My head has been spinning over the presidential election.
I have worked in newspapers for more than 30 years and have paid pretty close attention during all that time to politics on the local, state, national and international levels.
I have never seen anything as bizarre, frustrating and so unsatisfying as the current race for president. And when I look at it all through the eyes of someone who cares deeply about the welfare of all animals, the planet and people in need, I am even more lost and despondent.
My hopes were lifted a short time back when I happened to hear an interview with a presidential candidate for the Humane Party. What I heard from the party's first presidential candidate, Clifton Roberts, was so uplifting.
Roberts is a long-time vegan, who spoke with knowledge, sensitivity and an awareness that is nowhere to be found among those in the national spotlight. He spoke sanely and calmly about the progressive and caring nature of the party's mission, which is, "To establish a disciplined, transparent and accountable government that empowers citizens and industry to build and sustain a humane, secure and prosperous nation."
A big hook for me is that the Humane Party is the "first political party that is committed to rights for all animals—not just the human kind." Check out the party's complete platform online.
If this were a one-on-one discussion, my experience has been that I would have already been dismissed as throwing away my vote or as some misguided dreamer, who is enabling a dangerous candidate to lead our country into ruin. (I have heard this dire prediction from those on both sides of the political aisle).
Unfortunately, I learned after digging a little deeper that Roberts is not only not on the ballot in Indiana, but is not even among the qualified write-in candidates. Write-in candidates must file certification paperwork in order to be counted in Indiana.
Green Party candidate Jill Stein is among the write-in options in Indiana and the Green Party does have an animal-rights arm to its platform. But Stein impresses me far less than Roberts.
It would be so refreshing to be able to vote for a candidate who truly reflects my values and hopes for this country, rather than just voting for the "lesser of two evils." I am hearing the same thing from more and more people on either end of the political spectrum and from those in between.
I have seen a dramatic growth in the concern over animal welfare during just my lifetime. I hold out the same type of hope on the political front.
Maybe what we are now witnessing on the national stage is part of that change.
The opinions expressed here are solely that of the author.