When it comes to making your voice be heard, and making your vote count, there are several pitfalls that are easily avoided.
For major presidential elections, many among us believe that voting for a third party, for instance, is a “wasted vote”. That’s not the opinion of this author, mind you, as allowing the historical record to show an increase in the viability of a third party is likely a valuable reality for the future of our nation.
Also, it must be said that the founders themselves believed that voting on your conscience was truly the nucleus of American freedom. Without the ability to speak our truth at the ballot box, what good is a vote anyway?
But what if your conscience just shrugs?
Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard declined to vote in favor of two articles of impeachmentagainst President Trump after a contentious debate Wednesday, choosing to vote “present” instead.
The House voted 230 to 197 to impeach Trump for abuse of power, mostly along party lines. Lawmakers also voted to impeach the president on a second article, obstruction of Congress, in a 229-198 vote.
Gabbard, a 2020 presidential hopeful, released a lengthy statement following the votes.
“Throughout my life, whether through serving in the military or in Congress, I’ve always worked to do what is in the best interests of our country. Not what’s best for me politically or what’s best for my political part,” Gabbard said. “After doing my due diligence in reviewing the 658-page impeachment report, I came to the conclusion that I could not in good conscience vote either yes or no.”
And while it is commendable that Gabbard feels so strongly about not feeling strongly either way, this is the sort of thing that could haunt her immensely in her long-shot bid for the presidency in 2020.