My vote will not be my voice. My silence will be.
I'm not voting.
There. I said it, but let me explain.
Before you think of me as just some uneducated and uninformed millennial, think twice. It's often said, "Your vote is your voice." But I don't want my vote representing something I don't actually want to say.
I don't believe Hillary Clinton should be president and I don't believe Donald Trump should be president. So, what voice do I really have? What choice am I really given?
This right to vote, this privilege, feels more like an obligation. And it's an obligation without an upside, almost as though someone is walking up to me on the street demanding that I either drown in the ocean or sink in the quick sand. But I'm just going to keep breathing fresh air, thank you very much.
Almost 319 million people and this is what we end up getting to choose from?
I want to be able to trust the future president. Trust. That's a thought-provoking word when it comes to politics. Both Clinton and Trump have been involved in ethically questionable situations. While our Republican nominee is very busy attacking our current president on Twitter, Clinton is busy covering the tracks of her latest FBI email scandal and adding to her ever-growing baggage.
I also want to feel safe under the watch of the future president. But how can we feel safe when a bully is the one in charge? Come on people! You really want a president who bashes others based on their looks, threatens to invade people's privacy, or uses his confidence in a completely inappropriate manner ("I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot people and I wouldn't lose voters," Trump said at a rally in Iowa)?
Meanwhile, Clinton has the FBI investigating her. And who appoints the Director of the FBI? That's right, the President of the United States. Can you say conflict of interest?
At the end of the day, both parties focus on attacking each other's personalities rather than debating real issues that affect the United States.
We deserve more from our presidential candidates, and neither Clinton nor Trump has proven to be a trustworthy or honorable human being worthy of that title. And that's the crux of my conviction.
The reason I won't be voting in November has nothing to do with ideological differences and everything to do with what these two individuals lack. And here's why that's the most important consideration of all.
Door number one? Or door number two?
I won't choose. I don't want to vote for someone based off the lesser of two evils. What's so troubling is that this election is no longer about who will make the better president, but rather who will do the least amount of damage to the country — and I don't want to be apart of this cynical equation.
I know I'll get adverse reactions from putting this opinion out there, and I'm well aware of the counter-argument, but I know I'm not the only one who feels this way. I'm exercising my right to NOT vote because it's just as important as my right to vote.
I recently asked my coworkers, family members, boyfriend, and friends who they were voting for and why. And guess what? Four out of eight people said they weren't voting at all. One person said she's not sure yet because she wants to wait until the last second to choose. The other said Trump because he wants Trump to really "shake up the country," and the last person said Hillary because Trump is taking away women's right to choose.
Granted, it's a limited pool of opinions but it was striking how no one I spoke to had any positive words to say about why they were voting for either candidate. I did have someone tell me that I needed to look for the positive in order to make a rational decision and that ignoring the positive was a bad way of looking at the situation we've all been put in.
I knew backlash was inevitable but I will continue to fight for my right to not vote for one of two candidates that both lack a lot of important presidential qualities.
I've read headlines saying we should be prepared for a civil war if Hillary is elected, and I'm preparing for a real-life rendition of The Hunger Games if Trump wins the race. Either way, come January, one of these candidates will become President of the United States and in some way I will know that I helped contribute to that outcome.
But my vote will not be my voice. My silence will be.