Not voting diminishes your right to protest

In the days following the Brexit vote, many young adults took to the streets in protest. They said if we had known this might occur, we would have voted. On his comedy news show “Last Week Tonight,” John Oliver chastised his former countrymen. This is how it works. You don’t get a do over.

Fast forward to the US Presidential election. Young adults have taken to the streets in protest over Donald Trump’s victory. Following Oliver’s cue, this is why we have votes.

So, if any protestors did not vote, go home. Your abstinence from the voting process was a vote for the negative outcome you are now protesting.

If you made a protest vote for a third party candidate or wrote in a name, your vote may make you feel better, but likely got Trump elected. Everyone who voted for Jill Stein, I want you to tell me how you feel when Trump makes due on a promise and tears up the Paris Climate Change Accord and guts the EPA.

Most of Stein’s votes likely came from frustrated Democrats and Independents who wanted Bernie. I understand, but allowing Trump to get elected is an insult to Bernie who seeks the truth. Bernie heavily influenced the Democrat platform,

I am disappointed in this outcome and worry about our country and planet. I will support our new President and pray he has success. But, I will be doing my part to civilly and rationally push back when he is taking us down a wrong path. That is how it works. We vote and we advocate.


31 thoughts on “Not voting diminishes your right to protest

  1. I read a blog last week about how not voting was a moral choice. Because he didn’t want to contribute to a mandate for either candidate, since neither was good enough. Of course, at the time the only one we thought would be likely to win with a large mandate was Clinton.

    I tried to be nice in response, but I have no patience with people who live for Ideals or Nothing. This is real life. You don’t get utopia. You mostly get to vote for the candidate you think will do a better job – not the candidate who has a stainless character and perfectly matches your views.

    We are not voting in Utopia. We are voting here in the real world. And the damn idealists managed to let the scary people win. But they got to hold onto that pretty pretty ideal. I’m sure that golden feeling of moral high ground is ashes right now.

    • Dru, well said. Just as there are no perfect people, there are no perfect candidates. William Weld was a better candidate than his running mate, Gary Johnson, who had a hard time explaining things even his own policy. Jill Stein lacked a great deal, as well.

      I love Bernie, but he would have found it difficult to sell higher taxes to middle America. It would have been interesting to see him try, but he would have been unmercifully painted as a communist, not a socialist, unfair as that might be.

      I have often said our country is not smart enough to elect Bernie, but is stupid enough to elect Trump. Parparvan, a young Canadian has a quote on her blog from People magazine by Trump in 1998. In essence, he said if he ever ran for President he would do so as a Republican. He said he could lie and they would believe every word as they believe what Fox News says. Very prophetic.

      My protest vote was to vote for Clinton as the best choice by far of the bunch. Now, I get to watch our planet further destroyed by a man with no convictions. Keith

      • That quote isn’t real. Although it certainly feels real.

        I read a piece about how miserable Trump was about to be. He will be forced to work hard. He will be forced to do things he wasn’t immediately inclined to do.

        And while I doubt if he ever works as hard as he should, it will definitely be harder than he wants to.

      • Dru, it does sound real, I agree. He is about to enter a world where he will get more scrutiny from all sides and more than a heavy dose of criticism. He will not be a happy camper and will do what he always does and lash out at his critics. Keith

  2. I am disheartened and you say support him. I am not ready. Why should we vote if the popular vote doesn’t matter, if they only count the electro vote? Now I have to sound like the disenchanted, the system is rigged.

    • Kim, please do not mistake my support the President as a blanket endorsement. We must accept the election as that is hoe a democracy works. I will worry every day about this President who will change the arc of our country and planet in a negative way. So, I will continue to fight battles with civil discourse where they need fighting. I guess I am supporting our democracy as we cannot have our country further divided as I fear it will be. Keith

    • The electoral vote in each state is determined by the popular vote in that state. The ONLY way to get electoral votes is to get popular votes IN states. The choices made by voters in swing states DO matter. We will never know for sure, but it is quite possible that abstentions and 3rd party votes in swing states like FL are to blame for the miserable outcome in 2016.

      • That seems to be the problem with the young in his age group: disconnect from what is going on around them, either from disinterest or preoccupation with self. Bernie woke many of them up, but they went back to sleep after he lost to Hillary!

  3. Note to Readers: As evidence of my concern, Trump has appointed a noted climate changer denier as the head of his EPA transition team.

    What is interesting, per Reuters, China will now be assuming a greater leadership role in fighting climate change with our President elect saying it is unimportant. So, yes they will be stealing our jobs as they invest more in solar, wind and hydro power than we do to fight this real threat. This will be an area of my civil pushback and a void that will need to be filled by organizations like The Breakthrough Energy Coalition. The other thing that Trump fails to realize is we have passed the tipping point on renewables with more equal cost and less future cost. Keith

  4. Dear Keith and friends,

    I am hoping that he starts off focusing on his commitments to his follower for updating our infrastructure and the creation of jobs. This is the finding of common ground to implement laws which finally help all of us. Of course he will garner support.

    Cons like getting rid of the Frank-Dodd bill; gutting the EPA and repealing Obama care without replacing these services with equal or better legislation, is not consistent with his stated goal of lifting up the average worker and he will not garner support.

    I am concerned about who he selects as attorney general. Those in the know say that Rudy Giuliani wants that job. He is the one who would love to throw HRC into jail and who was colluding with the FBI rogue agents which precipitated the FBI letter. I am ready to protest over that cabinet selection. He needs to be investigated.

