On July 4th of this year, I announced my withdrawal from the political process this election cycle. As news, this isn't very important or interesting to most folks. I am, after all, no person of power or influence in this society; just a jazz musician, poet, fiction writer, and sometime essay writer on culture. But enough of my friends were disturbed that at least one asked me to remain engaged. And as I've never been one to shirk my civic duty, I felt that the least a person can offer, when saying they won't vote, is an explanation. For the last month or so, I've done that on this blog.
My opinions have been public knowledge for months now. Few have argued with me, and those who have tried to talk me back into voting have made no compelling cases. The usual appeals to the sacredness of the vote, and those who sacrificed for this right, have no meaning when the vote is for evil either way. Dr. King and Susan B. Anthony didn't sacrifice so that I could vote for such candidates. They would likely understand that my conscience answers to a higher power. And anyhow, much of Dr. King's tactical thought was derived from Thoreau's Civil Disobedience, which I have quoted extensively this election season, and which emphasizes the right to abstain from voting in an unjust system. In many ways, Thoreau exposed the system back then, and the reality hasn't changed since.
Let those whose conscience dictates they vote do so. Let those whose conscience dictate they abstain do so. If this nation lined up to confess its sins as eagerly as it lines up to support one of these unethical and immoral candidates, our nation would be a better place almost immediately.
God Bless everyone this election day. Americans: Try loving your neighbors as yourself and loving your enemies. Demand goodness and moral consistency from your leaders. We might really build a good society that way. Thanks for reading.