Toe to toe: Rights are not requirements

Come celebrate 30 years!

Every four years, the United States of America must make a very important choice. This choice is one that will shape our nation for the following four years. It is election time in the good old USA, and plenty of people will be heading to the polls to cast their votes. However, there are a lot of people that will not be voting this year.

Often, when politically charged people find out that you won’t be voting for either candidate, they say things like, “You’re wasting your vote,” or, “A vote for nobody is a vote for X Candidate or Y Candidate.” Whatever the case, if you do not vote, you are not wasting it and you are completely within your rights to do so.

While voting is a right for any U.S. Citizen over the age of 18, it is not a requirement. Your right to vote also covers your right not to vote. Just as the 2nd Amendment covers your right to bear arms, it covers your right not to bear arms as well. If you are a U.S. Citizen and of age to do so, you can go out right now and purchase a gun. You can also never own a weapon for your entire life. You are within your rights to own weapons and to not own weapons. So why should the same idea not extend to voting?

I myself do not align with either political party. However, this year, I more closely align with Hillary Clinton than with Donald Trump. As far as I am concerned, Trump is a sick joke and a disgrace to our nation. While Clinton seems to be more of a compromise than anything else. However, I will still not be voting this year for either candidate. I understand that people will judge me for my actions; however I would rather vote for no-one than for one of these two.

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Photo credit: Jian Bautista

Some say that not voting means that you don’t have a right to complain if someone you don’t support gains office. However, if I didn’t support either candidate, then I’m not going to be happy with either one of them gaining office. That’s why I’m not voting for either one! Additionally, my rights to complain are protected under the First Amendment. I do in fact have a right to complain should an official be elected that I do not support.

The fact of the matter is, voting is a difficult decision, and not to be taken lightly. For people like me, deciding between two things you don’t want is extremely hard and often ridiculous. That would be like having to choose between two different slices of pie, even though you cannot stand pie. “Apple or cherry?” they ask. “I don’t want any pie!” I exclaim. Some seem to think that I would be wasting my choice by not selecting a flavor of pie that I don’t want. However, declining the pie altogether is the best choice in my mind.

Keeping with the pie example, suppose a different person came along and was offering chocolate ice cream instead of apple pie or cherry pie. Well then, I would choose the ice cream as I prefer it to pie. It is the same with politics. The day a candidate is offering me metaphorical ice cream, is the day I shall vote for them. However, until the day comes when I don’t have to pick between Clinton pie or Trump pie, I will reserve my right to choose my ‘four-year-dessert’ until that sweet, metaphorical chocolate ice cream is presented to me.