I voted for Mitt Romney in 2012, but I didn’t disagree with Romney on most things. So I was voting FOR Romney, not just against Obama. I thought of myself as a conservative in 2012.
I voted for John McCain in 2008, but I wasn’t really all that informed back then. That’s when I was going through my atheism/apologetics phase, so I really wasn’t paying much attention to politics. But my parents were conservative and what they said made sense, so I went along with what they said.
I was 17 in 2004 so I didn’t vote.
My chosen candidate has lost 100% of the elections in which I’ve voted. Granted, it’s only 2 elections, but I don’t know what it’s like to have voted for a winner.
I know only loss.
This election is different for me for a number of reasons.
The primary reason is that I consider myself a libertarian, not a conservative. And this is due to diligent study in the areas of economics and political philosophy. I remember, in 2013, thinking to myself, “this political game is so stupid. I don’t know what news sources to trust, I don’t know what I think the government should do, I don’t know any economics or political philosophy… I don’t know anything. And I need to know.”
I was near the end of my undergraduate studies in biology & philosophy, so I started studying. I didn’t know which direction to go, so I followed a clue given to me by 2 things:
1. A very convincing argument by professor James Stacey Taylor, who explained how a free market in human kidneys made the donor and the recipient more well off. From this, I had a direction to go in terms of economic study. I figured, if the data pointed in that direction for something as important as organ donation, it could probably work in other, less important areas.
2. The anger I felt when I was pulled over for not wearing a seatbelt. Who was the government to tell me that I had to be protected from myself? From this, I had a foundational principle on which to guide my study on the government role in our social lives. If the government was not justified in legislating something that only effected me, what role did it have?
(if you’re interested, I go more into that here )
From there, I’ve read books, watched debates, read articles, listened to podcasts, engaged with people of different perspectives, and ultimately landed on what many would call “minarchism”.
Minarchism is the idea that the government should be here to serve very few, very limited purposes. It is here to protect our natural rights (the rights we have by simply being a member of the human community), and to insure that we have maximum liberty in the social and economic spheres.
I say all of this because it helps lay the backdrop for why I absolutely refuse to vote for either Trump or Clinton. They do not represent me, nor do they come close to representing what I see as a proper function of government. I don’t care that Trump has said nasty things or that Clinton has a shrill voice. I care because when you vote for someone, you are consenting to being governed by them. I do not consent to being governed by either one of them.
I see them as authoritarians.
I see them as restricting liberty.
I see them both as doing damage to the US, economically and socially.
You may disagree. That’s fine. You’re wrong but I’m done trying to change your mind. However, I find it incredibly strange that so many people believe that I ought to sacrifice everything I’ve studied and believe and vote for someone who I think is slightly less totalitarian than the other.
Why can’t I vote against totalitarianism?
Why is a vote against authoritarianism a bad thing?
I have to wonder… how absolutely awful do the two primary candidates have to be before we, as informed people, think “wow, these two really, really suck. I can’t reasonably vote for either”.
Many people have chosen to vote against different flavors of totalitarianism before now. The 2016 election is so obviously that time in my mind. Perhaps 2020 will be that time in your mind.
I’m choosing to vote 3rd party while that option still exists, even if the 3rd party candidates don’t really have a chance at winning.
I am voting against Trump.
I am voting against Clinton.
I am doing this because I care about my country.
I am doing this because I care about my kids. I care about your kids.
We have a long road ahead, but REAL change starts today.
Please join me in voting against both flavors of totalitarianism.