America rests on liberty as both her foundation and expression of her purpose in the world. This liberty is balanced by civic duty, but always in the service of liberty. No organization, or the apparatus of the State itself, may co-opt the duty of a citizen to the service of liberty.
The criteria for choosing a President of the United States is very simple. Either a candidate is fit for the office, or a candidate is not fit for the office. The binary choice is that Americans cannot both vote for a candidate while voting for something else or nothing at all. The one vote citizens have to cast here is atomic in nature and cannot be split, therefore the choice is binary and exclusive, like a spermatozoa fertilizing an ovum.
In particular, the pro-Trump forces within and outside of the Republican Party have presented a completely different binary choice. Either citizens support the party candidate (Trump), or they by default cast a vote for Hillary Clinton. That amounts of a form of compulsory voting, and nothing could be more anti-liberty.
Around the world, 22 countries (technically) endorse compulsory voting. In Australia, there’s a fine for failure to vote. In Belgium, non-voters are disenfranchised and ostracized. But in America liberty permits–guarantees–us the option of protest.
President Obama suggested that America should adopt compulsory voting. His reasoning? “It would be transformative if everybody voted — that would counteract money more than anything,” Obama said. Riders on the Trump Train seem to agree that big money in politics is the problem, and that Hillary Clinton will irretrievably destroy America. Her policies and positions may be anathema to anyone except liberal Democrats, but that doesn’t mean Republicans should sacrifice liberty to keep her from office.
Clinton is unfit to be president. Donald Trump is unfit to be president. Neither of them should get anywhere within 1,000 miles of occupying the Oval Office. In practical terms, party politics, money, media, and ballot access being what it is, one of these two will, sadly, get the job.
But Americans are not (yet) forced to vote for a particular binary choice of Candidate A or Candidate B, or compelled to cast a vote at all.
Having concluded that the presumptive Democratic and Republican party nominees for 2016’s presidential race are both unfit for office, neither of them will receive my vote. When another option presents itself acceptable to me, I may cast my vote for that candidate, or for no candidate at all.
The result of the election will be in other people’s hands, and I will consider my civic duty–to the cause and in the service of liberty–discharged in withholding my vote from those unfit for the office. It really is that simple.