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Opinion: Voting for the “lesser of two evils” is not the only option

President of Rollins College Republicans encourages expression of opinions through voting, civic engagement

It is not my place, or anyone’s place, to tell you how you should vote, or if you should vote at all. The Rollins College Republicans do not formally endorse any candidate or policy position. We value freedom of thought and expression, and we hold a variety of different opinions well outside the scope of traditional Republican beliefs. We are libertarians, conservatives, Republicans, anarchists, and even more moderate Democrats. We are not just another faceless, gray, uniform political monolith. 

I won’t tell you that this election is the most important one in our history, because you hear that hackneyed old propaganda every election cycle. In my opinion, Donald Trump and Joe Biden are more similar than they are different. They are both morally questionable and economically illiterate, just like virtually every other presidential candidate in our nation’s history. But of course, I’m sure many of my fellow club members will disagree and start another epic debate with me in our group chat regarding that opinion. 

I also won’t tell you that voting is your civic duty, because you should not have to choose between the “lesser of two evils” if the idea of supporting any evil at all offends you. You do not have a duty to uphold something you don’t believe in. I firmly believe that each individual is autonomous and only you are qualified to decide how to express your beliefs, unless of course you express them through violence or coercion. If you choose to express yourself through voting, then do it. If you choose to express yourself by refraining from voting in an act of protest against a broken system, then go ahead. It’s your life, not mine.

I know for sure that this is not the message you’re expecting to hear from the President of a Republican club, but I think everyone needs to hear these things. Every election cycle, we hear that we have no choice but to vote, and our choices are usually one or two out-of-touch geriatrics who have said or done disgusting things to women and children. 

I want you to know that if you feel frustrated by your lack of options, you can express your opinions in other ways. Vote third party, refrain from voting, or even volunteer in your community to help make your corner of the world a little better and brighter without relying on some distant government hack to do that for you. 

Regardless of what you choose, and regardless of the outcome of this election, I think we should all resolve to be kinder and more helpful to one another. We all face some difficult choices during this election cycle. Let’s not point fingers, name-call, or bully others for their decisions. Let’s not make baseless assumptions about others, whether they support Trump, Biden, or neither. 

Remember that real change starts with the individual; if you want this country to become more helpful, tolerant, and open-minded, then be a more helpful, tolerant, and open-minded person. No politician in his ivory tower can make that change for you.

The opinions on this page do not necessarily reflect those of The Sandspur or Rollins College.

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