Abstaining The Loudest Voice Of All

“Silence is a true friend who never betrays.” – Confucius

“Silence is the sleep that nourishes wisdom.” – Francis Bacon

The discussion of politics makes me very uncomfortable.  People always have a strong feelings about it (as they should).  However, since this year is an election year those strong feelings have turned from heated debates, to downright contempt.  There are no longer discussions, but yelling matches and no one is really listening to what the other side is saying.

Debates once was a time to showcase your true beliefs and platform, have now become the match of who can avoid a questions more, yell louder, deflect an answer, and name calling.  It quite frankly plays out like a classroom brawl, where the teacher never gets any answers, and at times has no control of the classroom.

Growing up I had always heard voting is making your voice being heard.  It was a right that should be valued and not disregarded easily.  I was lucky I turned 18 in an election year and was able to cast my very first ballot.  It was very exciting to me.  This year however I feel very different.  Honestly, to say I dislike the candidates would be an understatement.  They all scare me for very different reasons and it is for that reason that this year I have decided not to vote.  I have heard people say things like, vote for the lesser of two evils, but that doesn’t make much sense to me.  In my mind that’s like saying would you like a stomach flu for four days or five days?  In the end they both are really bad, and by day four you are probably already dehydrated, so what’s another day?  On top of the fact that I really am not sure who is the lesser of two evils.  Of course this is my opinion and in time when instead of listening and respecting other opinions even if they do not align with ours, we ridicule and tear people down.

Ot5ed3330312339403ebfc15f938eed0fahers would argue if I do not vote then I have no right to complain about the outcome or what happens thereafter.  But isn’t abstaining at times a much louder voice then saying anything at all?  Sometimes being quiet can speak volumes among all of the rancor around you.  I am sure I will be in the minority of not voting, but imagine what message it would send if this year’s poll turnout was a record low?  “Tis better to be silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt.”  – Abraham Lincoln

8d09dcbe2da8dd63907857971bd84ecbWhen I first came to this consensus in my mind I thought I might be the only one thinking this way.  However, in the last several months the memes that have infiltrated the internet have pointed out that I am not alone.  When I finally decided to write this blog entry and looked for graphics, my options were endless.  I was speaking with a girlfriend this past weekend in regards to this very topic.  She like me was very dissatisfied by our candidate options.  She posed an option that I wrestled with in my head for a while.  She mention that in November she might vote for one candidate purely for the fact that if he got in, he probably would not be able to get any of his initiatives to pass.  I had never thought of it that way and was intrigued by the idea.  Sadly, have we become a nation who votes for a candidate in pure hope that he will fail?

I think about Liam and Ava and what I hope for them in the future.  I hope for future elections we have stronger, more capable, experienced candidates.  I hope as a nation we no longer look to prize celebrity over intellect.  I hope as a nation we look for more moderate solutions instead of extremes.  I hope as nation we can be honest with ourselves and logically pick someone who really could make a profound effect on this nation in a positive way.  I hope…

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