Friday, November 4, 2016

Decidedly Not Undecided

 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.


Secondary Roads said...

This seems to be the year for those kinds of conversations.

Grace said...

Yes but someone must be elected so if one of the two evils is more evil than the other - I don't think I have ever voted FOR any presidential candidate. I've always been voting against, and this election will be no different.

vanilla said...

Chuck, try as I have done to keep my political opinions out of STSTT I had to go here following my forced trip to Task.

Grace, and in which manner do I weigh the evils of one against those of the other? And yes, I have heard and read some good arguments on both sides of the issue. What I have not seen is anyone who is enthusiastic about their candidate this time around. One of the major party candidates will be our next president, I think, and I will pray for and support and criticize whichever one it is.

Grace said...

I do have ideas, thoughts about how one weighs the evils but that would not be appropriate for this forum. There is always a pro/con list to be made. Plus there is my personal history with one of the candidates which makes it so much easier to decide. I vote in every election available to me - coming from an immigrant mindset, it was pounded into my head from an early age that voting was a duty, obligation & privilege.

vanilla said...

Grace, I agree with you that voting is a "duty, obligation & privelege." Also I choose not to debate the merits of any candidates on any form of social media-- too many do that anyway. I did post this politics-oriented piece because it has been a real struggle for me.

I will be at the polls-- there is so much more to an election than the characters at the top of the ballot. So far as that office is concerned I have been searching for alternative choices.

Jono said...

You do make a case for not voting, but since I have never missed one since I was eligible I must continue on. Yes, there have been quite a few "lesser of two evils" votes cast, and I have often voted for the losing candidate. Since the U.S. has about the poorest voter turnout in the Western World I am just doing my part to try and prevent that constant embarrassment.

vanilla said...

Jono, I believe I have not missed an election since 1956. I won't miss this one either. Too many important things on the ballot to ignore it, yet I propose to break ranks with both major parties on the top of the ticket choices. And you are right in that voter turnout is abominable. Does the past history of that condition have anything to do with our current deplorable choice? Just wondering.