Abstentions and Protest Votes are a Tax on Progress

Planned Parenthood is running a 30 million dollar ground campaign to ensure Hillary Clinton wins this election. They are spending money on it that they could be spending providing people with life-saving services. That money could be used to provide cancer screenings, contraception, sex education, abortions, funding advocacy work, or any of the many, many important services Planned Parenthood provides.

Planned Parenthood is right to be doing what it’s doing. There is no greater threat right now to health care, and in particular women’s health care, than a Trump presidency. They are spending money where it is best spent — where it will do the most good.

The reason they need to spend it is because a Clinton victory is not a sure thing.

The reason they need to spend that money is because in spite of the fact that liberals have the numbers to annihilate Trump in the polls, we won’t. We won’t because too many of us see Hillary Clinton as so imperfect that we’d rather opt out or vote third party than vote for her.

As a consequence of so many of us refusing to swallow our misgivings and vote for her, someone else will have to pick up the slack. Someone else will have to do the work and someone else will have to spend the money. Someone else will have to prevent a right wing demagogue from winning and destroying the progressive gains of the last century. Someone else will have to save those who would be the victims of his presidency from dying.

It will be progressive organizations that understand the stakes of this election, like Planned Parenthood, and like the people and organizations running phone banks, doing canvassing, donating to the Clinton campaign, and otherwise doing the work of defeating Donald Trump, who will pick up that slack. If you are a protest voter, it is your slack they are picking up. It is decisions like yours that mean Planned Parenthood’s 30 million dollars won’t go to contraception or cancer screenings. It is your decision to protest or abstain that means more money has to be spent to avoid the worst case scenario in this election.

That money could be spent on making progress. Instead it will be spent making up for your decision not to fight Donald Trump with every means available to you. So when you tell yourself your conscience can’t handle ticking that box for Clinton, ask yourself how much work someone else is going to have to do in your place to make sure Trump doesn’t win. Ask yourself whose cancer screening should be skipped so you don’t have to swallow your discomfort and tick that box. And make sure you’re comfortable with the answer before you make your decision.

By ResearchToBeDone Posted in other