By Jon Keller

BOSTON (CBS) –  A listener writes:

“I’m seriously considering going to the polls and casting my vote for everything on the ballot except the office of President. Here is my reasoning:  If I vote for Hillary Clinton, I’m part of the problem. If I vote for Donald Trump, I’m part of the problem. Am I still part of the problem if I don’t vote for President?”

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No ma’am, you are not.

Engaged, thoughtful citizens who participate in the process are part of the solution, even if they protest their choice by blanking a particular race.

Sometimes even those who do vote can be part of the problem if they vote for reprehensible reasons.

Voting is – or at least, should be – part of a building process. We’re trying to shape a nation, a society, a culture here, building on what exists in a variety of ways: through the way we conduct ourselves each day, through our families and social institutions, through the government we choose.

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We are a big, diverse country with widely differing and often conflicting ideas of how this project should proceed. Majority or plurality rules, that’s how it works.

But it can only succeed if the choices we make are fundamentally constructive.

When we vote to destroy or blindly antagonize, out of hate or fear or ignorance, we are definitely not part of any solution. We are arsonists in our own home.

So if you feel all the presidential choices are so bad, then by all means, blank it.

But staying home just leaves the choice to strangers who may not be as thoughtful and responsible as you.

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Listen to Jon’s commentary:

Jon Keller