Vote Your Conscience: The Moral Imperative of Voting Without Compromise

“I’ll hold my nose and vote for Clinton/Trump because we have to defeat Clinton/Trump.”

You’ve heard it said in one form or another. In fact, you may have even said it yourself. And why wouldn’t you? It’s perfectly reasonable. Clinton/Trump would be devastating for this country.

But that’s the problem, isn’t it?

Trump’s rhetoric proves that he’s a racist, fascist, terrorist-to-be while Clinton’s wanton war-hawk record and the scandals continually swirling around her prove that she hasn’t had a thought in the last twenty years that wasn’t trademarked by one moneyed-interest or another. Based on your particular political leanings, the details of the country’s impending doom may manifest differently, but no matter which of these two candidates you choose, the end result will largely be the same.

So how did we get from here:

To here:

Controlled Opposition

The answer is controlled opposition, but what is it?

The easiest analogy would be the classic “good cop/bad cop” scenario played out in so many television police procedurals. Two officers seem to be at odds in front of the suspect while in reality they are working for the same goals.

The Democratic and Republican parties work in much the same way. They claim to be at odds on almost everything from healthcare to war to social justice, but when the moneyed interests who donate to both parties want something done, bipartisanship happens.

On the other hand, when the base of one party or the other wants something done, it’s obstruction, obstruction, obstruction. This gives party leaders the opportunity to publicly rail against their opponents while not actually having to do anything about an issue they may not have truly wanted to see pass anyway.

And no, this isn’t some conspiracy theory about the secret hand of a shadowy government behind the real government, it’s the reality of a two-party system that has legalized bribery, now made all the worse due to the disastrous Citizens United decision. Because politicians are elected through majority vote, and the will of the people costs so much money to influence and educate (manipulate?) through TV ads and media coverage, it stands to reason that politicians who rely on corporate sponsorship or the donations of the very wealthy (i.e. most of them) do their best to stay in good standing with those who can donate the most money to their campaigns. Why wouldn’t they? It’s how they keep their jobs!

And no surprise, those donors have zero interest in seeing a politician who’s freed himself or herself from their substantial influence get elected. The end result is that the American people are given a choice that’s really no choice at all. And as is so clearly illustrated by the current election, it’s a race to the bottom, and the winner is largely irrelevant as to the reality of what gets done.

So what can we do? How do we fix a system so completely broken that it maintains a vested interest in remaining broken?

Vote Your Conscience

The system is compromised. The politicians who run things are compromised. The media that’s supposed to inform you of the truth is compromised. How then can we the people change anything if we begin the process by also being compromised?

The one thing, the moral thing left to us is to educate ourselves as much as possible from a myriad of sources, advocate for the candidate of our choice, and remain uncompromising in our vote. As a voter, it is imperative that you reject the lesser evil, and vote for the greater good. How else can change happen?

The two-party system offers a choice that’s no choice at all, so don’t make it. Reject the offerings set before you, and find your answer somewhere else. And once you find it, support it. Promote it. Defend it. Get it out there so others may find it also.

Our democracy has been stolen from us. We must be willing to accept the risk necessary to take it back.