For me to write a lengthy screed on what I consider the stupidity of the notion that it’s a reasonable thing to sit out the vote because you refuse to vote for a president because you hate the drones (I mean, don’t we all hate the drones?) would be impossible because as a human being who tries to think through to the heart of the matter, I’m incapable of giving any merit to half-assed idealistic reasoning when I know that there is at least one good reason to do the thing that would be right. And that reason, regardless of however you feel about President Obama, is that Romney would be very much worse, and we absolutely do have an obligation to consider the collective good.
There are people such as the very naïve Conor Friedersdorf who think that among other reasons he won’t vote for Obama, the immorality of using drones is so awful that any president who would use drones is a moral fucktard and should be banished from (voted out of) the kingdom. He believes that it’s one’s moral obligation not to vote for what he considers an “immoral president” regardless of the harm that the other candidate would certainly do if elected. Many who consider themselves beyond liberal, i.e., distinguish themselves from liberals with the term “leftist”, believe that sitting out the vote for such a reason is both honorable and moral. But it really isn’t. It is an abdication of your own responsibility.
It is an excuse not to be a part of whatever decisions the elected president makes. In a refusal to vote for the best person, you are simply abdicating your part in the decision making process which determines who will be in charge of this country. If you sit out the vote and a president is elected who is far worse than the one you are protesting, you are every bit as much responsible as those who actually voted for that person.
If you abdicate your obligation to vote for the best person, you do not get to tell yourself that you are making a moral, honorable, or even reasonable choice, because you are also refusing to contribute to the collective good.