My Protest Vote


This November marks the tenth time I have had the opportunity to cast a ballot for the office of President of the United States. It is a responsibility I take seriously, a right I cherish and, this time, a choice I cannot make. I am not “ undecided;” I have decided I cannot support any of the candidates on this ballot.

I am dismayed, disgusted and deeply disappointed by these candidates. None of them are fit to lead this country and, sadly, one of them will.

Gary Johnson succeeded in blowing up his candidacy by fumbling two pretty easy foreign policy questions. Foreign policy is a pretty big part of the job and, at this point, he is clearly not ready for prime time.

Donald Trump is an ignorant, narcissistic, blow-hard. I have seen no evidence that he has the interest or the intellect to actually do the job. His plans and positions are vague, amateurish and shallow. It’s all about “The Donald” all the time. He is intellectually, temperamentally and morally unfit to serve.

Hillary Clinton is highly qualified for the job. Former first lady, senator and secretary of state – she knows the job, knows the players and knows how to get things done. Unfortunately, she is completely untrustworthy. She will say and do anything to achieve her goals. She lies, even when she doesn’t have to. You never get the whole truth when she’s on the hot seat – you get a version of truth that is carefully parsed to do the least damage to her image. Character is the first requirement for a leader and she is completely lacking in this department.

I refuse to engage in the “lesser of two evils” politics. I’ve done it before and I’ll never do it again. As an electorate, we need to aim for loftier goals than this one’s less awful than the other one.  We need presidential candidates who raise the level of debate in this 1235px-flag_of_the_united_statescountry – not ones who debase it. We need candidates we can enthusiastically support – not ones that force us to hold our collective nose as we enter the voting booth.

So, what am I to do?

I’ve been batting this around in my head for months. I’ve talked to republicans, democrats, independents and libertarians. I refuse to support these candidates and I need to find a way to express my disgust and outrage.

Finally, I’ve decided what to do.

I’m voting.

I’m voting for the kind of leader we need. A leader who is smart, politically savvy, even-measured, unflappable, honorable and intellectually up to the challenge.

I’m writing in Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker and I urge my friends to do the same. I’m not suggesting Charlie should be president, but he’s the kind of candidate we need on a national level.

His positions mirror the majority of Americans: pro-choice, pro same-sex marriage and he’s a fiscal conservative. When faced with a looming budget deficit, his first act was to make government smaller – not raise taxes and fees. He’s proven he can lead in a crisis (think back two winters ago when the MBTA stopped working). He’s fired people from his own administration (members of his own political party) when they misused their power for personal aggrandizement and punished those who have undercut the public trust.

Please consider joining me in my protest vote. Write in Charlie Baker – send a message to both parties about the kind of candidates we need. Maybe next time, we’ll have candidates we can get excited about, be proud of and who are truly fit to serve.

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