Vote your conscience on Tuesday


This has been the most brutal presidential cycle in recent history. It has pit Democrats against Democrats, Republicans against Republicans, Americans against Americans. The fear of hate-mongering women-groping Donald Trump landing the top spot in the free world has even got liberals in-fighting.

It’s happening here in the Banner office.

Some of us won’t vote for Hillary Clinton because she’s part of the presidential political machine that needs more than a wrench thrown in it; it needs to be destroyed. Others will vote for her because they think she’s better than Trump. Others say third-party candidates don’t stand a chance.

There’s a reason we don’t have a viable third-party candidate: the Democratic National Committee and the Republican National Committee won’t allow it. Because of that, they have both ended up with the most unlikable candidates in history.

We’ve talked to many blue-collar workers on the Cape who say they won’t vote because they hate both candidates. That worries us; we’d rather they voted for a third-party candidate.

Hillary is going to take Massachusetts. There’s little doubt about that. That’s partly why we think if voters prefer the Green Party (or, ahem, the Libertarian Party) they should vote for their candidates. The other reason is that if the third parties win more votes, they will attract candidates with a realistic chance of winning. If voters don’t change their votes, nothing will ever change — we will always have to choose between the lesser of two evils, which should not be the American way. Your vote is never a throw-away vote, even if we don’t share ideals.

That said, we do have some statewide candidates we can agree on. With think that Truro native Julian Cyr, who worked in the State House, knows what kind of help the Outer Cape needs to contend with the daily struggles of working people and artists living in a wealthy seasonal spot. We’d also like voters to check the box next to state Rep. Sarah Peake’s name, though she’s running unopposed. She’s worked tirelessly for the Outer Cape and we appreciate her immensely.

We’d like to see Rep. Bill Keating, who was first elected to Congress in 2010, retain his seat. We feel he’s been a good voice for Southeastern Mass. — even if his office failed to remember that the Mayflower Compact was written in Provincetown Harbor.

We like Mark Forest for county commissioner. Because he started his career working in the Provincetown town manager’s office, he knows something about our madness and that should serve us well.

There are several controversial questions. Question 1 asks voters to approve an additional electronic slot machine location. We don’t love them, and we’d hate to see them here on the Cape, so we say no.

Then there's Question 2. A “yes” vote would allow up to 12 new charter schools or enrollment expansion in existing charter schools in Massachusetts. With two great charter schools here — the Cape Cod Lighthouse Charter School, a middle school with 240 students and about 183 kids on the waiting list, and Sturgis Charter Public School, two high schools totaling about 800 students, which had a waiting list of around 600 kids in September — we think expansion is warranted. Those schools are currently at their maximum student numbers. We think that some students who attend our small elementary schools are not well suited for the large district schools — and charter schools are the only alternative to expensive private schools.

We are all for Question 3, which would prohibits the sale of eggs and meat that come from animals who can’t stand up, extend their limbs, or turn around. We think a “yes” vote is warranted, but the question doesn’t go far enough. If you want to eat animals, we’d rather you let them walk about and enjoy the scenery before they’re slaughtered. We also give Question 4 the thumbs up. A “yes” vote would legalize, regulate and tax marijuana. There are many reasons we believe recreational pot should be legalized — the biggest being that most people we know smoke it.