“A Vote for Conscience is a vote that counts.”
By Co-Host: Sidra Owens, author of “The Wicked Orchard”
The common talking point for the last half of the election, since the primaries ended, is that a third party vote is a wasted vote. I soundly disagree, and I’ll tell you why.
The right to vote is something that has never been guaranteed to anyone throughout the ages. When Aristocracy ruled most everything, no one voted. And no one would dare vocalize the desire to have a say in how governmental decisions are made. Democracies and republics have always had to be fought for. People bleed, sacrifice and die to be able to have open elections and be given a say in how their country, their governments and their lives are run.
Notoriously, the US is no different. Colonists rebelled and revolted against the aristocracy of Britain so that they could form a free nation. Simple farmers and craftsman battled the British, with some help of course, and won; and began forming the United States of America, where citizens could vote for their representatives.
Now this leads into a lot of details that were left out. Women could not vote. They weren’t men and no one gave a damn. Blacks couldn’t vote. For one, they weren’t even called blacks, they were slaves, and not viewed as citizens or people, they were property. Latinos were not even a consideration way back when.
So as time goes by, this eventually leads to other fights. Women had to fight, organize and protest to propel women’s suffrage to the forefront of American society and eventually gain the right to vote.
Fast forward fifty years, and blacks found themselves in the same position. They peacefully protested, suffered, fought, bled and died so that they would be able to take some sort of control over their lives and be able to legally vote for this country’s representatives, just like every other citizen.
That’s a lot of fighting, a lot of blood and a lot of death, just for someone to come along in 2016 and make you feel like it is your obligation to go with the status quo, and vote someone that you hate just because their opponent is that much worse.
It’s not fair to those who came before us; it’s not fair to us or to those who are coming behind us. We are obligated to vote for who we think represents our ideals and our hopes for our country and ourselves. If the two most dominant, prevailing candidates don’t fit the criteria, I am in no way required to vote for them and neither are any of you. We should always vote our conscience; vote for who we think will represent us and make our lives better. For me, this election, it was not Clinton and it was no Trump. I voted for Jill Stein and I feel just fine because her platform did not pander to the corporations or pretend the racial divides in this country do not exist, nor did she insult, or victimize anyone who wasn’t white with a phallus. She cares for issues that I support for the betterment of my life, the life of my family and the country as a whole, no matter their political affiliation.
By voting my conscience, I honored myself, my family and anyone in the past whether a vassal, a colonist, a woman or any person of color, who could not vote, who could not voice their choices and take some semblance of control over their own destinies.