Tuesday, November 8, 2016

I Voted for the Greater Good

Our long and arduous Presidential campaign has finally drawn to a close. This campaign has left me less engaged and less enthusiastic than any other previous campaign. I have been a faithful Democrat for the last 40 years, but the initial field of candidates left me wanting more. Then Senator Sanders entered the race, and it seemed, at least for a time, that finally progressives within the party had not only a voice, but a champion. Senator Sanders did better than I would have ever imagined. I would have been content to accept the party's choice for the nominee, were it not for the incontrovertible proof of the party's collusion with the Clinton campaign to fix the nominating process to insure her nomination.

A year long nominating process left the traditional parties with the two most unpopular candidates ever. Many will reluctantly vote for a candidate they view as slightly less flawed than the other. This is an unacceptable choice. Our constitution was not designed to accommodate political parties, and most especially, not a deeply divided two-party monopoly. The electoral college was designed to prevent the type of situation we find ourselves in today. According to the constitution (Article 2, section 1, and Amendment 12) voters are to choose a slate of electors, who then vote for the President and Vice-President. Our entire campaign process subverts this, giving voters the illusion they are voting to elect a President/Vice-President, when in reality, we are not.

I live in South Carolina, a state so deep red neither major party candidate bothered to even stop here, after the primaries. The major party candidates pushed the myth "every vote counts" when, in fact, it does not. Our votes are technically for nameless, faceless, electors who can, at least in theory, vote for whomever they please. Voting for someone other than one of two major candidates is "throwing ones vote away," so they say. Just for the sake of argument, let's say of 3,500,000 votes cast in SC, the final tally (upheld by recount) is 1,749,999 for Clinton and 1,750,001 for Trump. Let's also say, just for fun, Clinton wins the election. How many of the votes cast in South Carolina would have helped elect President Clinton? The answer, of course, is none. Even though Clinton wins the Presidency, the votes for her in South Carolina, are in effect, thrown away. So the tortured choice of 49.9999% of voters, "choosing the lesser evil", was for naught.

I chose to vote today, because voting is making a statement. I chose not to base my vote based on fear of what one candidate may do, or discomfort with the personality of another. I chose to make my statement one of purposefully choosing the greater good, based on the issues.

Today I voted for the kind of future I want for all Americans. I voted for a future where our dependence on fossil fuels will be greatly decreased, a future with an increased reliance on sustainable, renewable energy. I voted for a future where our healthcare is not rationed to those with the  most resources, a future where universal, single payer healthcare is the norm. I voted for a future where economic slavery becomes a thing of the past, a future where the vast wealth of this nation is more equitably shared. I voted for a future where higher education, the door to opportunity, is open to all people with them having to be bound by the shackles of crushing debt. I voted for a future where diversity is celebrated, basic human rights are affirmed, immigrants and refugees are welcomed, and liberty and justice are extended to all. That is the future I want for my grandchildren. I did the only thing I could to make it happen. I voted.