For far too long, the American political system has gotten away with systematically limiting the choices that American citizens have to elect for president. The two-party system perpetuated by government officials and mainstream media outlets forces less-popular third party candidates to gain notoriety using very limited resources. The U.S. voting system is rigged. In a representative democracy, by providing limited candidate options in winner take all elections, it appears that the U.S. voting system is merely an institution of anesthesia to provide the illusion of choice in effort to pacify citizens.
This years election is only the second that I am legally able to participate in; however, the candidate choices this year have taken me to a new level of frustration and discontentment with the U.S. political and voting system. Trying to weigh the good and bad of each candidate throughout the process has led me to conclude that none of the candidates are worth my vote. Between the bigoted and insensitive remarks made by GOP candidates like Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and Marco Rubio in comparison to the corporate funded, racially charged, and insensitive pandering of the warmonger Hilary Clinton, I honestly believed that Bernie Sanders would be the person who I’d be voting for in November. Lack of support nationally for Sanders shows that his candidacy for the presidential nomination is not likely. Despite Bernie’s great showing and relatability to myself, and many others who have little faith in the U.S. political system. However, I always questioned the Democratic Party’s ability to heed Bernie’s call for the end of corporate influence in politics.
Though there are political parties like the World Workers Party and the Green Party, who have candidates running on platforms that align with my interests more suitably than Republicans or Democrats ever could, it would be nonsensical to believe that these candidates could secure a win at the polls in November. Why would I even waste my time showing up?
At the age of 88 in 1956, W.E.B. Dubois delivered aspeech about his decision to not vote in that years election. In his speech DuBois denounced the two party American political system and the “lesser of two evils” way of thinking to emphasize that there are little distinguishable differences between the Republican and Democratic parties, describing the voting system as “one evil party with two names” that would be elected despite all that he could have said or done. After many years of actively participating in elections and voting Dubois had become so frustrated with the illusion of democracy in the United States that he decided to not vote in the 1956 election.
W.E.B. Dubois’s message resonates with my own disinterest in participating in the 2016 presidential election. By refusing to cast a vote in an election, many people like myself are disillusioned by the tactics of the colonial government to portray democracy while enacting policies that do not work in the interest of ethnic communities regardless of the party which holds the dominant authority in any particular jurisdiction. The continuous and developing policies on the local, state, and national level seem to inherently damage or traumatize the economic, physical, and psychological conditions of Black and Latino people in some way while also causing people from these communities to feel alienated and not supported by their government officials or institutions.
As an act of dissent and frustration with the injustice of colonial American politics I will not be voting in the 2016 presidential election and I have no advice to offer anyone who decides they should.