To vote my conscience or to vote my district

Kevin McCarthy is the whip for the Republican-controlled House of Representatives. The whip is responsible for “whipping” up votes for a bill or amendments.

McCarthy has a line that he says to undecided representatives: “vote your conscious, vote your district just don’t surprise me.” This line made it into the Emmy Award winning “House of Cards,” and Senator Ted Cruz made a similar statement, instead of endorsing Donald Trump at the Republican Convention in July, “stand and speak and vote your conscience and vote for candidates … who you trust to defend our freedom.”

This election has been both exciting and terrifying at the same time. As a political science major, this has made me ecstatic. We are witnessing a pivotal point in United States history. As a citizen however, it has brought out a fear in me that disrupts my moral code, to vote my conscience, to vote my district.

Instead, I am left contemplating which of the two I should listen to: my ethics or my rational thought. Ted Cruz’s words still ring in my ears, those beautiful words drowned out amidst boos from a hateful Trump loving crowd. This is a glimpse inside my tortured mind; the anguished and tormented mind of a blood red Republican.

In the early months of the Primary Debates, I gazed upon a stage where men of morals and intelligence stood. Around them stood wicked politicians that I could see right through. But a few I could see as being a respectable and unifying leader.

Such men included Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, John Kasich, and yes, John Ellis Bush. I didn’t agree with everything they said, but a vote for any of them would be voting my conscience and district. But here we are, an America no longer united, two candidates stand covered in irrefutably scandalous reputations. Who do I vote for?

I could never vote for Hillary Clinton. That would be against both my conscience and what I think would be best for my country. I agree with Trump on numerous policies and issues. I don’t agree with his wall and mass deportation. But I like what he says about cleaning up the legal immigration system as I have family who have been waiting 5, 10, and coming up on 20 years for legal citizenship. I disagree with his views on abortion, gay marriage, and a fair bit of his foreign policy.

I like his question to who the kind of judge he would fill the supreme court with, “We are also going to appoint justices to the United States Supreme Court who will uphold our laws and our Constitution.”

Yes! That is something I can get on board with. The Supreme Court picks are one of the biggest issues to base a vote off of. And as an American citizen, I want someone who is going to uphold the only 200 year old piece of paper that protects my rights as a citizen. How can I not vote for someone who says agrees with me on very important issues?

And while I agree with much more of his policies, especially economic and fiscal policies, every time that orange fear mongering man speaks, I cringe. The way he speaks about women, about Muslims, about Mexicans.

“Such a nasty woman”. Trump’s words were later followed up with, “There’s nobody that has more respect for women than I do.” WRONG! Anyone who tells me Trump has character is spewing bullshit all over my shirt.

The oval office is a room of class. President Obama has class and the men he ran against in 2012 and 2008 had class. How far have we fallen that we have given this opportunity to the classless buffoon named Donald J. Trump. And how can I possibly vote for him?

Well, both fortunately, and unfortunately, there is another candidate that isn’t an email deleting felon or a woman assaulting billionaire. But Gary Johnson is an idiot; half the time I think he’s high. That would explain his support for legalizing weed. His inability to recall what Aleppo is, and name a favorite world leader isn’t concerning to me, but his lack of common sense does. I find myself agreeing more with Donald Trump.

But alas, we have a candidate who isn’t accused of sexual assault, who shouldn’t be a felon, and who hasn’t responded to Benghazi by saying “what difference does it make?”

And so here is the question that has kept me up at night, that has made me question my political loyalties. The question that makes me question whether the ability to vote is a blessing or a burden; Should I vote my conscience and Gary Johnson, or should I vote my district and the infamous Donald J Trump? Perhaps I should build a big wall around myself until this nightmare ends.