I was recently taken to Task for stating that I did not see how in good conscience I could vote for either Trump or Clinton. When we arrived in Task I was given a stern lecture basically centered around the notion that "a vote withheld is a vote for Hillary."
Yes, Task is a place where such silly notions comprise the basic logic of the residents. I submit that if it is my choice to eschew the ballot, mine is not a vote for either of the candidates but it is exactly what it is (depending, of course, on what the definition of "is" is, to crib a line). It is a vote for neither of them. To further the exercise in Taskian logic, it was pointed out to me that "If you don't vote you have no right to criticize what we get;" thereby abrogating my Constitutional right to free speech. No, my silent protest of the idiotic slate put before us is not crying "fire" in a crowded theater. It is a conscience-directed decision for which I alone am responsible.
It could be argued that each of the candidates is the choice of his/her party via the voice of the people. This is true and quite clearly demonstrates the sad state of affairs in the hearts and minds of the people. Having listened for months to the vituperation, the lies, the scandals, it has to be clear to any thinking person that the choice of "the lesser of two evils" is before us. Moreover, it should be self-evident that the choice between them should be made by the folk who put them where they are.
Does it affect me? Of course it does, and mostly in all the bad ways that might be imagined. Can I do anything about it? No. Should I vote, and that vote happened to be the one vote, improbable as it may be, that put one or the other in the White House, could I live with the guilt? Should I not vote and find that that vote was the one that could have put the other contender in the White House could I live with that? Oh, yes, much easier than I could live with the former.
Make up your own mind. (You will, anyway.)
Note: The above was written weeks before the "October travesties" and placed in queue for publication on November 4. The only way in which this has been edited in the interim is by way of the addition of this note.