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Choosing the lesser of two evils is simply not enough

I am an American, and I am not exercising my right to vote Tuesday.

That’s right, you read correctly. I’m not voting. But before you shut your mind out and start writing a letter to the editor to tell me how ignorant I am, read the rest of my argument.

As I said in the first sentence, voting is my “right” — meaning that I have the option to choose whether to employ it. People seem to forget that it’s a right, not a requirement.

I’m tired of political fanatics shoving the idea that I have to vote down my throat. I’m tired of being told what to do. I’m annoyed with politicians making a sad attempt to make me feel like an outsider.

I’m talking about the stickers.

There’s no better way to revert to elementary school antics than to give people who vote  stickers. They walk around en masse with their heads held high as they disdain their non-voting counterparts. It’s like the kid that continually made the honor roll — the one who always sucked up to the teacher and ran around showing off until someone came along and punched him in the face.

Then, there are the signs, the bumper stickers and the posters. I want this election to be over so that I no longer have to drive down the road and see sign after sign ruining a beautiful landscape. Really, I don’t care.

It’s not like what you say works, anyway. You will likely only be able to persuade the weak-minded to alter their views. People who support Sen. John McCain don’t sit and listen to a Sen. Barack Obama rally and leave with their minds changed. Most are very close-minded about their political stances. Democrats arguing with Republicans won’t produce change. Whatever time you spend arguing with each other is a waste.

Also, most political fanatics are hypocrites.

Yeah, you with the signs outside your house, the bumper stickers on your car and the T-shirts supporting your candidate, you probably have sat down and rolled your eyes at a fanatic of some sort.

When it comes right down to it, though, you are no different from the street preachers who come on campus or those who go on the Internet to defend their favorite pop star — the faith you hold in these candidates is unreasonable and troubling. Blindly believing the words of politicians isn’t that far off from blindly believing the words of the Bible or Britney Spears. Just be well aware that when you scoff at the street preachers at Cooper Hall, I am scoffing at the political fanatics standing in the heat, waving signs and dancing frantically to catch the attention of passersby.

There are non-fanatics with whom you may be able to carry an intelligent conversation without personal emotions getting involved. Still, if you present an argument against their candidate, they’ll often rebut by saying that the other person’s plan is worse.

I don’t want to vote for the lesser of two evils.

I want to vote for the person who I believe will lead the nation in the correct way. Unfortunately, neither candidate is offering me that. I know not all of my views align with either candidate, but both have too many things I don’t like.

I simply refuse to vote for a person who stands for 10 ideals, of which I only agree with four.

Nevertheless, you won’t hear me complaining. If McCain keeps us in the war, I won’t run around saying that he’s worthless because I chose not to vote against him. If Obama’s $50-billion economic plan doesn’t take us out of this slump, I won’t lay blame as I cut coupons and save every penny I can because I chose to not vote against him either.

I don’t believe any less in this democratic republic than you do. I just don’t think that the options we’ve been presented with in this election are the best ones.

Cynthia Roldan is a senior majoring in mass communications.