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Posts Tagged ‘write-in candidate’

If Trump is your first choice, keep scrolling.
If Biden is your first choice, keep scrolling.

If, however, you find yourself in some middle ground, unhappy with either choice and thinking of giving your vote to a third-party candidate, writing in a name, or not voting at all, let’s talk.

The phrase I hear most often from people in this situation is, “I’m going to vote my conscience.” This is a laudable sentiment. Our conscience should factor into our choice of elected officials. Our ideals and our precepts of morality and good governance, these are important elements in a decision this consequential. After all, the actions of the person elected to be our president will affect us all, be it for good or for ill.

So let’s talk about our conscience.

What is our conscience telling us? What is it really telling us?

Obviously, it’s unsatisfied with either of the two major candidates. This one’s too radical (or not radical enough), and the other is too destructive. Too much change. Not enough change. Too boring. Too not boring. In short, we’re frustrated because neither candidate is what we really want, and that third-party (or write-in) candidate is a much closer fit.

Or, perhaps our conscience is just so fed up with the two established parties—both so entrenched and hidebound, both so habituated to finger-pointing and obfuscation—that voting for a third-party candidate (or sitting the election out altogether) seems the only way to register our anger and disapproval for the established two-party system.

Sound about right? Yeah, but I think our conscience is also telling us something else, something we’re not hearing because those other, top-of-mind aspects are too loud. If we push those to the side a bit, try to mute them, I think we might hear the other thing, the small but nagging truth our conscience is whispering in our ear:

We’re in trouble.

Deep, deep trouble.

Our conscience knows, without question, that where we are, as people and as a nation, is a bad place, and that where we’re headed (should the incumbent be given another term) will at best be more of the same chaotic slide into ignominy, and may quite likely be worse. Our conscience knows that despite any perceived boons from this administration, on balance, regular folk are suffering mightily. Our conscience knows that America is less respected, our reputation has been tarnished, and our economy and security eroded.

Our conscience also knows, at its core, what we need to do. We need to band together, unite around a common cause, face a common foe, just as we’ve done before when, as people and as a nation, we faced a Depression, two world wars, and other national crises.

So, as satisfying as that protest vote would feel, as attractive as that third-party candidate might appear, our conscience knows that we need to be smart, to see the larger picture, and form an unbeatable coalition by combining our votes to defeat Trump. We cannot afford the risk of four more years of this. We need to vote the incumbent out.

Let’s work together, let’s help one another survive, as people and as a nation.

Let’s join forces, combine our votes for Biden, so we can tell Trump “You’re fired.”

For the good of everyone.

k

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