I just can’t vote for a presidential candidate- Can you?

We have become a nation that is faster to justify and overlook the character dysfunctions of our leaders than we are to suck down a slurpee on a hot summer day in Phoenix- and yet, the resulting brain freeze and shut down of mental capacity is the same.

Where have all the true leaders gone? What has happened to this country we live in?

Image courtesy of domdeen at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of domdeen at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

For the first time in my voting life, I am at an absolute and complete loss.

I just cannot vote for a presidential candidate.

Yes, yes, I KNOW that NOT voting IS voting.

I know that choosing not to vote allows those that do vote to make a statement in my stead and the resulting angst is like a hovering cloud of mosquitoes buzzing in my ear.

Because I also believe that VOTING is a statement.

A statement that says that I stand for this candidate and this party. That these people represent my ideals and hopes for what our country is and can become. That I have hope in the results of their actions and choices in Washington. That those results will strengthen and support our people and communities.

And the truth is, I DONT have that hope. I can’t make that statement. I cannot stand for any of these candidates. There is NO character or integrity in these people. Only lip service to what they believe will sell their position to greatest number of people and will ensure their success.

I was raised with a deep and unshakable faith in the value of our representative democracy. Taught that the voice and vote of the people is what shapes our nation.

That our candidates were placed in office to do the collective will of the people. That their voice should be, would be, the singular voice of the masses they represented.

That depth of character was a vital necessity because power corrupts. That standing on an incorruptible foundation of character was the only way to set aside personal agendas and selflessly serve the people.

mage courtesy of xedos4 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
mage courtesy of xedos4 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I KNOW that there are good leaders out there.

Leaders with true integrity. Leaders that deeply care about people and communities. Leaders that respect ALL people as inherently valuable, no matter their sex, race, status, or abilities.

I SEE these leaders everyday. Men and women who live faithful lives, invest in their communities, serve others selflessly.

These leaders DO exist! So why does it seem that there are not ANY in the highest levels of government?!

Are these candidate options REALLY our only choices?!

I have heard lots of the excuses- corruption in the process, agendas by the right and the left, backing by big corporations, funding by wealthy private donors, the brutal challenges of navigating conflicting opinions and voices, etc, etc, etc….

I have heard the justifications for voting one way or the other- Supreme Court justice nominations, strengthening and security of our borders, pro-life or pro-abortion- on and on….

But WHERE are the solutions to the true leader vacuum?

Is our only choice really to just hunker down and wait out the next four years? To simply pray that the damage done to our freedoms and way of life will be minimal? Hope that maybe the next go around a better leader will rise up?

Watching this train wreck is mind blowing. My heart breaks for our country.

There MUST be a better way. As Abraham Lincoln so eloquently stated, we are a nation of the people, by the people, FOR the people.

And yet, I fear that we will perish from the earth if we do not come together with ideas for change.

I just cannot pick a candidate- can you?

This is what we are discussing in the kitchen today- Are you in the same place of angst? What do you think are the solutions to this character vacuum we face? Are you voting in November? Why or why not?