When The Words ‘Vote Your Conscience’ Become The New Controversy
TV and social media are blowing up in response to Ted Cruz’ speech at the 2016 Republican National Convention given on July 20th. Cruz did not include an official endorsement for the nominee Donald J. Trump in his address to the GOP party. Because of this, nothing short of a sh*tstorm has ensued with voters and party elites dismayed that he did not consider it his prime objective to toot Trump’s horn. Cruz did not say anything derogatory about Trump in his speech.
Cruz was invited to speak at the convention by Trump himself. At that time, Cruz notified Trump that the speech would not include an endorsement. Trump still wanted Cruz to participate. All speeches given at in Cleveland during the GOP convention are approved by the Trump campaign. Clearly, Trump was ok with the speech.
Lets take a look at what phrase kicked off Cruz being booed by the audience. Ted Cruz told the American people that they should vote their conscience and that they should vote for the candidate that they trusted to defend the constitution. Instantly boos were heard across the stadium by Trump’s supporters.
Now step back and think about that for a minute. Cruz left if up to the individual to determine whom they each felt would defend the constitution. If you believe that Donald Trump will do that, then by George that is an endorsement for Trump. If you don’t believe that Trump will do that, then your personal convictions should drive your vote.
Trump supporters clearly had expectations for what they wanted to hear come out of Ted Cruz’ mouth. Where they upset that he seemingly didn’t follow their preconceived script, or do they not believe that their candidate will in fact defend the constitution? I honestly do not know. I am dumbfounded about what was so wrong with what Ted Cruz said.
I am sitting back in awe that anyone would consider the words ‘vote your conscience’ to be a terrible thing. Voting your conscience is what the democratic process is based on. Our democracy is based on the American people having a voice, their OWN voice. The GOP’s main campaign theme at this time is that if you don’t vote for Trump, you are voting for Hillary. Therefore, they are not unifying around the republican nominee, they are unifying around disdain for the opposition.
When it is no longer acceptable to promote the concept that we all vote according to our conscience and convictions, what has our system become? What has our voting process or democracy been diminished to? Much of the American public disagrees with Ted Cruz, hence his second place position in the primaries. Those results reflect the will of the people who exercised their voice and voted their conscience. Where we should draw the line is in squelching the message that once the primaries are over that voting your conscience is no longer applicable.
Before last night, I was terrified about the coming results of this election, regardless of which direction it goes. Today, I’m terrified that the democracy by which my beloved nation was founded is fleeting, being diminished by fascist views that seek to remove the individual voice, the individual conscience from the process.[su_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ELT7dQyWCZU”]