This presidential season may be first time in American history we have had to choose between two candidates who are actively disliked by a majority of the Americans. Both have negative ratings above fifty percent. A majority of the electorate will probably not actually vote for a candidate, but against one. It’s not that we think one will be a good leader, but only that they will be better than the other one.
Whichever candidate you vote for is not my concern, but please vote. Once every four years our country asks us to help make a decision. It can’t be made by politicians or the media, but by has to be made by ordinary people. It’s not a decision of choosing between two saints like like St. Peter and St. Paul—it may be more like choosing between being governed by Moe, Larry or Curly. It may a bad choice, a distasteful choice, but it’s our responsibility to make it.
Some people have suggested that by staying home, they are making a statement of how disgusted they are with the choices. That’s a cop out. By not voting we are turning their backs on the most important responsibility any of us have to our fellow Americans. Even bad choices must still be made. We can’t go through life only choosing between two good. Sometimes it is necessary to choose between the lesser of two evils. When that happens, we should hold our noses and do it.
Others are opting for a third party. No third party has had even a remote chance of winning for a hundred and fifty years. It has always been down to two. Voting for someone else, even if we agree with them is actually voting for the person we like the least, since we are denying our vote to the one we want the most. If you want to work for a third party, do it on a local level. Help them build up a base of power that would make a real run possible. No third party has ever been formed on a presidential level. They would not be able to govern, even if they were elected.
Voting is not an endorsement of a person’s lifestyle, or everything they stand for. It is merely an acknowledgment that at this time and at this moment, we would rather have politician A over politician B. You may not like them, but hold your nose and vote anyway.