A Vote Of Conscience

The fallout from Wednesday night has been stunning to me. The speech by Sen. Ted Cruz at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland has reverberated across our republic. The boos by the Trump folks and the true disdain for Cruz, not only by Trump supporters, but by political pundits and people I have had a good deal of respect for up to this weekend, has really fired up my passionate spirit. The most ire for Cruz has come from him using the phrase, "vote your conscience". Why is this so offensive to some in our land today?

I am only accountable to God and my country as I step in that voting booth. I am not accountable to the Republican Party or Donald Trump or any other person or group. It is a duty that I take very seriously and one that is proving to be much more of an issue this year. I will definitely vote my conscience in November. You may ask why?

It is a matter of principle. I always stand with our constitution and our founding fathers. Liberty and freedom are my guide as a true patriot. I carry strong conservative principles and ideals and neither Hillary Clinton nor Donald Trump reflect my beliefs and core values. My gut and my keen mind tell me that I can't trust Mr. Trump. There are far too many red flags for me. Didn't we hear the mantra of hope and change in 2008? So how is the mantra of making America great again any different? Mr. Trump is just as narcissistic as President Obama, perhaps even more so. Do you think the outcome will be different? Obviously, Hillary Clinton is much too liberal for me and her long history of lies and failures to uphold the duties of offices she has held, disqualified her long ago. So now I hear two common refrains coming from those who oppose my right to vote my conscience.

The first one is that by not voting for Trump, I am really tacitly voting for Hillary. As they say down South, that dog don't hunt. Well, to be fair, it only barely hunts. Let me put it in perspective for those folks. I live in Alabama which is a very strong Republican state. Trump won Alabama during the primary on Super Tuesday. He won fairly big here in March and he will win fairly big here in November as well. When he wins Alabama, he will receive all the electoral votes from the state. It isn't going to help Hillary or hurt Trump if I vote my conscience and write in Ted Cruz on my ballot. Anyone who lives in a strong Republican or strong Democrat state will not be hurting or helping the two main candidates on the ballot. The only states that voting your conscience might effectively sway the election would be in the few states that are "Swing States". States such as Florida, Ohio, Wisconsin, and a few others. To say that everyone who votes their conscience is casting a vote for Hillary, is quite misleading at best, and at worst, quite disingenuous.

The second refrain is that I need to vote the lesser of two evils. The argument goes, that Trump may not be a real conservative thinker, but he surely is far better than Hillary Clinton. So I must choose between a cobra and a scorpion? Both will kill me with a bite or a sting. I have to choose between a liar and four more years of failed Obama policies or a narcissistic, flip-flopping snake oil salesman? I have read the ingredients list on both cereal boxes, and I can't stomach the contents of either one. The lesser of two evils argument usually ends up killing you in the end. One may end up leading to a slower death, but you die in the long run just the same. I can't go to sleep at night making that choice, knowing I failed to uphold the guiding principles of freedom and liberty.

To those of you in our country who choose to chastise me and call me a disgrace for voting my conscience, I will happily take the abuse. I have laid out a logical argument for my choice. I believe in this constitutional republic that our founding fathers fought so hard to establish. They fought to escape the chains of tyranny and live in freedom and liberty. Part of that freedom and liberty is to vote my conscience in the voting booth. I will go to sleep at night this November knowing I stood on my conservative principles and ideals. I can't and won't betray our founding fathers and the core pillars that are the essential foundation of our constitutional republic.


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