Why I Didn't Vote Trump or Hillary
By Joe Brewer / medium.com

 

This is my ballot. It arrived in the mail where I live in Washington state — and I’ve already sent it back to the elections committee. Note how I didn’t vote for either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. What I did vote for is something I actually believe in.

I voted for real democracy.

There were several factors shaping my decision to take this political stand. One is that I have been closely watching the manipulation of public opinion and the activities of both political parties for a decade now. It has become thoroughly clear (as I wrote about here) that the election is a charade. It is a distraction from the real workings of power in this country.

Another factor is that I live in the state of Washington where, due to the electoral college system, my vote will not count in the presidential election anyway. The state is strongly Democrat and will give all its electoral votes to Hillary whether I vote for her or not.

Perhaps most importantly, I am holding onto a sense of deep time and the significance of this period in history. I know that humanity is already pushing planetary boundaries beyond what is needed to support a globalized economic system. There is a deep and subtle form of denial in participating with systems-of-old that perpetuate the dynamic outcomes of excess in the current system. We are on the verge of collapse now and it is time to take stands for the future we actually want.

When I look back on this time in history, I will not be thinking about celebrity personalities (was it Trump or Hillary?) but rather about structural systems and their pattern-level dynamics. Continuing to give credibility to a plutocracy that calls itself a democracy is to be out of touch with the reality of this situation.

Also, I choose to role-model what it feels like to step outside the dominant frames of this discourse. I am facing the discomfort of separation from accepted social norms to show others that they too can reject the norms of their society when they feel them to be pathological. Now is a time for waking up — a real form of political revolution — and this means becoming actively resistant to the habitual modes of thinking and action that have been cultivated in the political landscape of the United States.

That is how the elites have controlled us. We conform to the habits of others who also don’t take a stand for systemic change. As a result, nothing changes.

But what IS real democracy? And why is it worth voting for instead of the celebrity candidates in a broken political system? There are several definitions we could use… I particularly like the pragmatic outcome version — that a democracy is a society where policy outcomes align with the will of the people.

There are many ways to set up governance that achieve this (parliamentary, multi-party as one example) but right now it is clear that most policy outcomes in the United States align with plutocracy rather than democracy. According to the research done a few years back, nearly all of the legislation passed by Congress in the last several decades is opposed to public will and serves a financial elite.​

I am fully awake to just how broken our political system is. And I can’t in good conscience “throw away” my vote by giving it to Hillary Clinton (she’ll get all the electoral college votes from Washington state anyway). I also didn’t want to merely react in fear of #Trump just because the corporate media has been so dazzled by the profits they earn by covering him in what passes for news today.

As I felt into myself with this conundrum, it occurred to me that I could choose to vote for something I really believe in instead. And that’s exactly what I did.

The only way I could act morally and with good conscience was to (a) vote in all local elections on my ballot; while (b) staking out the conceptual landscape of what I am acting for in this election. I want real democracy. And if I can’t have it by voting for elites who placed themselves on top in a rigged system, then I’ll do it by creating a meme — an idea that can spread from person to person as a vote of “no confidence” in a morally bankrupt political system.

This is how I showed up as a citizen today. May it stimulate much-needed debate and discussion among my fellow citizens. We don’t have to accept a plutocracy (rule by the wealthy). We can create democracy right here at home. May the conversations that matter begin now…

Onward, fellow humans.

 
3.8 ·
1
What's Next
Trending Today
This Polish Ad Will Give You The Feels, For Reals
3 min · 15,689 views today · This is an ad for Allegro, a Polish company similar to eBay, and it's heartwarmingly lovely.
Time-Lapse Satellite Images Give a Startling Snapshot of Past 30 Years on Earth
2 min · 13,811 views today · Working with satellite images from NASA and the US Geological Survey, Google has created a searchable snapshot of the past 3 decades on Earth, creating startling time-lapses of...
6 Toxic Relationship Habits Most People Think Are Normal
Mark Manson · 12,076 views today · There’s no class in high school on how to not be a shitty boyfriend or girlfriend. Sure, they teach us the biology of sex, the legality of marriage, and maybe read a few...
Ten Ways We Misunderstand Children
Jan Hunt · 6,038 views today · 1. We expect children to be able to do things before they are ready. We ask an infant to keep quiet. We ask a 2-year-old to sit still. We ask a 3-year-old to clean his room...
Dr. Maya Angelou: Love Liberates
5 min · 5,095 views today · Words to live by from Dr. Maya Angelou. Love each other.
The Problem with Hating Our Enemies
Charles Eisenstein · 2,487 views today · He who fights too long against dragons becomes a dragon himself; and if thou gaze too long into the abyss, the abyss will gaze into thee. —Nietzsche
The Myth of Positivity: Why Your Pain Holds a Mighty Purpose
umair haque · 2,142 views today · Of all the great myths of contemporary life, one of the most toxic is positivity. It says: there are negative and positive emotions, and only the positive ones are worth...
15 Easy Things You Can Do to Help When You Feel Like Shit
Maritsa Patrinos · 1,233 views today · You don’t have to tackle it all at once.
The Lid Is off, The Truth Is Coming Out
Charles Eisenstein · 1,186 views today · It is getting harder to keep a secret these days. The collective shadow of our society, once safely relegated to the dark basement of the unmentionable, is now exposed to...
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into a Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley · 1,156 views today · This is easily the best comic strip ever made.  Pabl
Have You Heard of The Great Forgetting? It Happened 10,000 Years Ago & Completely Affects Your Life
Daniel Quinn · 1,051 views today · (Excerpted from the book, The Story of B) With every audience and every individual, I have to begin by making them see that the cultural self-awareness we inherit from our...
How to Expose Trump's Dastardly Bait-And-Switch
Robert Borosage · 1,045 views today · Trump is not an economic populist, he’s just playing one on TV.
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min · 1,017 views today · "The world is missing what I am ready to give: My Wisdom, My Sweetness, My Love and My hunger for Peace." "Where are you? Where are you, little girl with broken wings but full...
Sleaford Mods on Brexit Britain
4 min · 985 views today · In early 2014 the Guardian hailed duo Sleaford Mods as ‘the most uncompromising British protest music made in years’. Here, we go backstage at a Sleaford Mods gig in their...
Why You Should Stop Apologizing for Doing All That You Can
Kelly Hayes · 600 views today · I’ve noticed lately that a lot of allies and accomplices I talk to about NoDAPL and other struggles will name what they are trying to contribute to the cause, and then promptly...
The White Man in That Photo
Riccardo Gazzaniga · 577 views today · Sometimes photographs deceive. Take this one, for example. It represents John Carlos and Tommie Smith’s rebellious gesture the day they won medals for the 200 meters at the...
A Hauntingly Beautiful Short Film About Life and Death
5 min · 503 views today · The Life of Death is a touching handdrawn animation about the day Death fell in love with Life.
8 Reasons Young Americans Don't Fight Back: How the US Crushed Youth Resistance
Bruce E. Levine · 479 views today · Traditionally, young people have energized democratic movements. So it is a major coup for the ruling elite to have created societal institutions that have subdued young...
Black on Black Crime Isn't a Myth
Donyae Coles · 449 views today · Let’s talk about Black on Black crime. Maybe you’ve heard about it on the news, specifically likely in regards to Black people murdered by other Black people. Perhaps you’ve...
The Top 100 Documentaries We Can Use to Change the World
Films For Action · 408 views today · A more beautiful, just and sustainable world is possible. Take this library and use it to inspire global change!
Load More
Like us on Facebook?
Why I Didn't Vote Trump or Hillary