Voting Our Conscience, Rather Than Our Fears

October 23, 2012

Following supper last evening, my wife Helen, and our daughter Naomi, engaged in a family tradition.  We gathered at the kitchen table and discussed the candidates and ballot initiatives before carefully marking our absentee ballots.

Naomi, who watches more television, contributed her observations about advertisements; I was mostly aware of who the big contributors were; and together we reviewed the various ballot arguments and who authored them to determine whose ox was being gored.  Altogether, there was enough information for us to gain consensus and to mark our ballots with confidence.

After working our way through the initiatives, we considered the candidates.  Fortunately, we were familiar with most of our local representatives, but were confronted with the usual conundrum at the top of the ticket.  Do we vote for Diane Feinstein, our wealthy plutocratic U.S. democratic senator, or for the unknown republican?

The presidential race was more difficult.  Helen and I have taken the pledge to follow our conscience and to never again cast a fear vote.  We rejected the two major candidates as being equally controlled by the plutocracy and determined that none of the minor party candidates were really qualified for the office.   Helen and I then wrote in our choice for president of the United States, even though the name was not on the ballot and was not on the list of qualified write-in candidates.

Did we waste our vote?  Although it is true that our vote for president will not be counted, we determined that a vote of conscience is never wasted.  We believe that an uncounted vote of conscience is a more effective demonstration of disdain for the nominated candidates than a boycott of the entire process.  We believe we did something, rather than nothing, and at least, we felt better about ourselves as we signed and stamped the envelopes.

Naomi did not say for whom she voted for president, which is why, even though we shared the process, our final choices remain secret.

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