Conformity, Choice, and Responsibility

In America, through pressure of conformity, there is freedom of choice, but nothing to choose from. - Peter Ustinov - English actor & author (1921 - 2004)

With the upcoming election I am pretty sure I am not the only American with feelings similar to those described by Peter Ustinov.

The challenge when faced with an apparent nothing-to-choose-from situation, is to make a choice that matters. How do you make a choice that matters when your choice is “none of the above”? Choosing none of the above feels so hopeless, pathetic, futile. Choosing option A or B, on the other hand, doesn’t make you feel any better.

The answer lies in being true to yourself. Though being overly trite an answer, I actually believe what I just said. If you believe all your options are bad choices, don’t choose A because A is less bad than B, or vice versa. Choosing the least bad option in order to keep the more bad (don’t you love that? more bad? ha!) option from happening is conforming to the conformity that brought about this choice in the first place.

Also, what happened to personal accountability? If you choose a bad option because it’s not as bad as the other option, you’re still choosing badness. I’m going out on a limb here, but I think most people would agree that choosing badness is bad.

So since when is choosing bad a good thing just because the worse bad (I’m pulling out all the stops on good grammar here) didn’t get chosen? Bad is bad. If I choose bad over worse bad and bad is the result, who is responsible? If we’re talking U.S. politics here, then I am responsible because I am a voter. That’s how a democratic republic works. In a monarchy, the monarch is basically responsible for what happens in government. In a democratic republic, the leaders of the nation obviously have a lot of responsibility, but they are only there because we the voters put them there.

Ultimately, we are responsible for everything that happens in our nation.

But what if worse bad is chosen because I didn’t vote for bad? Then you’re not responsible for the worse bad. That’s good. Yay for being responsible.

I do not and cannot feel comfortable supporting “bad” in any form. Where do you stand? It’s your choice and your responsibility. We all have to answer for our responsibilities. Somehow, I don’t think explaining that you supported bad because bad was better than worse bad will go over too well.

P.S. Feel free to write my name in for president when you vote in November. I promise to use good grammar in any speeches I give. Well, maybe.

P.P.S. A choice has to be made, a vote cast. Making no choice at all isn’t any better than choosing a bad option. By not voting at all you’re not opposing badness, which is still bad. To shun badness you have to oppose it.

Politics, Choice


  1. Kevin Ryan Martinsen for President :)
  2. Bags

    I thought you’d enjoy this.

    Also… go Ron Paul!

  3. Beth

    I agree. Who ever made us think that the lesser of two evils equaled something good? I guess if someone put a gun to your head and made you choose one or the other, you could choose the lesser of two evils. But still… it’s not the best thing to do if you can do anything else.

    I’d vote for you.