Why I Won't Vote In The 2016 Presidential Election
Start writing a post
Politics and Activism

Why I Won't Vote In The 2016 Presidential Election

Vote for peace by not voting.

Why I Won't Vote In The 2016 Presidential Election

I wish I could vote. I'm informed all too often that I'm avoiding the American way should I not vote. I'm told voting produces a patriotic tingle of joy, that it's a privilege and that I'm dishonoring all the brave soldiers who fought for my freedom. How dare I commit the sin of not voting. I may as well dismiss apple pie as toxic and motherhood as immoral.

Why don't you vote?

Well for starters, the constitution, a faulty, out of touch document that rationalizes violence, blatantly states in Article I, Section 8 and Article II, Section 2 that the president shall be "commander in chief of the Army and Navy" or with Obama, the Nobel Peace laureate, "drone-bomber in chief." Yes, sorry to disappoint all the adamant Obama supporters out there.

Time after time, each president is sworn in to "protect," "defend," and even defer to the constitution. America has demonstrated how we are by definition insane -- doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results. I prefer the trite adage, "If something doesn't work, try something else." So in that sense, it really doesn't matter who is elected because the president will always have that power, engineered from the White House, to justify violence and war-making. As a growing believer in the power of pacifism and ruinous nature of violence, I cannot allow myself to vote. Voting means transferring power and approving of military violence -- whether the killing of uncountable civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan or the loss of American soldiers -- as a viable means of conflict resolution. Voting guarantees our violent course continues, waging wars like the ones in Iraq and Afghanistan that can't be won, explained, or afforded. Until nonviolent conflict resolution finds a place in the constitution and in the hearts of politicians, sanctioning violence will always be the go-to option for handling disputes.

But no candidate is perfect! Just vote for the lesser of two evils!

I think of the NFL rule change that moved kickoffs from the 35 yard line to the 40 yard line when I hear this plead. So by limiting the frequency of kickoffs, there's a smaller chance that players will become concussed, right? The result of the rule change? Players still get concussed. My point: even the lesser of two evils is still pretty evil.

I don't settle for a lesser evil. I strive for the best. Ranking evils to me is like deciding if I rather die by drowning or getting stabbed. In 1956, W.E.B. DuBois wrote:

"I shall not go to the polls. I have not registered. I believe that democracy has so far disappeared in the United States that no 'two evils' exist. There is but one evil party with two names, and will be elected despite all I can do or say."

What about third party candidates?

Yes, what about them? Where are they? Why couldn't we see Libertarian Gary Johnson call out Obama in 2012 for failing to close Guantanamo? Would it be so bad if we saw the Greens' Jill Stein criticize Obama and Romney for hardly addressing the growing homeless rate or prison reform? Would it be so bad if we saw the Socialists' Stewart Alexander confront Romney for calling 47 percent of American's parasites? We don't have a two-party political system after all. The spewing lies and evasions of Trump and Clinton are unchallenged as well. Mark Dutter, Robert Dionisio, Jeremiah Pent, Lynn Kahn and Daniel Zutler have all come out against the two-party system. Why haven't we heard of these third party candidates again?

I'd like to mention that we spend over $800 billion annually on the military and security programs. Except for Carl Sagan, that number is too large to make sense of. Let's break it down. It's $27,000 a second. $27,000 a second. $27,000 a second. Someone please stop me. $27,000 a second. That's a whopping $108,000 going to the military in just four seconds. If I'm lucky and make $2,000 at my summer job, then I've made 7.4% of the spending that goes to the military in one second. But enough with numbers. Our bloated military funding affirms MLK's 1967 judgement that "the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today [is] my own government" and "a nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death." Gosh, I love MLK.

But not voting won't solve anything! You have to make your voice heard!

Pushing a button once every four years is really doing your part, huh? I wish I could buy into the simplicity of that. Also, why wait that long to make your voice heard? I may not vote for political candidates, but I still vote. I vote everyday. I vote where I spend my time and money, our two most important assets. I vote for me. I vote for you. Instead of voting for presidents, I find ways to increase peace and decrease violence, getting involved in what I can to make a difference because all lasting social reform necessary for creating a peaceful society starts from below, not above.

