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Day: September 30, 2016

no. the worst thing you can do for democracy is not vote.

no. the worst thing you can do for democracy is not vote.

i am getting bombarded on twitter. because i was feeling the bern, i am pretty disenchanted with hillary. bernie was everything i was looking for in a candidate: open, candid, fired up and pretty consistent on the issues i care about. hillary is a little cagey, a little waffle-ish, and part of a weird, orchestrated DFL primary campaign. i would have proudly voted for bernie. now i’m weary AND wary and not sure what i should do.
i have my absentee ballot on my kitchen table, all the ovals filled in next to state campaigns’ DFL candidates, judges chosen, amendment oval decided, ready to go into the three levels of envelope security, except for that crucial top decision: vote for one presidential candidate. 
i really don’t know what i’m going to do. i know i’m not voting for trump. morally, conscientiously, and as a person who cares about the planet and other people, voting for trump is not even an option. but everyone is throwing tweets, articles, opinion pieces into my feed with the old rhetoric: “a vote for a third party candidate is a vote for trump.” 
you can argue all you want about nader in 2000, how gary johnson is incompetent, what jill stein’s views on vaccinations are, the fact that bernie’s out there stumping for hillary.
when it comes down to it, if i wanted to vote for trump, i would fill in that oval next to his name, and the idea of doing that makes me want to vomit. 
today was the final straw on twitter when i read an article named:

Dear Millennials: Voting for a third party candidate in this election is the worst thing you can do for American democracy

now i’m no millennial. i’m an optimistic, cynical, disillusioned, tail-end genXer. i have done a lot of research on law, i know the members of SCOTUS, and i feel like i know more about the political climate than your average person. and you know what’s democratically worse than voting for a third party?

being so bullied and vote-shamed that you don’t vote at all.

my vote is my vote, and i am an american who has a right to vote for whom she wants. whether that’s donald trump, hillary clinton, write-in bernie sanders, or vote for the marijuana now party, i can do that. the stranglehold the two-party system has on our country is really holding us back from some people who might actually make a difference in leading this country.
i remember the 2000 election; i was at st. ben’s, and there were arguments in classes about how if enough people voted for nader and he got 5% of the popular vote, it would open up federal funding for the green party in 2004 and give the american people a more diverse field of leaders to choose from. the argument was that it was a forward-looking vote. unfortunately, the george bush fiasco has overwhelmed that initial reasoning, and al gore’s loss was blamed on nader supporters. at the same time, nader only got 2% of the popular vote. 
i am not one of those people who stays home on major elections; i will always vote. but there are people out there who might plan on voting, then get so overwhelmed by the vitriol out there that they stay home. i know people who aren’t voting because neither of the major party presidential candidates are appealing, and therefore none of the state campaigns get a vote either.

instead of discouraging people from voting for someone or using scare tactics, we should be encouraging everyone to get out and vote for WHATEVER CANDIDATE THEY WANT. that’s what democracy is. that’s how it works. i’m sorry if you don’t like it. 

and here’s the kicker: at the end of the day, i’ll probably end up voting for hillary clinton. the idea of trump as president is scary and gets me to the “literally can’t even” white girl disgusting level. even though i’m in a relatively blue state when it comes to presidential elections, and the state would probably go blue even if i voted for someone else, i will, most likely, vote for hillary. 
but that’s my decision, and being bullied into it is not the way to get people, especially millennials who are voting for the first or second time, to take part in the democratic process.