Sunday, October 2, 2016

Throwing my Vote Away

With apologies to my friends and family, I’ll be “throwing my vote away” in 2016.

Spare me the morally deplorable cliché that I should simply vote for the “lesser of two evils.” If our two options for president were Adolf Hitler vs. Joseph Stalin, would anyone really dare utter that ridiculously moronic phrase? 

And yet I’m the one who is made to feel like a traitor when I say I refuse to vote for either of the major party candidates this year.

We ought to choose to be governed by moral men and women. Not “moral” in the sense that they adhere to my particular moral code. I mean “moral” in that they show any semblance of morality and decency expected from one another in the social contract of living in a civilized society.

There is no morality in the two primary candidates for president. I’d write their names but I want to avoid nausea.

No one should feel comfortable defending the ethics of these reality show rejects, so it makes me wonder about the motives of those who would even try. Somehow, those casting a “two party system” vote seem confident in looking down their condescending nose at me with disdain while I express non-partisan views.

The slogans upon which my friends base their political support are laughable in the face of the choices we currently have for president. And these slogans only work for as long as they can scare enough of us to vote one way or another under threat of wasting our vote. Slogans like “Make America Great Again”, “I’m with Her”, and of course, “bring an end to Washington politics.”

How can someone “Make America Great Again” without accusing America of not being the greatest country on Earth? America is already great; the real message is “Make America Straight/White/Christian/Male Again.”  

“I’m with Her” is a direct rip-off of the popular “I’m with Stupid” t-shirt campaign, so it’s not far off. Although, perhaps it should say “I’m with Stupid, Lying, Deceitful, Incompetent.”

Finally, candidates promise to “bring an end to Washington politics” the same way I promise to cut back on Doritos. I know I don’t mean it; I just fool myself into thinking if I say it out loud I can trick my body into accidentally losing some weight.

The sad truth is this: In America, being in power is more important than doing the right thing. We the people no longer have the power. We live in a flawed system that rewards the wrongdoing of those we have entrusted to govern, while punishing (for lesser crimes) we who have placed them in power.

In November I will vote for neither of the two-party candidates for president. They do not share my ideals, nor do they share the ideals of anyone who believes in ethics, standards, or common decency. I may write in the name of a person who is not even on the ballot, or I may vote for one of the candidates whose third party efforts we’ve deemed laughable. By doing so, I will gladly “throw my vote away” rather than live with the soul-wrenching guilt of supporting the human equivalent of a morally destitute sack of steaming fresh dog crap.

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