Thankfully, the Republican and Democratic conventions are over.

The Republicans did a good job of filling us with fear, doubt, and anxiety. Mr. Trump did a good job telling us he is “the only person” who can fix the mess. No mention of Congress, governors, state legislatures, mayors, city councils. His message: “It’s all about me.”

Nauseating.

The Democrats did a good job of billing Hillary Clinton as “our savior.”  Hillary said “we” often. A good thing. At least she recognizes she needs others to succeed.

Not as nauseating.

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Trump’s words and actions prove he will lead with a heavy hand, or worse. He is easy to anger, and too quick to react. His mouth continually gets him in trouble. He has to back track often, and he has never apologized for his playground words.

He is dangerous.

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Clinton’s words and actions prove she will lead in a somewhat more inclusive style. Although one of her main points is the free tuition issue.  I can’t go there. Free stuff is not appreciated. Working for something means a serious commitment. At the end, there is a greater appreciation of the completed task.

Her careless use of emails as Secretary of State calls into question, just as much as Trump’s words, her judgment and ability to think through consequences.

November 8 is about 100 days away. You and I are going to be receiving hundreds of messages via email, twitter, phone calls, radio, TV, and snail mail. All those messages will be designed to tear down.

As much as we “hate going negative,” it will happen again in this election cycle.

Both mainline party candidates, Clinton and Trump, are flawed. I think Trump is worse. But Hillary is not far behind. Both political parties and the elections they control at taxpayer expense have produced very poor choices.

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Voting third party may make sense this time. Not because a third party candidate can win, but because both political machines need to hear and understand this: “We are upset with the lack of positive leadership and accomplishments from leaders of both parties. Gridlock is no longer acceptable. We have issues which require action. Pointing fingers and blaming the other guy won’t cut it anymore.”

I used to believe the two-party system worked. I don’t believe it anymore. Party leaders, political hacks, and moneyed special interests have rigged the system. Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump agree on that point.

Sanders is not the candidate. He lost the bully pulpit.

Trump has not told us his plans to “unrig” the system. I don’t think he wants to. His method of doing business has never been inclusive. It is always about him.

A final decision on my vote in November has not been made.

For sure, I will not vote for Trump.

Hillary is not much better, but I don’t fear her starting a war or making enemies of our friends.

Gary Johnson and William Weld are running as Libertarians. Both have been governors; Johnson in New Mexico, Weld in Massachusetts.

I don’t subscribe to all the planks in the short Libertarian platform. The same can be said for the voluminous platforms of the Democrats and Republicans.

I am leaning toward a third party vote to send the message I mentioned earlier to both parties, and the people we elect to “represent” us.  I put represent in quotes because the leadership of both parties don’t represent my thinking, my views, or my philosophy.

Some of my friends say I am throwing my vote away. No, I am throwing my vote to make changes in our broken system.  Money in politics matters. We all know that. However, at the close of the polls on election night, my VOTE matters, too. That’s the way it should be.

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