Chris' Corner by Chris Verrill

Just Vote Your Conscience

Yes, the Electoral College is archaic. Yes, it should be scrubbed. Yes, it allowed the person with the most votes to lose. (For the second time in just 16 years.)

We’re a nation of laws. And until this stupid law is scrubbed, we follow it. This stupid law says that electors have the right to vote as they see fit. (In my opinion, to prevent the worst presidency in the modern US history.)

It would wreak havoc on our democracy if this were to happen. We’d be the laughing stock of the world. Be we already are. Electors voting their conscience would be a mess until January 20. But (presumably) much better after that.

If Trump doesn’t win the Electoral College, the vote goes to the House of Representatives. This House is a majority Republicans. So we’d get a Kasich. Or a McCain. Or a Romney. Ah, says this guy who didn’t vote for Romney, I’d like a President Romney right about now. A decent, honest, man of integrity.

I miss W.

Chris Verrill
Redding, California
Currently working overseas in China
Founder, Beijing for Bernie

Congratulations President-elect Trump:
from a Hillary Voter

Hillary’s loss still stings while I write this. But write it, I must.

This election has been, to put it mildly, very divisive. Personality attacks hit an all-time high for our 240 year old democracy. Issues were not discussed in depth. There was little attempt to persuade swing voters. Because there weren’t hardly any swing voters. The camps were entrenched almost from day one.

But now we must all come together.

For those of us who did not vote for President-elect Trump, it’s time for us to do our best to work together with him. To do our best to help him succeed. To do our best help him in his work to lead our country.

My congratulations to President-elect Trump and his supporters. You fought valiantly. You fought to victory. The American people heard your call. And shared their pain. And have placed their hope your leadership.

For those of us who thought voting for Trump was a bad choice, we now we need to work with him to prove ourselves wrong. The future of our country is more important that scoring political points.

The divisiveness must end. If it doesn’t, it will be our undoing.

I strongly supported Bernie. When he lost the primary, I reluctantly but resolutely got on board with Hillary to work to help our country. I do that again today. I voted for Hillary. But today, I get on board helping President-elect Trump have a successful administration.

We owe this to our country. We owe this to ourselves. At the end of the day, we’re all on the same team.

Chris Verrill
Redding, California
Founder, Beijing for Bernie

Swallowing Hard

I'm a strong Bernie Sanders supporter. As a California resident living overseas in China, I started Beijing for Bernie more than a year ago when, at just 2% in the polls, his candidacy was only idealistic wishful thinking. Because he's a man of principle. Because he represents integrity and independence from a money driven corrupt two party system. I knocked on doors for him in New Hampshire because I believe he was the best hope for real change in the country.

But he lost. And I have to get over it.

We'll live to fight another day. And hopefully another principled courageous independent voice will rise in 2020. (Hear that, Elizabeth? Michael B?)

In the meantime, we must swallow our pride and stop Donald Trump from becoming president. My Trump supporting friends say the system is too corrupt. On this, we agree. They say Trump might fix the system. "Might" isn't good enough. Trump is too much of an insane wild card to take that risk. The potential downside of a Trump presidency is just too scary. He is not the solution. All indicators are that he is an ignorant, racist, sociopath. He lacks the dignity, maturity and common sense to be the leader of the free world. As numerous Republican leaders have said, our country, and indeed the world, would be in peril with Trump's unhinged finger on the button.

I would not hire Trump to be my apprentice. I certainly won't vote for him for president of the United States of America.

I've been a registered independent almost all of my life. I like the Greens. There's a lot to like about the Libertarians. I've voted for them and other independents and third parties more often than I've voted Democrat. I never voted for Bill Clinton because he represents too much of what is wrong with our political system. His saying whatever it takes to get votes—that calculated pandering. The huge donors buying elections. It's disgusting. And it's not democratic. On my only other trip to campaign in New Hampshire, I stuffed envelopes and waved signs for Paul Tsongas—against Bill the Pander Bear.

Don't let anyone tell you voting for a third party is a wasted vote. Malarkey. True, they won't win. (Yet.) But when they have strong showings they drive agendas. More of us should vote for third parties. Help break the corrupt stranglehold that the two parties have on our political system.

The Greens and Libertarians tug at my heart this year. But Hillary Clinton is just plain smarter and more experienced than either Jill Stein or Gary Johnson. Her moderate balance of idealism and pragmatism is better than theirs. She'd do a better job.

At the end of the day, Hillary is our best choice. (Swallowing hard.) I'm with her.

Chris Verrill
Redding, California
Currently working overseas in China
Founder, Beijing for Bernie

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