The commentaries go something like this: “grow-up and vote for a major party candidate, because no one else can win”, “you’re wasting your vote if you cast your ballot for anyone other than the prominent nominees”, “if you don’t vote for MY candidate, you are responsible for the OTHER candidate getting into office.”
To all those arguments I say: NO.
NO, it is not MY fault if your candidate is not winning. It is solely THEIR fault if they have not earned my vote. I do not give my vote away cheaply and I refuse to vote for a party, platform, or nominee that I do not believe in.
NO, it is NOT wasting my vote to engage in an act of civic duty, personal integrity, and statement of principle. Am I in a minority? Perhaps, but I’m not looking to join a crowd.
NO, it is not infantile, immature, or irresponsible to refuse to give my support to individuals who I have no faith in, serious concerns about, and who have opposing political beliefs.
Let me pose this question to you: say I accept your assertion as truth, that my vote is “wasted” on a 3rd party candidate, are you as equally vehement that I should vote for the “other” candidate? Will you feel better then about my vote not being lost?
I see your posts vilifying my right to political choice and I see you as just another of the dogmatic throng holding up your signs on either side of the road proclaiming “A Vote for Fascism is a Vote for Freedom!” on one hand and “A Vote for Communism is a Vote for Progress!” on the other. You each scream that the other side is evil, the cause of all our difficulties, the only ones responsible for our divisive society, poverty, and broken economy.
And I stand between you, with friends on either side, broken hearted that people I care about could say such terrible things about my other friends.
And you call ME immature for refusing to join in the hateful rhetoric? I am uninformed because I refuse to offer something sacred to me, my one small ounce of political power, my VOTE to those who lead the charges in these bitter wars of personal attack and petty blame-casting? You call me a foolish idealist when I see a small number of people on the road ahead waving signs that say “Liberty Demands Responsibility” and I want to join them?
No. I reject both your reasons and your conclusions.
“But, but, but…” you say, “what about the Supreme Court Justices? Yes, how about those Justices? How many of the last 100 decisions have YOU agreed with? Did they reject the ACA, like you hoped they would? Did they protect a woman’s right to the kind of healthcare she wants, under her employers insurance, they way you just knew they should? Did your liberal or conservative leaning Justices vote the way your dogma demanded? Did they defend the family? Did they preserve personal liberty?
I’m not minimizing the importance of this election, it is vitally important, but I think perhaps we see “what” is important about it differently. You argue that it’s all about who gets into the White House, and there’s no arguing that the new resident is a matter of grave concern, but I believe what is more important in this election is who resides in YOUR house. And mine, and my neighbor’s.
What really matters in this election is that Americans speak up and reject the powers that be, the two different sides of the SAME.STUPID.COIN.
We must stop expecting that someone else besides WE THE PEOPLE are responsible for preserving our freedom. The president isn’t going to do it. The Supreme Court isn’t going to do it. A new senator or congressman isn’t going to do it. Your mayor and police commissioner aren’t going to do it.
The future of America is in OUR hands. Mine and yours. Not in the cogs of a broken political machine.
I’m trusting that you are doing your due diligence to study, ponder, pray, debate, and learn all you can and will make a decision you can live with. I’m trusting that you will refuse to continue participating in a political machine that is broken, bought and paid for, and has proven over and over again to be mired in dishonesty.
I respect your right to vote your conscience, your intelligence, your beliefs, and your hopes.
I promise you that I will do the same.
Please, be “grown-up” enough to recognize that my refusal to vote for your candidate is not a temper tantrum, a show of vitriol, or an undereducated decision based upon ignorance of the stakes. It is simple honesty.
Your candidate is not MY candidate.