In this brief post I want to offer another reason as to why I will not be voting in this election. Here it is:
Point #8: Voting in this election would actually silence or negate my voice and views.
One of the problems with the whole American electoral system is that it is built upon and runs upon a two-party system. In this framework one party selects a nominee who, along with their vice presidential pick, will represent their party. For this election, the Democrats have Barack Obama and Joe Biden, while the Republicans have Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. While each of these candidates have some views that I agree with, they all also have views and policies that I am strongly against. As I have already stated in this series, I refuse to vote against my own conscience and therefore, I will not vote for any of these candidates.
My beef with this whole process is that we only have two parties and I'm simply out of luck if I don't agree with them. I believe many others feel this tension too because I've heard a lot of people talk about "voting for the lesser of two evils" (see Point #1 for more on this). I absolutely refuse to vote for a candidate or an administration with pre-packaged values and policies that I completely disagree with. This is precisely what I'm getting at when I say that voting in this election would actually silence or negate my voice and views.
Keep in mind, there is no place on the ballot to express my views. I am not afforded the opportunity to express what I do or do not agree with. There is no question area asking what changes I would like to see or what issues I feel most strongly about. To vote against myself, that is, to vote against my conscience, would be an act of silencing or muzzling myself. I ask you, is that freedom? Is it freedom that when I enter into the poll booth I am essentially forced to choose one of two administrations and their prepackaged ideologies and ideals? (Yes I am aware that I can write a name in and I am aware that there are "other" candidates such as those in the Libertarian Party that I can vote for, but as we all know, that amounts to nothing. I've done that before and know already what the result will be. Further, I don't have enough confidence in the system to believe that even if enough people voted Libertarian that such a candidate won the election it would actually play out that way.) With my choice narrowed down and limited to two administrations that I do not agree with, my vote is a vote against myself and frankly, that's just not something I'm willing to cast a ballot for.
Other posts in this series: Pt. 1, Pt. 2, Pt. 3, Pt. 4, Pt. 5, Pt. 6, Pt.7