Take Back Your Right to Vote

If average Americans like you and I ever had the freedom to choose who will serve as President of the United States, we no longer do.

What this election has made crystal clear is that somewhere between 1776 and 2016 we delegated that right to two powerful political factions – the Democratic Party and the Republican Party. If a person wants to get elected President today, he or she must spend tens or hundreds of millions of dollars and affiliate with either the Republican Party or the Democratic Party. These political organizations control our elections and thus control our nation. In other words, they control us.

If you are satisfied with politics as usual in our country, then you will not find this statement troubling. However, if instead like me you are fed up with both the Democratic and the Republican parties because neither of their Presidential candidates or their respective political agendas reflect your own values and beliefs on the issues and policies that matter to you, then the total and absolute control exercised by these two political entities over our nation should deeply disturb you.

Especially because you and I have given them this power. Every time we vote for a person simply because they are a Democrat or a Republican, and not because we agree with the particular candidate’s policies, values and beliefs on the issues that matter to us, we endorse the current two party political system and enable those entities to continue to control our nation.

George Washington, our first President, was also the only President who was not affiliated with any political party. In his farewell address, Washington prophetically cautioned against the dangers of political parties, including their vengeful and self-interested practices. He warned that “the alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism.”

Washington was concerned that parties put their own interests above those of the country. Party members would feel beholden to and have greater loyalty toward their particular political party, and not to the nation as a whole. Parties were more concerned with ensuring that a member of their party was elected President than they were about electing the best person for the job.

As a conservative, I have been told that I must vote for the Republican nominee for President, Donald Trump, or else I am effectively voting for Hillary Clinton. The day I vote for either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton to run our country will be the day they pry my ballot out of my cold dead fingers and someone else votes for me. Neither candidate remotely represents my Christian values and beliefs. So what am I to do? Throw away my vote by not voting? Vote for the lesser of two evils?

I am tired of voting for the lesser of two bad options. The last time I voted for a Presidential candidate because I actually liked the person and most of his policies, values and beliefs resembled mine was in 1984, the very first election in which I was old enough to vote. Ronald Reagan was the candidate and ever since then the quality of candidates for President has declined. However, this is the very first year where we are truly voting for the lesser of two evils. We have been told by the controlling political parties that we must vote for one of two terrible choices for President of the free world. The difficulty lies in trying to figure out which candidate is the most evil so that we can vote for the other,

But is their another option? Do we have to do what the Republicans or the Democrats tell us to do? Or, perish the thought, can we vote for a person whose positions on the issues most important to us best align with our own, regardless of whether he or she is the designated Republican or Democratic nominee? What would happen if we took control back from these powerful political machines by voting our consciences, sending a message loud and clear that we are no longer interested in what these self-interested political parties are peddling?

“The best way to discredit and ultimately supplant the two-party system is not to abstain from voting or to vote for the lesser of two evils, but to have every voter vote his or her conscience. The first two alternatives only perpetuate the status quo.”  Independent Voter Project, Andrew Gripp, 12/21/15.

On Election Day, if you don’t want Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton to be your next President, then don’t vote for them. Instead, vote for whichever candidate you prefer, regardless of whether that person was forced to drop out of the race as a result of the action of delegates supporting one of the two major political parties during the primaries. Write that person’s name in on the ballot, if necessary.

Your candidate is unlikely to win, but that is not the reason you vote. You vote because your vote is your voice. Your vote is valuable because it allows your opinions to be heard in a political election. Your responsibility in voting is not to pick a winner, but to have your voice heard.

If you vote for someone you don’t want to be the President, then you have indeed thrown away your vote because you have failed to communicate your opinion. No one will ever know whether Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump was elected President because everyone despised the other candidate more or because they really believed the person elected would be a good President.

If we all voted our consciences, instead of voting for a person we don’t like and do not want to be our President, imagine what could happen. If the winning candidate – either Hillary or Donald – becomes our next President with the smallest percentage of the popular vote in history, they would have no mandate except this: Wake up, Mister or Madam President! You are in the minority and do not think like or speak for the majority of the citizens of the United States. You need to listen up and be responsive not just to your obsolete political party, but to the vast majority of Americans who did not vote for you.

We might be surprised to discover that there are more citizens in our nation who hold Christian values and ideals dear than we have been led to believe.

Our collective voices would shout to the two major political parties who have controlled us for far too long that their days are numbered. The winds of change are blowing. The reign of the bipartisan regime soon will be toppled. They no longer represent the values and beliefs that matter to most of us.

I urge you to use the power of your ballot this November and vote for the best candidate for President of the United States, regardless of whether he or she is a current major political party nominee. You do not have to vote for who these power hungry parties tell you to vote for. Join me in taking back from the controlling political parties our freedom to vote for the person we believe is best equipped to lead our nation.

“Of two evils, choose neither.” Charles Spurgeon.


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