You’re not alone if you’re disgusted with American politics and feel your vote doesn’t count for much these days. Sadly, we’re seeing all too clearly that we no longer have a government by the people, but government by the corporations and the very wealthy. Don’t we still hope that our elected representatives would be committed to serving the common good, and that we could leave our social, economic and environmental problems in the hands of these “benevolent” leaders? It's no wonder Donald Trump is so appealing; he says he'll fix everything!
We have learned in the last decades that most of our political representatives—with notable exceptions—are serving moneyed interests or simply being partisan obstructionists. We can’t count on our leaders to serve the interests of most people or the good of the planet which sustains us all. Hoping that they will is wishful thinking. We must come to grips with this reality and take matters into our own hands. We have seen how protests, demonstrations and our collective voice have made a difference. Voting makes a difference too.
If you’re trying to decide whether or not to vote, or for whom, consider a few compelling reasons to get yourself to the polls on November 9th. Not voting and a low voter turnout (the New York Times described the 38% turnout rate in the 2014 midterm election as “abysmally low”) shows the powers that be that most people are not engaged, which gives them further license and means to pursue their own goals regardless of the consequences.
Clinton or Trump? One really good reason—one critical reason—to vote for Hillary Clinton is that Donald Trump has said he would scrap the climate change agreement, which would mean further disaster for people, ecosystems, and all life on the planet. Another reason to vote for Clinton is that her nominee to the Supreme Court would be far more likely to support environmental and social justice values. The conservative court has virtually trashed our so-called democracy in favor of rule by money. For these reasons alone I will vote for Clinton even though I don’t like her ties to Wall Street or establishment politics. I remind myself that it’s not so much the person we’re voting for as the values that he or she stands for, or how close they come to representing our values.
If you don’t want to vote for any candidate on the ballot, write in someone. It’s better than keeping silent, which is a vote for the way things are.
Whether or not you go to the polls on November 9, and I hope you do, let’s not forget that we vote every single minute of the day. We vote with actions we take; we vote with our feet. We vote with the choices we make about what we buy, what we eat and wear. We vote with our attitude and our thoughts, even our facial expressions. Do we encourage environmental and social justice with our choices? Do we encourage understanding and connection with people?
Our voice is our vote. Let’s speak our minds!
5 Reasons to Vote Even When You Hate Everything on the Ballot
I’m Sticking with Sanders—And Voting for Clinton
This Presidential Race is a Clear Choice; Fight, Flight or Fellowship
Why Trump?, by George Lakoff. A deeper look into the American psyche.
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