It is almost time for the conventions for both the Republican and Democratic party; once again the country will be inundated with boring speeches, meaningless promises, and the American Dream’s hopeless optimism.
However, this time things are different.
This year’s presidential race, thanks to the media, has turned into what amounts to a winner-takes-all boxing match. Place your bets of Trump v. Hillary! Who’s side are you on?
Either you are for one of the most narcissistic, insecure, manipulators of simple folks in recent history. Or you are for one the shadiest, irresponsible, and somewhat underwhelming individuals to ever run for president (and considering John Kerry and Mitt Romney, that means something).
When Donald Trump was crowned the victor of the Republican primaries, Reince Priebus and the others told us to get in line, for it was better Trump than Hillary.
Anyone but Hillary.
Never mind that the Speaker of the House struggled for months to endorse him; never mind that a lot of the Republican establishment is only on board to avoid sinking like the Titanic.
Trump is the nominee and we just have to accept it.
On the other side, Bernie Sanders and his followers have fought a good fight. I don’t agree with the method or execution of a lot Sanders’ ideas, but I do think our country needs to start walking in that direction, or at least more in that direction.
But alas, it was Hillary’s show to begin with; how dare he try to steal the stage?
Clinton represents all that is wrong with America: corporate interests run amok, scandals, continuous and unending shady dealings, and a general disconnection with the average American.
The only reason she has tracked left at all is to avoid being slammed by Sanders and his supporters, and when the convention is over, she will likely track back right.
But Hillary is the only option other than Trump we are told. We need to get in line and save America from Trump, even if Hillary makes us sick.
Anyone but Trump.
Hillary is the nominee and we just have to accept it.
I have seen Facebook posts talk about how “stupid” or “irresponsible” we are if we vote for Hillary; after all, how can we trust her with national security after the emails and Benghazi? (Both by the way, that she was cleared of any real wrong-doing) I have also seen posts where if we vote for Trump that we are “racist” or “xenophobic” people who don’t care about America’s future. After all, how can we continue to keep America open if we let Trump build his literal and figurative foreign policy walls; not to mention the economic disaster that could unfold?
Either way we vote, we are wrong, hate America, or are simply too stupid to get the truth.
I admit, I do think this election is a big deal; America is almost to a boiling point in domestic turmoil and it would be nice if someone could lead us away from the edge of anarchy.
There are divisions in both parties; Republicans who will vote for Clinton because Trump absolutely horrifies them, and Democrats who will vote for Trump because he seems to not care what anybody else has to say.
The real election is between those who want to keep things together and those who want to burn everything to the ground.
A country as complex as ours changes and grows slowly; the Founding Fathers constructed the original documents to ensure that speedy change would have to be a universally accepted arrangement, whether by law or amendment.
To kind of angry changes and revolution called upon by many of those who follow Trump and to some degree Sanders, has the potential to put the country into shock, a shock that we might not be able to recover from. However, we cannot continue to ignore the damage that greedy people on Wall Street and corporations are doing to lower and middle class ways of life in this country. No, the status quo cannot stay the same, but we can’t and should not try to burn things down overnight to change it.
Voting has become about who we don’t want, rather than who we do.
It has become fueled by anger and distrust; we are no longer thinking rationally or with our neighbors in mind. We are thinking about our own self-preservation, and such times gives us the worst of rulers.
I don’t think the lesser of two evils argument works here, because two reasonable people disagree on what that is, and is not how I would like my society to be governed.
I would like to propose another option: not voting at all. Vote in your local elections, vote for your representatives (especially on state level), decide whether your congressional choices are worth voting for, but don’t vote in this presidential election.
Say to the politicians, “I want neither of these individuals.”
When I vote, it is not a preventative measure, it is statement of general support for who I want to run my society; whom I feel has the character and integrity to do so.
So, when I choose neither, I make it clear that I do not support either option. I do not support a liar or an narcissist. I do not support someone who changes their views on the spot or someone who wields the views of those who should never be championed in our society.
I have decided to forgo voting for any election where I do not see a suitable candidate and leave the rest to the sovereignty of God. You vote for who you think you must, and I won’t judge you for it. But I ask you to respect those who disagree with your stance, and honor their choice as a valid option.
Thanks for reading.