In 1988, Reagan had been a successful President for nearly eight years, and George H. W. Bush was the de facto nominee by being the sitting VP. Americans were still a little leery about him given his Rockefeller/Establishment background, and the history of his 1980 primary battle against Reagan. So he threw out a bone to the conservative base – Dan Quayle. He was young. He was considered a social conservative. And anyone who looks back on it now will see that Quayle was very much like Bush Sr.’s son, GW. He was a stand-in for what Papa really wanted but couldn’t have – Junior to be next in line after he finished his term(s) in the Oval Office.

In 1992, it was Bush Sr. exposed as the establishment politician that he always was, and no amount of “conservative” under-ticket would float that “read my lips, no new taxes” sinking boat again.

In 1996, we got stuck with another establishment has-been – Bob Dole. Come the convention, he decided to throw the so-called conservative base a bone as well – Jack Kemp, a bright and articulate fiscal conservative. Not that Kemp would’ve truly influenced Bob Dole while in the White House. But hey… enjoy chewing on that bone, plebs.

In 2000, Bush Jr. finally wins the nomination (much to Papa’s glee). But, he’s considered a lightweight. Must boost up those bona fides somehow. Hmm, let’s pick a national security conservative from daddy’s administration. Yeh, that’ll please the peons. Have another bone!

In 2004, we’re in mid-war. Must not upset the apple cart. The commoners must wait another four years. Besides, after eight years of GW and on-going wars, Cheney ain’t gonna run due to his health and due to the animosity from the masses.

So, in 2008, we end up with McCain. Yet another establishment hack, this time a cranky one. But he’s a war hero, so that’ll maybe placate the national security conservatives. Must appease those other pesky peasants on the right, though. Let’s toss out the Palin bone to the social conservative and tea party types. Man, these voters on the right are so easily pleased duped and subdued.

Next up, 2012 gives us Mr. Romneycare (Obamacare Lite, the beta test version). We’ll just keep on serving up establishment as the main course. But, wait! Must toss out that appetizer bone to the base again. Hmm, maybe a young whipper snapper like Ryan. Yeah, that’ll do it. He’ll talk the talk, and his record isn’t long enough to be scrutinized. He’ll be exposed years later as a fiscal compromiser who’ll continue to grow the bloated government.

Notice a pattern here, people?

Welcome to 2016. The establishment wanted Jeb (what’s not to like about a third Bush, huh?). But they knew that was going to be a tough sell. Christie? No. Rubio! The young “golden boy” who’d already been compromised by the establishment Gang of Eight! No? How about Kasich? Well, crap. We’re left with either Cruz or Trump. Dear God, no. Not Cruz! Not a true Constitutionalist and Conservative! But we can “handle” Trump. Prop him up just so. Smoke and mirrors. Deflection. But Hillary! Quick, get the lipstick. And, for God’s sake, will someone please turn off his damn Twitter account!

Trump. UGH! So, whom do the plebs get tossed at them this election cycle as their bone of the season? Pence. I guy who sold out the religious conservatives while governor. A guy who half-heartedly “endorsed” Cruz while in the same breath praised the toxic and obnoxious Agent Orange. A guy who’ll do his best to ignore answering any questions about Trump because he cannot defend the indefensible. He’ll ignore the laundry list of all things wrong about Trump. But he’ll talk the talk like a good soldier for the establishment. He’ll be the conservative house dress on the Trump pig.

You know… I held my nose and checked that box for the last time in 2012. I ain’t doin’ it anymore. I will not vote for Trump. I cannot vote for Hillary. I won’t vote for Johnson (Mr. Aleppo Moments, the anti-religious liberty, anti-2nd amendment, pro-illegal amnesty, pot-head RINO has-been) nor Stein (the green communist radical) nor Castle (Trump Lite, the low rent conspiratorial, protectionist, populist). It’s a sad list of unfit undesirables. Could I please have a check box for “none of the above” so that that would “win”, and we can install a planted ficus in the Oval Office as a placeholder until 2020? At least we would be assured that nothing bad would come out of the White House – no executive orders, no signed legislation, no increased taxes nor spending, no additional regulations for the next four years.

Evan McMullin is currently eligible on 34 state ballots as either “on ballot” or as a write-in. His organization is working on getting him eligible in 40-45 states by election day. Make no mistake, he is not perfect. I have some serious concerns about him. But out of the short list of who I can pick from on November 8, he’s the only one I could maybe vote for without the need to pinch my nostrils (if he finally becomes eligible as a write-in in California). Otherwise, that portion of the ballot is left blank, and I only vote down-ticket. I’m not happy about that, but if it does come to that… well, so be it. I will not be a “party” to this heaping, steamy pile that is being served up this time. I’ve lost my appetite. Permanently. I will not go against my conscience again. I cannot. For my sanity, my soul, and for the good of this country.

Will Evan McMullin win? Of course not. Will any of the other third-party candidates win this year? Of course not. We are stuck with either Trump or Hillary as POTUS come January 20. Why? Because even if neither Trump nor Hillary reach the magical 270 Electoral College votes, both will be close enough that if the election gets tossed to the House of Representatives the GOP (who currently have a majority of representation in 34 of the 50 states, in a 1-state 1-vote election) will give us Trump. Meanwhile, the Senate in a straight up & down vote will toss out a bone to the liberal base and hand us Kaine as the new VP.

Trump/Kaine. That has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?

Actually, come Nov 8 it’ll never get that far. It’ll be a bloodbath. Although Hillary will only get 43% of the popular vote, and Trump will get only 37% (with approx 20% spread out among all of the very poor, third-rate third party choices), the EC results will give us President Hillary. It’ll be 1992 all over again, with a non-mandate Clinton occupying the Oval Office… again. It’s like a really bad “Groundhog Day” movie. But, just like that movie, we all only break out of this endless, ugly, vicious cycle until we all finally chose to improve ourselves and our communities, and stop being self-centered and self-minded. If we get back to basics. If we read up and learn from history. If enough of us come together with a common and simple set of first principles, with purpose and intent.

We need a new major 3rd party. It needs to be Constitution-based. It needs to grow organically, with and from the grassroots. It needs to be in all 50 states, built for the local and state levels as well as the national level. It needs an outreach of education about the history of the founding of this great nation and it’s basic documents of governance. And it needs to be ready to go full force by 2020.

We are also in desperate need of a Convention of the States to take some of this excess power away from the federal establishment and return it to the people and the states.

Meanwhile, my vote come Nov 8 will be a protest vote. I’m not alone. In this very recent Gallop poll, 57% of voters want a new major third party (51% of registered republicans, 43% of registered democrats, 73% of registered independents).

Until then?