my head. I don’t want to do it, I really don’t, but I also realize that if I don’t vote, I’m also voting for hate and fear. No matter what I do, the result is not one I want.

What should I do? What should I not do? Here is what I will not do. I will not vote for Donald Trump; his supporters to blame for that. The more I read about Trump supporters, the more I hear from them, the more it is clear to me that many of them are casting deep votes for hate and fear and everything else that accompanies it: senseless violence, blatant racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, cruelty, heartlessness, Orwellian style hate chants. They are an extremely dangerous, illogical, violent mob that cannot be reasoned with. They have mobilized behind Trump and have empowered him to become an incredibly destructive force, not just in America, but in the world.

I can’t vote for that. One Trump supporter actually said, “Give fear a chance.” What kind of thought process is this? Give fear a chance? Why? When has that ever been productive? Next, we’ll be hearing, “Give rape a chance.” “Give hate a chance.” “Give chaos and blood on the streets a chance.”

I can’t give any of that a chance. I just can’t, so I have to vote against Trump. I have to. Again his hateful supporters are the ones to blame. They have absolutely brought out the worst in Trump.

So, who do I vote FOR, because a vote against Trump is a vote for someone else. There are two independents, Gary Johnson and Jill Stein. If I had the luxury of being generous with my vote, if I could vote to make a point, then I would probably vote for Jill Stein, because she is concerned about real things- the air we breath, the land under our feet, the water we drink. I can vote for someone like that. But even if I did, even if I did and she WON, I know that nothing would change. At least not quickly. Our system of government is a beast. It is its own beast that is breaking down under the weight of a vast number of pressures (many of which are international, many of which most Americans are clueless about).

No one president, no matter who they are, can tame this beast. If they are clever, however they can work with it. They can attempt to keep the beast from falling into an utterly chaotic state and devouring us all. Who is best suited for this task? Honestly? I believe it’s Hillary Clinton.

How does one work with the beast? Well, they make deals with the metaphorical devil. Certainly, she’s made more than a few. But I’d be ridiculously naive to think that every politician in DC doesn’t have a closet full of skeletons and devil deals, as does Donald Trump; and so when we vote it always in a morally ambiguous territory. We are always voting for the lesser of two evils, and even when we think we’re voting for hope (Obama) or progress (Sanders) the beast always ends up getting its way and all we really end up voting for is the lesser of two evils.

Never has that been clearer, with regard to this election. While I am not thrilled about voting for Hillary, (I’m really not) I will do it. I’m not voting out of civic duty, or pride in this democracy, but just out of a basic need for self-preservation. A basic need to protect myself from a group of supporters who has the mindset that anyone who is the slightest bit different from them, deserves to be violently dealt with, and humiliated and probably even killed.

When I speak of the lesser of two evils, the choice is clear. There is Hillary’s standard, business as usual typical political corruption, that is killing us all softly and slowly or there is Donald’s bloody, hateful, fearful, murderous corruption that destabilizes everyone and everything quite quickly. With all that blood on the streets the wealthy, worry about it not and buy property.

Hillary is a career politician, and its in her best interest to keep feeding the beast. Donald is a predatory business opportunist, who will experience tremendous financial gains by destabilizing the beast and demolishing a good part of the populace (which he cares for not in the least.)

I saw this hugely obese woman Trump supporter, (and she’s not the only one, I find it odd how many down right hugely obese female supporters Trump seems to have) all decked out in a variety of Trump paraphernalia. She had the T-shirt, the scarf, the hat, the sunglasses…yes even sunglasses. And I was thinking to myself, lady do you really think Trump cares anything about you? If you look at Trump, if you observe the subtleties of human nature, you’d realize that Trump doesn’t even care about his wives (none of them) or his own daughters who are all thin and beautiful to his exact specifications. What in the world would cause you to think that he would ever in a million years, care about you? He’d call you Miss Piggy, and embarrass and humiliate you in front of rabid supporters who might demand that you be stripped of all Trump paraphernalia and trotted out to be mocked and jeered by the angry Trump mobs who like to mock and jeer. Lets not pretend that Trump is above any of this behavior. He humiliates and embarrasses people all the time. In fact, he gets off on it along with supporters who get off on it.

Trump does not care about this woman because, he does not care about people. He cares only about his own needs and desires, and he uses his supporters as pawns to pursue them. He gets off on it; and his supporters seem to get off on being used as his pawns-go figure.

These are dangerous days, really, really dangerous days. If you read between the lines and look closely at what many of our politicians are telling us in any number of ways, it’s that our American lives are expendable. It’s just a matter of how expendable and under what terms and conditions.

Honestly, I prefer Hillary’s terms and conditions. They are slower, less brutal, certainly more sophisticated and utilizing a system that has not completely abandoned logic and reason. (Not completely, not yet.)

And so, I am voting with a gun to my head. I am voting knowing that if I (and my fellow Americans) don’t vote against Trump, that gun might pop off, and I will be dead.

Vote as if your life depends on it, because if you are a minority of any kind, if you are a woman or if you are anything other than exactly what Trump wants you to be, (and that’s actually a lot of his own supporters, especially the poor overweight ones) it does. It really does.

Working with the Light!