I Don't Want to Vote. I Don't Like Either Candidate. | Why You Should Vote Anyway

I don't usually post this kind of thing on my mostly vapid blog, but if I can encourage one person to cast a vote for whoever aligns with their values, I'm open to it. Vote guys -- we all deserve to have a gov't that reflects the majority, whoever that winds up being. 

Voting is Cool | biblio-style.com

There are people - and a surprising number of them, too - that truly seem to love Donald Trump. Not just like, supports him and his platform, but will fight you like the guy is their actual family that you just offended by having the audacity to disagree. This is so wild to me and not just because I - ahem - am not into him. I’m astounded because I don’t even love my party’s candidate. What’s it feel like to love a president these days? I can’t remember. 

All I can think is how, if I were involved in the interview process for any other job position, and it came down to these two dorks, I’d ask to see a few more resumes. HR, who else you got?

In 2016, I was “with her” and I felt pretty good about it, too. Passionate? Nah, but like most left-leaning voters (and honestly, probably a few folks on the right), I was surprised when Hillary lost the election. I was disappointed too, but I picked my jaw up off the floor and figured we'd all just see how big this garbage fire gets. Then I went on with my life. 

What’s so strange about this election and my general ambivalence about our candidates, is that it’s really not that special of a quality when a candidate can evoke a personal sense of allegiance. Every election should serve up a candidate to get excited about because, for politicians, charisma isn’t just a quality, it’s their job. If we all cast a vote for the candidate that most aligned with our political values, I think our presidential history would look a little different. But the fact is, we vote for who we connect with and sometimes that’s more rooted in persona than politics. 

Donald Trump is the kind of figure that makes those kinds of connections and drives that kind of allegiance. Almost certainly, there is a segment of the 2016 vote that went to him because the voter couldn’t stomach another Clinton, or another Democrat, or most disappointingly, a woman, in office, but I think a larger number of those votes came from people who are passionately supportive of this man. For them, this isn’t just their candidate. This is their guy

Full disclosure: If you couldn’t tell, I don’t have a guy in this election. Now what?

Remember when Ted Cruz said to “vote your conscious”? That’s pretty much all I’ve got right now. I’m not here to tell you who to vote for, but if you’re feeling as disconnected as I am about these guys, I’m here with another way to think about it. 

Vote For Who They're Bringing With Them

My niece recently turned 18, just in time for her very first election season, and this is a gal with some opinions. If I had to guess her affiliations, I wouldn’t have to, because she is not only fearlessly open about them, my social media feed is often filled with her politics in meme form. Imagine my surprise when she told me she wouldn’t be voting at all. “I don’t like either of them,” she told me candidly. 

“So that’s it?” I asked. I’m just old enough to be on the edge of saying something like “that's the problem with kids these days” but also just young enough to stop myself in time. Whew

So she doesn’t like either of them. Yeah, me either, but here’s the hill that I am willing to die on. You don’t have to personally like a candidate. I’m pretty weirded out by Biden’s casual hair sniffing and every time Trump opens his mouth or worse, Twitter app, I’m appalled, but what we have to remember is that these people are figureheads for something much larger than themselves. They’re the face, the mouthpiece, and temporary mascot of a political party. 

Okay, let’s back up. Remember 11th grade American Government (lolololol)? Presidents are not kings. Their authority is totally limited by checks and balances and even though candidates talk a really big game, they can’t promise gun control or single-handedly overturning Roe v. Wade. I’m laughing while I write this because, oddly enough, that’s exactly the kind of promises they make on the campaign trail. 

But they can be supportive and nominate people who can collectively make those kinds of decisions.

I guess I’m just suggesting that the likeability of the actual human being that holds the office of the President of the United States is kind of...not that important? It’s kind of like having a boss who’s always promising to handle that one asshole who does nothing but play solitaire in his cubicle all day and totally fuck up deadlines. But most boss’s authority is laughable. They have a painfully slow HR bureaucracy to jump through that requires three warnings, a PIP, and then three years later, we're still begging for something to be done about it. 

Sound familiar? And I just hate when we get promises about things I actually care about, like better coffee in the breakroom. I want to get excited, but I know how long it takes to get expense approval. I’m a millennial - I’ll have job-hopped three times before a new coffee pot gets delivered to the office. Now there’s a disappointment. 

But that’s how the campaign trail is. It’s promising completely unrealistic things and some of them are passion projects for constituents. It’s why we do get fiery hot for a candidate, even though, on their own, they can’t deliver. 

But, you say, doesn’t your boss hire the HR team? Couldn’t he just hire people who also have an interest in premium coffee and firing lazy people?


So neither of these two old white men are “my guy.” Should I take my niece's approach and just throw up my hands, letting the folks who have found their guy make the decision? 

Hard pass on that one. Joe and Don can’t light my fire, but I’ve still got a dog in this fight.  

Instead of voting for a candidate, I’m voting for who they’ll appoint to various positions in their cabinet. I’m voting for the Supreme Court Justices they’ll nominate and who they’ll plunk in positions of authority at the Department of Justice and Defense and Education. I’m voting for their Vice Presidents and Press Secretaries. I'm voting for reproductive rights and some environmental protections.

I’m not voting for Joe Biden in 2020. I’m voting for who he can bring with him. I’m voting for my values. I’m voting for the HR team that I think Biden will hire. 

And I hope they like good coffee. 

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