Conscientious Objector

I’ve been teaching Advanced Placement United States Government and Politics for almost ten years now. Ask any student who has passed through my classroom in that time to name one thing I taught them. They would likely tell you that I emphasized over and over again the importance of enlightened voting.

If you don’t vote, don’t complain. It’s what I always say.

One of the most exciting moments in my teaching career was being offered the opportunity to appear on The Colbert Report in 2012 as a feature of the show’s “People Destroying America.” (Watch it HERE)  Stephen Colbert humorously pointed out that by registering young people to vote, I was partly responsible for empowering them to upend Establishment politics. He used his trademark satirical humor to highlight my efforts at emboldening youngsters (the most powerful voting bloc in the United States, by the way) to cast a ballot from the moment they were able, understanding that young voters become super-voters over the span of their lifetimes. We had so much fun filming that segment and I will never get tired of being known as that “Voter Fraud Teacher.” I love, love LOVE being the chick teacher who teaches other smart chicks and dudes how to wield political power at the voting booth.

Last night I watched in awe and astonishment, with admiration even, as Hillary Rodham Clinton accepted her party’s nomination for President of the United States. It was the most historic moment I’ve witnessed in my lifetime. It’s one of my lifetime’s Kennedy Assassination. It one-upped my witness to the 2008 Barack Obama election and it was even more moving as a woman to watch it happen than witnessing Sandra Day O’Connor take the oath as the first female Justice on the US Supreme Court in 1981.

When I am old, rocking my granddaughter on my lap, I can say, “My dear girl, I was there.”

Unfortunately, I just don’t love Hillary Clinton…at all. We will never know her whole story. For me, her involvement in the dirty ditches of politics goes back to the first time I remember thinking she and her husband might actually have been involved in the 1993 death of Vince Foster. I was just a kid hearing my parents talk about it and even I could put it together that something very sketchy just went down. It’s been a laundry list of nastiness and scandal ever since for the Clintons. I believe in my heart that the Clintons’ tradecraft goes so much deeper than most people can even grasp.

While I respect her fortitude and her aggression… I mean, her #GirlPower is unparalleled…  I still cannot vote for a woman who I suspect puppets the levels of deceit and dishonesty that she imposes on American citizens. Call it following my gut instincts. There’s just something diabolical about her.

I also cannot fathom electing Donald Trump for President of the United States. Watch this video: Nixon 1968 . I show this clip in my government classes to highlight a time in our history (the 1960s) when there was so much upheaval and chaos in America, civil rights violence and military overreach, all under the strong arm of a president with a seriously skewed idea of how much power he was supposed to have. It’s a little too familiar to hear Trump talk about his own intentions in bringing our current racial violence and social unrest ‘back under control.’ He thinks he is above the law, and above the tenets of the US Constitution.


In a perfect world, the Republicans would have chosen a winnable candidate I could get behind, someone like Rand Paul, a man whose vision (LOL! a pun!) very closely represents my beliefs. That didn’t happen. Instead, my party chose a man who is totally incompetent, unprepared and unworthy to hold the same prestigious office as George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan. He won his nomination by using hate and fear to divide us, to make us actually hate one another. (The enemy of my enemy is my friend). I cannot cast a vote for him because, quite frankly, he embarrasses me. I cringe to think of the rest of the world watching one of his press conferences. As a history teacher, I know who he is. We’ve seen his kind before. I’m not sure what scares me more, what he can’t do that he thinks he can or what he will do once he’s put in such a position of power.

There is a reason we call Third Party Candidates “spoilers.” I cannot vote for a third party candidate because a vote for Libertarian Gary Johnson, for example, simply hands over a wider margin of victory to a candidate I do not support. In this case, in this election, by voting Libertarian I would be helping to elect HC. So for me, and this is just me, I have chosen not to contribute to the train wreck that I believe is coming our way. I considered voting along party lines for Trump, because what does it matter at the end of the day, right? But I believe it does matter and then I asked myself, on the morning after the election, will I want to wake up and admit that I played a part in this sad exercise in American democracy in any way? No, I won’t.

I want nothing to do with the election of either of these two misguided Americans.

My non-vote IS my vote. I abstain with vigor. I am withholding my vote in a motion of resistance. In July of 1776 when the 13 colonies were voting on independence, New York abstained as well. It was agreed by all that a unanimous vote would send a clearer message to the King about their resolve and although New York was not ready to cast that vote, they still sent their message by not obstructing it either. That was their message.

The United States has the lowest voter turnout rates of any Western democracy. It is obvious that we take our most sacred right for granted and when I stay home, no one will take note or care. Still, at least I will not feel like I condoned the election of either of these two clowns. This is my resistance to a choice in candidates that I believe is destructive to our entire system of government. They make a mockery of us as a nation and I am truly embarrassed that the world is watching this freakshow unfold. I apologize to my thousands of students who might feel I am betraying my own teachings. I am still trying to figure out how we got to this point. I hardly even recognize myself and my new beliefs about casting a ballot in the free-est country on earth.

