A Few weeks ago, Kelly Slater disclosed to us that he wasn’t planning on voting. But, an opinionated guy, and one who appreciates when others photoshop his likeness onto other people’s bodies, he’s no stranger to posting things he finds a little funny that might piss a few people off.
It’s no secret that Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are two of the least liked presidential candidates in history, which has many people joking they’ll write someone in. Maybe their mother. As it happens, someone wrote in Kelly Slater, took a photo of their ballot (which is illegal in some states), and sent it to the man himself. The champ found it funny enough to post on his Instagram along with a show of support for third party candidate Jill Stein.
A lot of “atta boy” comments funneled in, many an “I’d vote for you,” along with some sharp criticisms.
“Disappointed how you’re not taking this election seriously,” said @leslie.gage. “Kind of irresponsible… maybe stick to surfing you’re great at it!” Other comments concurred.
Some tried to educate the rest. “You’re all fucking idiots if you think the popular vote matters, lighten up,” said @alecasw in an effort to give everyone a civics lesson. “It’s all on the electoral college anyway.” Later, @alecasw followed up with, “LOL all the liberals butthurt about this. They preach tolerance for all until someone has a different political view then [sic] them. Not a republican, but the left has become just as unbearable as the right, you’re all bad.”
But there were a few criticisms that Kelly elected to respond to.
“I love your IG feed and am usually pleasantly entertained by your insights, but this vote is insane and not well thought out, respectfully,” said @naderp. “This was not the election to lodge a protest vote. If anything, you should have protested against that miserable, racist, sexist, fascist, Orange Hitler.”
“I love you @kellyslater but if you wasted a vote, there are people that have and would have died for it,” said @jimrichsmith. “Thought you were better than that.”
Kelly didn’t back down. “@jimrichsmith your argument is off,” he said. “I wouldn’t have voted for either of the two likely winners and you feel forced to vote for the lesser of two evils which is sad. I’d rather see a third candidate get the percentage they need for future funding. @naderp.”
“@kellyslater I appreciate that perspective and agree with many things Jill Stein believes in, but this time is different,” said @naderp. “We’ve never in my lifetime put up an Alt-right, white supremacist, neo fascist con man. He’s meant for multi-level marketing, not governing. #dumpdrumpf.”
“@naderp in that sense I agree with you on him :)” said Kelly.
The back and forth is a bit ironic given, if Kelly stayed true to what he told us weeks ago, he didn’t vote. He alludes to as much when he says, “I wouldn’t have voted for either.”
Photographer Peter King also decided to wade in the waters of the comments section a bit. “I like how whiners demand Kelly vote the way they want him to…haha,” he said. “Freedom of choice is not a concept liberals embrace.”
User @juliekengelmann responded,”@peterkingphoto Just as Kelly has the freedom of speech, so does everybody else on Instagram. Kelly posted freely, and people are commenting freely. This is what freedom of speech looks like, as messy as it is.”
To which PK replied, “@juliekengelmann Haha, yes, freedom of speech is being disgusted with his freedom of speech! Classic liberal thought. Love it.”
The slew of negativity that this comical, albeit somewhat controversial, post garnered is a snapshot of what’s gone on for at least as long as the past year. Here’s to hoping it subsides on November 9th.