posted on May, 11 2008 @ 08:06 PM
Before this election cycle, I never voted. (I am 26 years old and have been registered to vote for years.)
Many criticized me for this, however it was a personal choice based upon my conscience. I'm not perfect, and I make mistakes, but the best any of us
can do is to try to make decisions based upon what we feel is right. We may err in doing so, but it's the best we can do. The reason I never voted
before now was because I never felt that there was a person who even came close to representing what I feel or believe running for office, whether
local, state, or national. I viewed my non-vote as a vote against a system and a process that I personally felt (rightly or wrongly; as I said, I'm
not perfect and am always open to the possibility that I'm wrong, but can only proceed based upon what I feel) was manipulated, contrived,
non-transparent, and antithetical to my personal beliefs.
I voted for Obama in my state's primary and will vote for him if nominated. Do I trust him? No. Do I think he will save the country or change the
world for the better? No, but one can hope. Do I still disagree with the system I am taking part in by voting for him? Yes. I'm not voting for the
much vaunted "change," though. I'm voting for what I believe, in giving him the benefit of the doubt, his intentions appear to be. It
seems probable to me that he will not succeed, or, failing that, that he may succumb to the machinations of the very system I previously refused to
partake in or, worse still, become hopelessly mired in it. It is also possible that he is all the things that people who so vehemently oppose his
election believe or say that he is. However, giving him the benefit of the doubt based upon his words and actions to date (which may be deceptive,) I
am voting for what appear to me personally to be his intentions because those intentions, whether real or not, align with my own to an
acceptable degree such that I can live with my conscience having cast a ballot for them.
I respect the views of people who disagree with me. I respect other people's votes. I'm not someone who believes, for example, that Clinton should
"drop out" to give Obama a better chance to run against McCain, because I feel that doing so would disenfranchise those who plan to cast their vote
for her, and their choice, whether I agree with it personally or not. They have a right to it, in my opinion, and I willingly, openly, verbally defend
that right by saying so.
What is a vote? A vote, at its heart is in my opinion an extension of an individual's personal will. A vote is an institutionalized manifestation of
intent. If, when I cast my ballot for Obama, I do so with the intention of voting for a man whom I hope will have similar intentions to
my own, then I can live with that, irrespective of whether those apparent intentions are born out or genuine on his part. I can only try my
best to make the right decision. Any of us can be wrong, and that's the best we can do. Why should anyone have to fear derision or criticism for
If I am wrong, then I will revert to my earlier tact, and will probably be so disillusioned (knowing myself and being the over-emotional sod that I
am) that I will never vote again.
I would never criticize someone for their personal choice, particularly when it comes to an election. At best, all I can do is be saddened by it.
However, I may find that my vote for Obama is cause for sadness as well in due time. I am open to that possibility. We’ll see.
We all have to vote our conscience in my opinion (even if that means not voting at all) however criticized that choice may be.