I don’t agree with Ted Cruz on many issues, but he said something during the Republican National Convention that has resonated with me to this day: “vote your conscience.” I’ve seen many a Facebook and Twitter post the past view days from ardent Clinton and Trump supporters essentially trying a last-minute tactic to bully borderline voters into voting for their candidate.
“If you live in a battleground state and vote for a third party…a Trump victory is your fault. Don’t ruin this,” said one Clinton supporter.
“A vote for a third party is a slap in the face of marginalized citizens,” said another.
Of course, who could forget former Ill. Rep. Joe Walsh’s tweet: “On November 8th, I’m voting for Trump. On November 9th, if Trump loses, I’m grabbing my musket. You in?”
Political “activists” on both sides are appeasing their bases this late in the game while further alienating those small but few handfuls of undecided voters. Here’s something we forget.
As Americans, we can vote for whoever we damn well please. We shouldn’t have to be bullied into voting for your terrible nominee just to satisfy your beliefs. You want to know why so many people are considering voting against these candidates? People are sick and tired of the empty threats, the political tug-of-war. People are sick of the childishness and lack of civility. People are sick of scandals, the mishaps, and the imminent broken promises. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump think that this is a game, a reality show, the latest edition of “Big Brother.”
People in both major parties have a right to be scared. More people are becoming informed. More people are seeing the divisiveness and the elite nature of both parties. People are angry. People are moving in droves to other parties, or are unenrolling completely. People in both parties say, “Don’t vote third party this election. With the race this close, it’s too important to vote third party.” If not now, then when? This is the same shtick that has been said day-in and day-out since Ross Perot ran in 1992. You shouldn’t feel guilty in not voting for one of the two major parties.
If you vote for someone you truly believe will be a good fit for the office of President of the United States, that’s what matters. If you vote your conscience and feel good about who you vote for, then you contributed positively to our democracy. Now, I have my beliefs and I know who I vote(d) for. I would never shame someone into voting for a particular candidate because that is not what democracy is about. I respect your decision to vote for whichever candidate appeals to you the most. I will leave you with this advice, however, on Election Eve. Don’t listen to other people’s sob stories. Compare each candidate side-by-side. Look at the issues you feel are important and see where each candidate stands. Sometimes it takes a little effort to be an informed voter, and you know, that’s okay. Just make sure that when you vote, you vote based on YOUR beliefs. I promise you will feel much, much better.