Vote Your Conscience With Care

Why being told to "Vote your conscience" should come with caveats.

I  hear many people using every tactic possible to sway people to vote a certain way. Part of this is standard election season fare. Tout your candidate’s positives, point out the opposition’s negatives, and in the end…may the best person win.
Unfortunately, every election cycle we end up in the gutter; at the risk of sounding hyperbolic, this year seems worse than ever. Maybe it’s the alt-right’s attacks against anyone who does not worship Herr Trump, the simultaneous and similar attacks against Clinton from the right and left, the record unpopularity of both major candidates…but whatever the case, I feel like a lot of people have forgotten the most basic rule of politics:
If you want to win an election, you have to win votes.
In order to earn votes, you must convince people. You do not persuade people with bullying, insults, and threats. The candidates, their surrogates, and everyone involved want to win, and in order to do so, they need to listen, have respectful discourse, and in the end, accept one another’s right to disagree.
With that in mind, I respectfully offer my reasons for voting for Secretary Clinton, despite the DNC Leaks controversy.
First, I believe there is a degree of hypocrisy: We lambast Reince Pribus for not having more control over the RNC, then blast Debbie Wasserman-Schultz for not having enough? It’s not that I like her or excuse any of the behaviors that were exhibited…but it seems like it’s gone a bit far in some circles. Yes, there were some individuals who sent shitty emails floating ideas that were abhorrent, and I completely agree they should be fired for that; but having worked in a large corporation, this is the equivalent of blaming Apple, Inc. for a customer representative’s email, in which (s)he floats an idea to listen in on all phone calls of Pokemon players. The employee should be fired, but unless Apple actually knew about it and even contemplated it…well…seriously?’
I have not seen anything that shows me Clinton knew of or acted on any of this.
Also, the RNC and DNC are not the government. They are private entities, and they are not mentioned in the Constitution. Many people are acting like they should be these perfectly fair playing fields, but in actuality, we have a representative democracy (a republic) built to prevent a king…or honestly a Trump…except that it really failed on the GOP side this time. I can tell you as a former Conservative, the GOP usually has favored candidate from outset. (They probably envy the Superdelegates.) The current setup is not the fault of the winner.




In addition, Sanders was an Independent until he ran, and he will go back an Independent as soon as Congress is back in session. What if Jill Stein decided to run as a Republican next time? What if Rand Paul declared as a Democrat? Ultimately, Sanders has endorsed Clinton, and he has encouraged his supporters to do the same.
I agree there is some shit with the DNC, and I’m not best at discerning all of it. But polls showing Stein winning and other things contrary to mathematical truths are very difficult for me to rationalize from a statistics point of view. I’m not above criticizing what I see is wrong. Changes are needed in the system, and as I have written before, I do hope this happens.
Keep in mind, though, I live in a state where my vote is fucking worthless. Unless the Election Apocalypse occurs, Mississippi will go RED. I can vote my conscience, whatever it is, and thanks to the Electoral College, it really will not affect anything.

  • There are NeverTrump folks who are voting Johnson. Some are doing so as a protest, to push a viable third party. Others are true Libertarians. Many find him to be the closest to their core beliefs.
  • Other NeverTrump voters are going with Jill Stein. Their reasons are similar to the above, but also include those who feel cheated by the DNC.

I respect these differences. I find the common ground, and I listen to what others have to say. And I hope, at the end of this, we can find a way to work together for what is best for all of us. I just hope we haven’t done too much damage by then.

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