Don’t Waste Your Vote!

This morning I shared an article from the New York Times entitled “Vote as if it Matters.” It was an encouragement for voters, especially perhaps younger voters, to think carefully before casting a vote for one of the third (or fourth!) party candidates, or deciding not to vote at all. I would like to say a little more about that here.

First of all, it is easy to see why some people are dissatisfied with the Democratic and Republican candidates for the presidency. Both of them are flawed. Readers of this blog will know that I believe one of them to be more deeply, indeed fatally, flawed than the other, but clearly we do not have the “perfect” candidate for whom to vote this time around. When have we ever?

Many idealists have been brought into the conversation during this election season. That is a good thing! Part of the problem in Washington is that too may have lost their idealism and their commitment to find ways forward and to seek the common good. Young people (like those who flocked to the Bernie Sanders’ rallies and even some who are drawn to Donald Trump) want to see change…and to see it now! How I empathize with that. I remember my support of Gene McCarthy and later George McGovern in the 1970’s Viet Nam era.

I wish we had more perfect candidates this year. But I extend a plea to all those who may read these words or those who may hear similar counsel from others — do not waste your vote in this all-important election by voting for the Libertarian or Green parties or by staying at home on November 8. The stakes are too high!

Neither the Libertarians nor the “Greens” have any possible chance at winning this election. But enough “none of the above” protest votes could well tilt the election to Donald Trump or once again throw it to the Supreme Court or House as we saw once before.

I have absolutely no doubt that Ralph Nader and the wonderful idealists who supported him in the year 2000 essentially gave the election to George W. Bush and therefore gave us the Iraq War…and perhaps indirectly Daesh. I do not know exactly how Al Gore would have responded to the attacks of 9/11 but I am confident that he and his advisers would have followed a much more thoughtful and considered approach than did Bush and his ne0-cons like Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney.

The world remains a very dangerous place today at home and abroad. We cannot afford whatever the foreign policy decisions a man like Donald Trump might make. And we cannot afford deepening the great economic divide which continues to separate us as Americans in these days. If you do not think your vote matters, or if you are so frustrated at “business as usual” in Washington that you are considering opting out or voting for the alternative parties, please re-consider!

This is not the year to play (quite literally) “Russian roulette” to determine the occupant of the highest office in the land.

One Response to “Don’t Waste Your Vote!”

  1. Reid Says:

    Hillary for prison! Make America Great Again, Trump 2016!

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