I can clearly not choose the candidates in front of me
In a classic scene from the movie The Princess Bride the hero, Dread Pirate Roberts, challenges the Italian con-man Vizzini to a simple duel; drink from the glass he believes Roberts did not poison. Vizzini explains the logic behind his eventual choice:
Vizzini: “Now, a clever man would put the poison into his own goblet, because he would know that only a great fool would reach for what he was given. I am not a great fool, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of you. But you must have known I was not a great fool, you would have counted on it, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of me.”
Vizzini eventually chooses a glass.
Roberts: “You guessed wrong”
Vizzini: “You only think I guessed wrong — that’s what’s so funny. I switched glasses when your back was turned. Ha-ha, you fool. You fell victim to one of the classic blunders, the most famous of which is “Never get involved in a land war in Asia”, but only slightly less well known is this: “Never go in against a Sicilian, when death is on the line. Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha…” (Vizzini drops dead)
Vizzini didn’t realize it, but he faced a choice with no right answer. Roberts poisoned both glasses, knowing he was immune to the poison. Vizzini could not win.
As we near election day 2016 America faces a similar choice. We can clearly not choose Clinton whose definition of truth seems to evolve on a daily basis, and we can clearly not choose Trump who exhibits no qualities neccesary to guide the most powerful nation on earth. I’d say we’d be better off getting involved in a land war in Asia than choosing either, but we crossed that line when we invaded Iraq.
That is why, for the first time since I became eligible to vote in 1978, I will not cast my vote for either candidate. I cannot in good conscience endorse Clinton while opposing her stand on many core issues, nor can I in good conscience endorse Trump while he violates the very definition of morality and decency. Voting for a candidate, no matter how reluctantly, is a stamp of approval. I can clearly not choose to make that choice.
Regardless of my vote, or lack thereof, either Trump or Clinton will be the next president of the United States. They are both driven by steely eyed, do whatever it takes ambition, and once they become president either will lead the country down a path I cannot support. Clinton will ramp up support of abortion on demand, while Trump will seek to deport millions of innocent women and children. The list of destructive policies goes on and on. It doesn’t matter who becomes President, the future of the presidency looks bleak.
The only course I have is to follow my own moral compass and withhold support for either candidate. Fortunately the American system of checks and balances restrains most Presidential initiatives, so my hope is that the damage over the next four years will be mitigated. In 2020 we get a do-over, hopefully we’ll get it right next time. Until then I will clearly not choose the candidates in front of me.