Think about it. How many people have you heard reciting “The Road Not Taken?” Now, travel with them on that metaphorical road. Robert Frost was the first hipster. He was into that road way before it was popular.

And then the irony kicks in. Everybody’s on his road and it’s very, very traveled. Maybe the road led to a beautiful mountaintop, maybe to a scenic view of the ocean, a place of rest, fertile land: take the metaphor wherever you want to go, but, once Robert Frost led us to that road not taken (because of its danger as much as its beauty) all of us traveled it in our hearts and we became well traveled as a people. Each of us charted beautiful territory we would not have dared without Mr. Frost’s example: without inviting ourselves onto his road less traveled.

Now, ladies and gentlemen, my fellow Americans, I am not talking about Robert Frost. This November, you will push Robert Frost far from your mind and you will take the safe road, the one that brings you to places you have already been.

The road you will choose-have chosen for as many decades as I have been alive-looks to be its own set of diverging paths though this is not true. Both roads lead in the same direction and you know this in your hearts to be true. The divergence is an illusion made by the ruts carved out on either end of that wide lane: ruts carved by the dutiful but un-brave who went before you.

Ruts made by those who voted for the lesser of 2 evils.

My fellow Americans, my brave poets who innovate, who fight for what’s right, who take left turns when tradition tells them they can only go straight, my brave explorers of the soul and defenders of humanity, now is the time to take that road less traveled. You know what I am talking about…

And whom I am talking about: Hillary, Trump: forget them as people and ignore them as the only two choices you have. Forget what they say in their speeches. Forget the false hope that, this time, your candidate is just strong enough or there’s a large enough majority in congress for some sort of magic to happen to your country.

It feels like a war these days because those 2 ruts carved out by those evils that lessen one another, have been dug so deep that they’ve become trenches and we fight each other along the road we’ve taken too many times. We’re calling it hyper-polarization and political stalemate but we know what it is. We’re too afraid to go forward because we’ve already been there. We vote in enough of each party because we fear if ever either was to hold full sway and get us to where the broad road always leads us that things would be far worse.

Now is the time. This is the election when voting 3rd party is not idealistic. It is the only sane thing you can do. Hillary and Donald are not good people. Whatever you might think about their strengths and stated intentions to do things on your behalf in the realm of politics, you know it is not true. They will do for theirs as MOST Dem and Repub politicians do and have done in ever increasing measure as the road becomes more traveled. The road we have taken is littered with garbage and the place that it leads has been poisoned by the entrenched figures who’ve gained power leading us there over and over.

I do not pretend that Johnson or Stein are perfect or that any other 3rd party candidate is. I don’t think that any of their ideas will save America or the world but I know this: the two entrenched parties are irredeemably corrupt. We don’t even question whether they’re corrupt any more: only if they’re un-corrupt enough for us to tolerate. You know it too but you’ve been pretending it’s only the other guy’s candidate, the senator from the other state. Folks, it’s MOST of them. You don’t maintain a corrupt system with a minority of corrupt leaders. It takes a culture of corruption to keep an entire political system corrupt and we know that’s what we have.

NSA spying on us, wall street and big business in bed with politicians, revolving door, speaking fees, campaign finance never-reformed, glass steagal, ALEC, Endless War: How many more problems will they create with the left hand and promise to fix with the right before WE STOP LETTING THEM?

I suggest a simple fix. Third parties aren’t perfect but they are not corrupted by power yet. If you, dear reader, fellow American, vote third party as a point of principle, and convince all those you know to do likewise, well, the theory of us living in a democracy will prove itself won’t it? Trust yourself to what you believe. Trust your neighbor with different political ideas to also vote for what he believes (INSTEAD of the lesser of two evils.) That’s really what we’re saying when we fall in line with ‘our guy.’ We’re saying that we don’t trust those on the Right or the Left to put down their guns and vote their conscience so we can’t afford to either. Shame on us.

Trust your heart, trust your neighbor’s heart. Stop calling it pragmatism to vote major party. It’s cynicism. You assume the rest of the country is too stupid to break free so you might as well have a say in what our cells look like.

If we all choose the road less traveled, well, we’ll all be on it and figure out a new direction to go but it will be OUR path to take. We won’t be soldiers marching toward another man’s (or woman’s) war? That old road will grow wild with disuse. If we all vote third party, then a third party will win. And if we are all saying that we don’t like either of our supposed ‘options’ well lets stop pretending we have to take them. Anyone for a more inspiring walk into the wilds of Democracy? I challenge you to take the road less traveled.