    Ciao, Gronda

    • Gronda, I hope he has success, but to be brutally frank, I don’t have high expectations. When people around the world begin to criticize him on climate change positioning, trade changes and offending others, he will show that infamous lack of temperament. I fear greatly the next four years and hope he does some good along the way. Keith

      • Dear Keith,

        While I respect that the people have voted and he is the victor, I don’t respect how he got there.

        Here’s the thing. The people who voted for him know his faults. When it comes to DT, what you see, is what you get. He never pretended to be anything other than what he is, a very flawed individual. What a lot of the folks voted for was a pit bull who is used to doing whatever it takes to accomplish a task; and who will not tolerate someone standing in his way. He is ready to dish the establishment with an approval rating lower than both candidates. Remember DT’s sales pitch, What do you have to lose?.

        What I feel obligated to do, is make sure that he lives up to his commitments, to always be acting in the best interests of the American peoples? How could I not support this stance if he acts accordingly.

        Here is my concern. Will he now fulfill the con by acting in a way that serves his own self interests or be true to his promises? It will take time to know the answer.

        Ciao, Gronda

      • Gronda, the only truth we can say at this point is we really don’t know what he will do. He will get some severe criticism from around the globe and in our country. Some will be very in complimentary. He does not react well to criticism nor does he have any conviction per his five biographers. Keith

  5. Keith this is an excellent post. I find it interesting that our media does not mention that Trump has no mandate, that the margin of difference between he and Clinton in many swing states is slim and that for nine days of active early voting the FBI and our media had people convinced that Hillary Clinton was about to be indicted. I think we need to fully understand what’s happened. Trump ran the most sordid and dishonest campaign in this nation’s history and he did it with the collusion of our media the FBI and, if I understand the evidence, Putin.

    People compare this to the election of 2000 but the two events are very different.

    This was not a fair election.

    I cannot recall a time when the press would see fit to report unverified information from criminally obtained documents supplied by an enemy nation.

    • Rob, with about 400 – 500 thousand votes sprinkled in three states, the outcome is different. Did the FBI cause that many in those three states not to vote? Likely. Keith

      • For nine days undecided voters, Independents and Bernie Supporters who were probably ready to vote for Clinton heard that new evidence in the email investigation was found.

        The news reported that this evidence ‘might’ lead to criminal charges and it was not until the day before the vote that Comey cleared Clinton – again.

        How would that affect the votes?

        According to 538 early voting surged but election day voting plummeted. The net result: A smaller share of eligible voters cast ballots in 2016 than in either of the previous two presidential elections.

        Eleven days before the election NPR Carried this headline:

        NPR Battleground Map: Hillary Clinton Is Winning — And It’s Not Close

        On October 28th this headline appears in Fox News and in other media outlets:

        FBI reopens Clinton probe after new emails found in Anthony Weiner case

        On October 30th this is the headline on USA today:

        Clinton’s massive lead over Trump narrows a bit among Millennials in new poll

        You’re 25 years old and the whole system looks corrupt and broken and the
        news says that the woman you kind of sort of might vote for is going to jail
        or is doomed to be impeached.

        What do you do?

        Do you stay home, vote for two third party people who seem sane but have no chance of winning or do you vote for the guy who might bring the whole mess down because you think the misery he’ll bring will cause a revolt?

        or do you stay home in disgust because now you believe that none of it is worth saving.

        As of November 7th, 42 million people had voted in the 2016 election.

        How many of them voted under the mistaken belief that Hillary Clinton was under
        criminal investigation.

        And how many more people didn’t show up at the polls because they didn’t
        know what to believe.

        I read articles that accuse American voters of ‘being ignorant’ but that
        reasoning ignores the fact that the American voters have been under attack
        by an extensive and prolonged disinformation campaign that isn’t covert

        All you have to do is load Yahoo News to see an extensive list of fake news sites that look legit but broadcast lies.

        If there is a hole in my reasoning please tell me about it.

        I’d rather be wrong.

      • Rob, you have accurately reflected the chain of events and milestones. The only thing I would add is the tactical strategy Trump deployed to suppress certain votes. It was made easier for him by the FBI and disinformation campaign. If these were portrayed as the lesser of two evils, he had a chance. To me, there is light of day difference, but not to enough voters. So, now we have a climate change denier heading up the EPA transition team. Keith

      • I agree regarding the EPA…but unless we hold our media accountable for spreading lies we will always have to deal with a misinformed and dis informed public.

        Those of us with ‘educations’ have got to become teachers.

      • Rob, our media is biased toward conflict preferring to present issues as adversarial when they are not. Climate change is the best example as the debate in the minds of scientists is ended. Keith

      • The mainstream media never covered the alleged rape case and after it went away, so very few knew about it. The mainstream media did not cover the man’s lawsuits and class action lawsuits like they should have. And, they never vetted his plans and their impact. Curt Eichenwald of Newsweek and David Fahrenthold did Pulitizer Prize winning reporting, but the mainstream media did not cover it like the Clinton email issue. Trump has seventy five pending lawsuits and three class action ones and his Foundation is under investigation for self-dealing, yet my guess many do not know or care.

        So, because of the media the race boiled down to man who says bigoted things and is a womanizer to someone who cannot be trusted. Yet, when the truth is revealed, she is far more trust worthy than this man.

    • Jill, all she needed was about 400,000 votes spread among FL, PA and MI. What is interesting is how shocked Trump is the he won. Now, he has to collaboratively govern many, which is not his strength. Keith

  6. I totally agree with you Keith. if you have not voted you should not be protesting, It seems a bit absurd to do so if you didn’t even vote. I think most people who are protesting have voted and are perhaps scared and shocked.

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