The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC, 20500
It was a few weeks ago that I received an e-mail from a progressive group trying to whip up support for Hillary Clinton. Specifically, the text of the message read as follows:
BREAKING: New poll shows ONE-THIRD of voters ages 18-29 plan to vote for a third-party candidate
These “protest” votes will put Trump in the White House!
If you agree with Michelle and Bernie that we CANNOT afford to throw away our vote as a “protest” and allow Donald Trump to become the next President, please sign your name today:
This e-mail focused heavily on a quote you made:
Image retrieved via correspondence sent by Progressive Turnout Project, fair use.
In the days that followed, Mrs. Obama, I’ve had a chance to consider your statement. And after much and truly earnest contemplation, I can only arrive at one single, solitary conclusion:
**** you for attempting to guilt the public into voting for anyone less than who they actually believe in. **** you for trying to prop up the age-old policy of voting for a lesser evil– the very same policy which has led to this embarrassment of an election.
How dare you assert that your candidate’s failure to represent the views of the public is somehow my fault?
I’m helping elect Hillary’s opponent?
Give me a break.
The only person helping elect Hillary’s opponent is Hillary.
You can’t spit on every issue that I value and then somehow expect me to vote simply because there’s a supposed “worse alternative”. Clinton has remained adamantly against universal healthcare, against universal education, against Palestine, against the right to privacy, and for fracking.
The democratic candidate stands in opposition to me on almost every issue, yet you try to shift the responsibility of her success onto my shoulders. You tell me “vote for Clinton, or else!”
Or else what?
Explain to me how this is supposed to work here. How I’m going to get the things I want if I can only ever vote against the things I don’t? You declare “It’s not about voting for the perfect candidate,” demanding that we put our own agendas on the sidelines for the time being. But if we can’t vote with our consciences now, then when? When do I have your permission to vote for candidates who represent my values and beliefs?
Let us be clear- you can’t seriously tell me that the only way to safeguard our democracy is by not practicing it. It is a slap in the face to everyone who has been sacrificed on the altar of democracy. The men and women of the revolution, the civil war, the union strikes, the suffragette movement- do you think they fought so that they could be threatened into voting for someone they didn’t support? Do you think that the brave resistance fighters in Syria (and across the world) are struggling so that they and their children might one day grudgingly pick the lesser of two evils?
But perhaps I’m being harsh. Maybe you somehow have a point.
Certainly, I and all the nonpartisans, third-party supporters, and undecided voters could potentially affect the outcome of this election. Your statement, Mrs. Obama, makes the profoundly arrogant and unfounded assumption that I am, by default, a Democrat. And that is the logic being employed here, make no mistake. The only way that that I can paradoxically vote for Trump by not voting for him is if I somehow am, by default, a liberal.
I have never been a Democrat and I never will be. I have never been a Republican and I never will be. And that fact does not diminish the legitimacy of my views or my vote- even (no, especially) if it’s for a third party.
And speaking of third parties-
-Senator Sanders, don’t think I’ve forgotten about you here.
Yes, you’ve declared that “this is not the time for a protest vote.” A “protest” vote. As in, “not a real vote.” Because, even after serving as an independent politician for decades, you manage to disparage and denigrate anyone outside the Republicrat spectrum as “invalid”.
But Senator Sanders, Mrs. Obama – what’s to stop me from using the same logic against you?
Are you not handing the presidency over to a sweatshop-supporting megalomaniac by failing to vote for my candidate? You might not agree entirely with all of my candidate’s potions, but now is not the time for a “protest” vote! To use the words of the first lady, “The stakes are far too high to take that chance!”
But you might reply, “Gordon, you interminable and stalwart acolyte of the altar of liberty, your candidate doesn’t have a chance?”
Well apparently neither does yours. Not if you have to have your lackeys threaten me and other millennials for not voting for Clinton.
That’s not the White House you’re living in, Mrs. Obama, that’s a glass one.
Registered Independent in the State of Nevada