It has been an interesting political season the last 18 months. Those who follow the political landscape of the United States have seen the rise and fall several Republican candidates on the path to the Republican National Convention in Tampa, FL a few weeks ago. In the end it was candidate Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, CEO of the venture capitalist corporation Bain Capital, and savior of the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, UT that won the Presidential nomination of the Republican Party. His challenge now is to take the fight to the popular incumbent Democratic candidate, Barrak Obama.
In classes taught as a government teacher, I often stressed the importance of voting because to is our way to provide for a change of government every two years. In a way we have a bloodless coup every time we elect or reelect members to the U.S. Congress, and the office of President. That is one of the beautiful things about the American Republic. Voting gives us a voice to the change we want to see in our government and in our nation. Those who don’t vote are widely criticized and admonished even though we are lucky if more than half of the American electorate gets to the voting booth every four years to elect our Chief Executive. It is sad to say that this year my words to former and future students make me a hypocrite. I do not plan on voting for the office of President of the United States during this election. I will still cast my ballot this November for members of Congress, and state and local governments, but neither Mitt Romney nor Barrak Obama will earn my vote this year. Please allow to me address the most prominent criticism and defense for my choice.
One argument that people have made towards me about this election is that if you don’t vote, you protest vote, write in or otherwise vote for someone that does not have a D or an R behind their name that you are giving your vote to the opposing candidate. It doesn’t matter what the party it is or who is the candidate, you are not helping the other side and the reason that they lost. This in all honestly is one of the most ridiculous and guilt ridden statements that can be made to a voter and never changes their mind about their decision. Anytime someone uses this logic I want to tell them, “I tell you what if the other guys wins by one vote in my state, you can tell me your told me so.”
The previous argument is similar to the premise you have to choose the lesser of two evils. I am sorry but if both the candidates are “evil” why the hell are we voting for them in the first place. I know, I know this is a figure of speech but who is to say what is “evil” and what is the lesser? It’s personal preference and opinion. To one person Barrak Obama is the lesser, to other Romney is the lesser. Either way your still voting for evil.
What will happen if Obama or Romney is elected to President? No one can truly say for certainty what will be the results. But the pundits on both sides play this out like it will be Armageddon should the other side be elected. I do not subscribe to that method of thinking because it only divides us more as a nation. It tells us that one sides is always correct and one side is always wrong. It pits against each other when we need to come closer together and be able to compromise on solutions that will fix this nation. The Republicans have some good ideas and concepts that work and so do the Democrats, but neither side cares about compromise and solutions. All they care about is the consolidation of more power into their hands. Which is the major reason why I am not voting for President this November.
I don’t trust the Ds or the Rs. Both of them are evil in some way and none of them have all the solutions need to fix this nation and give us the Republic we were given and deserve. I don’t care how many times God is mentioned in their party platform if they don’t act in like Christians. I don’t care how one says its committed to equal rights to all groups but does not protect those that are the most vulnerable or decides one group is more equal than others. I trust people not parties, and I don’t trust either candidate.
Both candidates believe in big government solutions to our problems. I have not seen any plans put forth by these two candidates that will mean less government in the lives of normal individual citizens. Even the Ryan Budget is a big government solution to a big government spending. It does not get rid of the programs that put us in our situation, it only makes it financially feasible for a time. One candidates wants to continue to overtax and over regulate the job creators who can pull us out of this recession. The other candidate wants to cut taxes on the richest despite the fact that greed is more rampant now than it has been in any other time in our history. Neither candidate is truly serious about about lessening the burden of government on the people. Each side only cares about satisfying its base and compromise has died. A person can hold to its principles and still compromise with those who they disagree with ideologically. The Founding Fathers found several principles on which they disagreed and they still were able to compromise when they came to those disagreements. In my study of history I have never seen our nation this divided except at the years leading up to the Civil War.
People follow parties that they don’t know enough about and they follow parties blindly without any real critical thinking about them. I am guilty of this as much as anyone. People are more concerned with American Idol and the keeping up with the Kardashians than about making thoughtful and informed choices about their government. If people were informed I am willing to bet neither party would have the voters enthusiastic for this election, despite its importance. Maybe if we all paid attention then we could have candidates who are not evil, but principled. Maybe we could have candidates who are not partisans, but true representatives of the people. Maybe we could have representatives who don’t care about the next election, but doing what is necessary to protect equal justice under the law and equal rights of the citizens, and respect the limits of the constitution instead of trying to find ways around those limits.
In the end though our problem is not the people we elect to office, its us. We the American people have decided to be complacent and we have gotten the representatives we deserve. We have been told to vote for the lesser of two evils. We have been told to vote for the party, instead of the candidate. And that is why I refuse to give my vote to either the D or the R in this election. If you don’t like my choice, fine; if you don’t respect it, that is your right. If you want to make me feel bad about it, keep your mouth shut. I am not interested in the brow beating, the guilt trips, and extreme partisan arguments with no interest in compromise. That is my political creed from now on. It is my desire to find good political compromises to the problems we face that honor the limits of the Constitution while protecting the American people regardless if those ideas come from the left of the right, the Ds or the Rs, Obama or Romney, or neither.