May God Bless These United States of America. I still love my country and I hope I’ll be back when I feel we’ve again found our way back onto the right path as a nation.


Author’s Note: Since publication of this blogpost this morning, a law enforcement officer in a large American city on the campaign trail, a person I am personal friends with, tells me firsthand that HC is rude and disrespectful to her security detail and that tells me definitively that my hunches about her are correct. 







About Dawn Quarles

Dawn Quarles is a high school political science and American history teacher who moonlights as a blogger and writer. She lives on Pensacola Beach, Florida.


6 Responses to “Conscientious Objector”

  1. Dawn! You conclude your article with: “May God Bless the United States of America.” Do you seriously think that God is going to bless a nation of lawless citizens led by lawless nefarious leaders: Traitors to the laws of the land, money launderers, thieves, goons, kleptocrats and plutocrats? I must witness the fact that on both sides of the Atlantic, Western Civilization is destroying itself just by itself. As they say: Give a liberal enough rope and he’ll end up hanging himself without even realizing he is doing it. Rome (aka the Western World) is burning again while POTUS, François Hollande, Bundeskanzlerin Angela Merkel (with her déjà-vu appearance at the Salzburg Festival Festspiele) are dancing and fiddling around: “Wir schaffen es” (“we will manage that”) repeats Angela Merkel, one of the most nefarious leaders Germany has ever had since Adolf Hitler. After Versailles I in 1919, Versailles II in 1945, Versailles III (Treaty of Maastricht) in 1992 and Versailles IV (September the fourth of 2015) nefarious Angela Merkel, in good old fascist style, opened the German borders without any permission whatsoever from either her own government or the German people. She has become “the” nefarious threat to her own country par excellence: A traitor to the very people she should be protecting.
    Our Western World is being led to the slaughter by geopolitical fools and kleptocrats who are willing to sacrifice the wellbeing of future generations for the immediate lust of money and filthy lucre. We are being led to the slaughter by lawless criminal globalists supporting their interests instead of protecting and securing the interests of future generations: our kids and the very people you are trying to teach and educate.

  2. Katie DeVan says:

    Vincent Foster? There are plenty of policies to argue about without dragging up something that was investigated 8 separate times, and was probably very painful for the Clintons. Same goes for Benghazi, you don’t sound like a rational person when you use these on your arguments.

    • Dawn Quarles says:

      If you will revisit, I didn’t imply that they murdered him, and I clearly never said that outright. I simply maintain that they are so close to so many unusually tragic scenarios and it is, quite frankly, hard for me to ignore or simply swipe away so many coincidences and strange circumstances. I used VF to illustrate the longevity of their scandal as it has been relevant in my life. Call it a hunch; I think we all have those. I am just listening to what my gut whispers to me about the kinds of people who seem to attract so much ugliness. Thank you for visiting the post nonetheless, I respect your opinion tremendously. Best, DQ

  3. Paulette says:

    Had issues w your video link to Nixon. I will say that Nixon was one of the most liked presidents w a very high approval until Watergate. Still not sure what a Trump presidency will look like, and truly, I’ve said since the beginning that I still think the Clintons were involved in his nomination, but I will say this: there is more hatred hurled at Trump than anything hateful he has ever said. He’s an arrogant jerk but I still don’t get the hateful rhetoric in which people attach to his name. “Evil incarnate” is how some describe him. Still think that’s a little harsh even for him.

    • Dawn Quarles says:

      I do not think either of them is ‘evil.’ You’re right, that is a harsh and unwarranted assertion.

    • Paulette: Nixon was the U.S. puppet that de-pegged the USD from gold in 1971 after General DeGaulle requested France’s Gold back! “On learning that French gold was being held by the private banksters of the Federal Reserve (often referred as the Fed : founded by private bank(st)ers in 1913 in Jekyll Island), French President Charles de Gaulle in 1965, who was very concerned about the Fed’s USD printing for the financing of the U.S. Vietnam war, ordered French navy ships to cross the Atlantic and pick up $150 million in gold held in the Feds private banksters vaults and bring it back to the National Banque de France in Paris. Surprisingly, Nixon de-pegged the USD from Gold (unilaterally: as the U.S.A. always does) showing the finger sign to the international community that had been already forced to accept US Dollar as the “world currency following the Bretton Woods agreements in July 1944. Then Nixon brought us the international oil crisis of 1973! To U.S. monetary world “leadership” led by the Rothschild and Rockefeller, POTUS Nixon sent Jewish German born citizen (triple German, Russian, U.S. spy-agent) Henry Alfred Kissinger (his real German name is: Heinz Alfred Kissinger) to Saudi Arabia to “recommend” the quadrupling of the oil price that within two years went from 3 USD to 12 USD a barrel. One of your most corrupt presidencies the U.S. has ever had.

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