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Crosstalk: Is not voting a moral option in 2016?

RaeLynn Ricarte

Philosopher and diplomat Joseph Maistre once said: “Every country has the government it deserves.”

In 2012, more than three million Conservatives refused to vote in the presidential election because they felt Mitt Romney was too liberal to support.

If you are one of those people, I ask: “How did that work for you?”

America’s economic freedom has rapidly declined under President Barack Obama, who has nearly doubled the national debt since 2009.

Not only has spending exploded but racial tensions are high and the Constitution is being decimated.

I tell you now that the 2016 presidential election could be the most important of our time.

It is likely the last chance to deal with the $18.9 trillion debt that has caused America to fall from the sixth freest economy in the world when Obama took office to 11th place in 2016.

The next president is also probably going to appoint three or more Supreme Court Justices. If they are activists intent on using the position to undermine the principles of the Constitution, we begin losing freedoms.

The success of the American Republic (the word democracy does not appear once in the Constitution) as a political structure is based on the voluntary participation of citizens in public affairs.

For the past five or six decades, an increasing number of Americans have ceased to accept personal responsibility to provide for the common defense (less than 1 percent of the population serves), economic productivity (49 percent of the population is now on some type of government assistance) and for the needs of the community (volunteerism is at an all-time low across the nation).

If this deterioration of America’s moral character continues, responsible citizens will be too few to protect the irresponsible.

With all of that to ponder, let’s look at your 2016 presidential choices:

• Bernie Sanders is a card carrying socialist who wants at least $18 trillion in new spending over the next decade. How does a socialist take an oath to “preserve, protect and defend” the Constitution when socialism is not compatible — and shouldn’t it mean something to Americans that Sanders won’t uphold that oath?

• Hillary should be in prison and would be if she was anyone other than a Clinton. She is a power hungry politician who never lets ethics get in the way of her ambitions. She wants at least $1 trillion in new spending over the next decade.

• Donald Trump is the most provocative Republican candidate. On the plus side he is a highly successful business man who understands how government policies affect private industry.

However, he is uncouth, rude and crude and has hopped over both sides of the political fence a little too often to make most Conservatives comfortable.

The sad truth is that you may end up voting the platform that represents your ideologies rather than the candidate. If you sit this one out, you become part of the problem.

While other forms of government rely on the state as the grantor of human rights, America recognizes that imperfect people exercising power need to have their power curbed – and that responsibility was given to “We the people.”

Mark Gibson

Over the years I’ve often felt, when voting for president, that I was struggling to choose the “least bad” option, rather than the best of the best.

This year is looking to be no exception, except for the preponderance of choices I just don’t think I could vote for, regardless. Trump, Clinton, Cruz. Not much of a selection. Rubio and Sanders? My jury is out.

Yet the chances of having two unpalatable candidates on the November ballot seems high, which raises something of a dilemma: Is not voting at all an option?

I’ve always held that it wasn’t.

The percentage of Americans voting in presidential elections has, since 2000, hovered in the region of 55 percent. This calls into question the validity of the democratic process.

It doesn’t really matter if your vote “counts,” to cast your vote is to engage in the direction and future of our country.

Growing up, my mother voted for the Republican, my father for the Democrat. I remember asking why, since they cancelled each other out, they voted at all.

“Because we’re Americans,” was the short answer. Being engaged in the process of electing our nations leadership is something all Americans, not just half of them, aught to engaged in.

It has never occurred to me, until this season, that I may find myself unable to legitimize, through the casting of a “yes” vote, either party’s candidate.

I could, perhaps, make a decision based on the party “platform,” but this is also fraught with difficulties.

I agree with the Democratic stand that a clean, thriving environment is critical to world health, and I agree with those Republicans who believe that this can be taken to extremes: There must be a human component to wilderness, a “tending of the garden” as was spoken of in the Bible.

I agree with the Democratic stand that the gap between rich and poor is too great, that we need to address the growing social issues of homelessness and poverty.

But I agree with those Republicans who point to the national debt and demand it be reduced. Government is the biggest employer around, and that’s a problem.

And I still don’t know that “Obamacare” is an affordable way to address healthcare.

Unfortunately, Republicans have only floated the idea of repealing Obama care, rather than suggesting alternatives or fixes, which isn’t a solution.

And while the Democratic Party would be more likely to drop policy restrictions on studying gun violence — a first step to finding solutions in our mass shooting crisis —they seem more inclined to legislate gun control regardless of whether or not it will truly work.

So throwing my vote to the party platform doesn’t seem like a great solution either.

To not vote is a choice I don’t care to make – it’s early days, though, and perhaps we will find, come election day, that we do in fact have legitimate candidates standing for president.


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