Does that sound stupid?

Yes. It does. But why? Because the Libertarian party isn’t responsible for the temperature of my oatmeal. They haven’t announced any legislation that would regulate how I make my breakfast. 

Even if the Libertarians wanted to, courting that coveted cold-oatmeal-hating demographic wouldn’t make any sense. 

Perhaps I’m just angry that my breakfast wasn’t piping hot, and so I’m going to take it out on the party in power, even though I know that will not do anything to change the temperature of my breakfast tomorrow.

While we are all entitled to our own beliefs, if democracy is going to work, we must be informed and rational, as well. Consider abortion. There is a wide spectrum of belief surrounding abortion. There are clear legislative actions that can be taken. 

The major parties are crystal clear at this point on what they will do if given your vote. There is a rational basis for supporting one candidate or another depending on whether you would like to see further restrictions on abortion or reverse course.

Gas prices are precisely the opposite in almost every way. No elected official is calling for gas to be outlawed. No one is saying it should be free. Congress does not set the price of gasoline. 

Tellingly, while many candidates are running on complaining about gas prices, none of them are promising to bring the prices down, because they don’t have that power.

If the polls are to be believed, a majority of Americans think abortion should be legal in at least some instances, that the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol was a threat to democracy, that infrastructure spending is good for the nation, and that we should continue to defend democracies like Ukraine against military aggression from states like Russia. 

Yet counterbalancing these beliefs, for many, is the feeling that gas is too expensive. Are these truly weighted equally?

At the end of the day, you must ask yourself, is it worth condoning violent opposition to free and fair elections to lodge a protest vote about the price of a commodity? Is it worth abandoning Ukraine to focus on investigating the taxes of the president’s son? 

Does doing absolutely nothing to bring down the price of regular unleaded justify telling a 10-year-old rape victim she has to become a mother now because she happens to live in a red state?

To be clear, I am speaking to the conflicted moderate majority in this country. If you absolutely adore Trumpism, then you should vote your conscience. 

What people should not do is vote against everything they believe in, simply because OPEC and EXXON are making bank. OPEC and EXXON don’t care.

 Vote for solutions. Vote for people who say what they are going to do. Don’t vote because you’re mad; vote to make things better.

— Wolf is a retired Army officer who divides his time between DeLand and New Orleans.



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