I promise you that by not voting, I will not let you down.

I've encountered two kinds of supporters of voting. The first kind don't really want me to just vote; they want me to vote for the candidate they like, the candidate they are voting for. If God forbid I want to vote for another candidate than my friends then I distance myself from them even more.

The second kind are in my face telling me to "vote!" You don't even care who I vote for. It's just important that I vote? Is that what you're saying? This type of thinking gives me a bigger headache than watching a show on Bravo. My vote is putting someone in charge of our whole nation. How can anyone be expected to vote or be capable of voting on something that grand when all you tell them is to "vote!"?

If someone can provide me with proof that voting has made the U.S. government less militaristic and more humane, I might reconsider. I'm still waiting for that proof.

Nonvoters avoid being suckered into believing that presidential elections -- shows fueled by two candidates who over-promise and under-deliver- - are democracy in the making.

You're just trying to be different.

You have to be different to make a difference.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

How Much Of A Coffee Snob You Are, Based On Where You Live

Your state may determine how picky you are about your coffee.


When it comes to coffee, everyone has different criteria for what goes into their "perfect cup." Some caffeine lovers, though, are extra particular when it comes to their beloved beverage. One survey found that the state you're from (or the one you live in now) may play a part in determining how much of a coffee snob you actually are.

LiveShopper Sassie, the company behind this Coffee Project survey, received input from 1,000 coffee drinkers via their mobile app, PrestoShopper, to ask various questions about their coffee drinking habits and preferences. In return, these survey respondents got money back for their coffee — something any user who downloads the app can do as well (yes, even you).

Keep Reading... Show less

Even though Domestic Violence Awareness Month is coming to an end, it is so important to remain alert and aware of exactly what domestic violence is, who can be affected by domestic violence (hint: everyone), how to get help if you need it, and even how to be the best support system possible if you know any survivors.

So, before you close out October, here's a brief run-through of what you need to know about domestic violence, whether you're going through it, survived it, or know someone who has.

Keep Reading... Show less

Where To Find The Best Coffee Drinks In America, According To A Survey

Here's the coffee shop where you should get your morning brew.


Coffee, for billions of people, is one of the only things that can get us out of bed (after hitting snooze a time or two), especially in 2020. Because, if we're being honest, is there anything that beats a quality cup of coffee on those mornings when all we wanted to do is roll over and go back to sleep? The answer is no. And if you're headed to a coffee shop to pick up your caffeinated beverage, you don't want to sleep on the best coffee drinks in America.

According to LiveShopper Sassie's Coffee Project survey, when it comes to chain coffee shops, there are definitely preferred spots you'll want to hit up for your go-to order — whether you order the classic, frozen, or flavored coffee, an espresso, tea, or other. To figure out the hot spots, 1,000 coffee drinkers across the United States took to LiveShopper's mobile app, PrestoShopper, to answer various questions about their coffee drinking habits and preferences. In return, these survey respondents got money back for their coffee — something any user who downloads the app can do as well (yes, even you).

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

9 Vulnerable Stories That Were Shared This World Mental Health Day

Everyone has a mental health experience. These creators bravely shared their stories with us.


Everyone has a mental health story. Whether it's a story that's shared publicly or privately, it's something that has the ability to make a big impact in someone's life. For many, these mental health stories are ongoing, ever-changing in how they play a part in an individual's life.

Odyssey believes in the community that can be formed when these stories are shared. As October 10 was World Mental Health Day, many of our creators took the opportunity to speak out about their personal struggles with mental illnesses.

Keep Reading... Show less
Content Inspiration

Survey: Which Issues Are The Most Important To You In The 2020 Election

If you're a first-time voter or voting by mail for the first time, we want to hear your story.


The general election on Tuesday, November 3, 2020, will decide not only the next president of the United States but also which political party controls the House of Representatives and the Senate. Young and first-time voters will play a crucial part in determining the result.

