I get that many will criticize me for my view on this. But I stand my ground in saying, “No, I don’t have to vote in the upcoming election.” You can quote me on that. But telling me on Facebook that by not voting I’m somehow magically distorted into a terrible American will not help your position either. I get that some will say I’m not “exercising my right to vote and therefore have no right to complain.” Fine, I have no problem with that. And you know why? Because I’m not going to complain.

But here is what I am going to do. I’m going to keep my mouth shut because I don’t believe in or agree with a damn thing happening in politics today and I’m not sorry. I will not vote for someone just because he or she is the “lesser of two evils” as I have heard from so many people. The words even came out of my mouth a time or two when I still fell into the whole idea of voting whether or not I agree with a candidate. I won’t support a person who I do not agree with, especially in the areas where I am extremely passionate. Education. Mental health. Small business. Healthcare.

I’m not going to support anyone in this election. I have done my research…you know, the real kind. The kind the media typically doesn’t show. No, I don’t owe you or anyone else an explanation as to why I came to the conclusion I have. I know my passions and I know my truth. I am not writing this to tell you to not vote. I believe in the right to vote, but I also believe in the right to not vote if a person wholeheartedly disagrees with every candidate and everything happening in politics today. This isn’t only about candidates for me, this is about corruption as a whole. This is about a flawed system.

I get that yes, someone will be president. And when that time comes, I’ll treat him or her with the same respect I’ve treated every other president. I stand during the National Anthem. I listen when the President speaks. I recognize the difficult job any president has to do and I wouldn’t want it, so I’ll be respectful. Remember, we don’t have to agree to be respectful. Arguing respectfully is one of my favorite pastimes (and strongest traits I might add). I will respect that my fellow Americans voted whomever into office and I’ll deal with the repercussions just like every other American. I’m proud to live where I do, work where I do, have the family I have, and have the freedoms I have.

One of my freedoms includes my “right” to vote. It’s not a “requirement.” And I just can’t bring myself to do it.

Photo credit: Theresa Thompson via Visualhunt / CC BY

Bailey Koch

Bailey Koch is an advocate for those who can't easily advocate for themselves in every way. Married to her hottie hubby, whom has survived 5+ suicide attempts, and mom to two teenage boys, the oldest with High Functioning Autism and youngest with Epilepsy, Bailey is passionate about mental health and parenting through the messy realities. Additionally, Bailey is a Doctor of Special Education and works as an instructor at the University of Nebraska at Kearney preparing future special educators to be advocates for the learning of all. Bailey and her husband, Jeremy, have written and published two books. "Never Alone: A Husband and Wife's Journey with Depression and Faith" details their struggles with severe depression and the journey toward understanding their purpose, accepting help, and finding faith. "When the House Feels Sad: Helping You Understand Depression" is written for families, at a child's level, to open up a conversation about the reality of Depression. Follow their journey, the triumphs and the challenges, on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/anchoringhopeformentalhealth and Instagram at @anchoringhopeformentalhealth.