Keep Reading... Show less
Fox Atomic

Halloween is days away and that means that November is basically here, aka the holiday season. I love Halloween movies, preferably the ones that are more cute or funny than innately scary.

If October has been a crazy busy month for you, you may have forgotten to watch some of your favorite Halloween movies, but you still have time! This week I know I have been bingeing my favorites, and you need to add some of these to your list if you need to get in the last minute Halloween spooky spirit.

Keep Reading... Show less

Articles To Write If You're All About Saving More Money, And Waking Up A Little Bit Earlier

Get your day started right — and keep that budget tight.


For all the young professionals, parents, and students out there who've been working, learning, or even teaching remote — 2020 has likely been the longest year of your life. If you didn't know (sorry), we've been locked down for over 200 days now, and chances are, you are ready for it to be OVER.

Keep Reading... Show less

Don't get me wrong, we definitely saw some red flags from Clare in episodes one and two of this season of "The Bachelorette," but after (spoiler alert) Yosef got sent home last night, she's quickly become the villain of her own season, waving some pretty bright red flags we can no longer ignore.

To get more specific, last night Chris Harrison told the guys they'd all be getting dates after Clare canceled the cocktail party following the fight with Yosef (please let this be the last time I have to think about this a**hole). Unfortunately for the men, Clare also ended up completely ditching the first group date she promised them. Yes, that's right, she stood up the men who were supposed to have a fun day with her and showed up hours later without an apology (or a reason).

Keep Reading... Show less

Fall is most of our favorite seasons. We all have different reasons for that, but mine is for the food. I'll (with a fair amount of shame) have a hot soup any day of the year — even on the hottest summer days. But from the first sign of leaves changing, I embrace my love for hot chai, pumpkin-based baked goods, and my favorite Indian soups publicly with loved ones.

This year more than ever, even those who can barely make toast or cereal have been dusting off their cookbooks. We're not just making homemade pumpkin spice chai — we're eating fried chicken, homemade soups, and ordering TikTok viral drinks from Starbucks.

Keep Reading... Show less
@bacheloretteabc on Instagram / @viallnicholas28 on Twitter

"The Bachelorette" is FINALLY back, and season 16 is already off to a — dare I say it? — DRAMATIC start.

There is no fandom more involved and invested than Bachelor Nation, so naturally, viewers had A LOT of thoughts during last night's episode. And honestly, the only thing more entertaining than watching a new episode of "The Bachelor" is following the live tweets fans post while it airs.

Keep Reading... Show less

5 Disney Movies To Watch If You're In Need Of Some Childhood Nostalgia

Disney + is a huge part of my young adult life- since I am a sucker for re-watching shows and movies I was obsessed with throughout my childhood. Check out to see what Disney movies have taught me throughout my life.

Walt Disney Pictures

Disney movies will always hold a special place in my heart. They made my childhood important and taught me so many lifelong lessons at an early age while making it fun and enjoyable for me.

During quarantine, I have decided to re-watch some of my favorite childhood movies, and let me tell you, I do not regret a single minute of it. It reminded me how these movies instilled values and morals into not only my childhood but still in my life to this day.

Keep Reading... Show less

10 Best Songs From Bryson Tiller's 'Anniversary' And 'TRAPSOUL Deluxe' Albums

Five years since his debut album and I'm brought back to middle school.


To celebrate the five year anniversary of his debut album "TRAPSOUL" Tiller has released two new albums and these are my favorites from the release. The deluxe album includes songs that didn't make the cut from the debut album and the "Anniversary" album has brand new songs.

Keep Reading... Show less

Halloween is every costume-lover's favorite holiday. Growing up in Canada, I remember wearing turtlenecks and sweats under my princess costumes. The opportunity for it to be socially acceptable to dress up as anybody but yourself for just one night a year is one most of us love taking advantage of.

I was doing "couples" costumes with my girlfriends before I ever had a boyfriend. There was a year in high school in which my best friend and I dressed up as two of the Golden Girls and one year in which we went to Halloween parties dressed up as Iago and Jafar.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments