This election, like the last one, presents an icky choice for conservatives. I mean, if you're a democrat, the choice is easy. If you're moderate, the choice is also pretty easy. If you're a conservative, you have to make a nasty choice. One candidate is on the wrong side of some important issues (abortion, religious freedom, government overreach in various areas). The other candidate could be argued to have made progress in some areas, while grossly violating social justice in many others (racism, sexism, permanently separating children from their parents, etc.). I have seen a lot of vitriolic Facebook discussion about how to go about responding to this. Just like last time, lots of people I know firmly believe that you have to keep the democrats out of office no matter what, while others firmly believe that Trump isn't worthy of the office and must be kicked out, regardless of the cost in other areas. I don't want to wade into the mess of Facebook comments, but I do want to go on record for where I stand on it all. And then I have one final comment about voting in general.
As I said four years ago, Trump's moral failings make him unworthy of the office, and even if I agreed with him on every policy issue (which I don't), I could never vote for someone who is sexually abusive. Never someone who uses racist comments to attack his opponents. Never someone who tries to make national enemies of a religion to rally his voter base. Never someone who takes children from their parents and says it's to protect national security. Never, never Trump.
[Edit] I realized I hadn't said why his personal character matters in the decision to not vote for him. More on that in this post.
But what about Biden? Well if I lived in a swing state, I might be persuaded to hold my nose and vote for him. But I live in Washington State, where all of the electoral votes will go to Biden anyway. So I'm comfortable voting for someone else, someone who has no chance of winning. (I haven't decided who yet.) Hopefully this vote (and those of other voters like me) will send a message to the party system that not all conservative votes can be assumed based on just a few issues, or on the grounds of "I'm not that other guy". The idea of a major third party might be a crazy dream, but it is where we should go, so I'll take a little step in that direction. Biden is terrible.
Now, about voting - I've also heard a lot of comments to the effect of "my vote doesn't count". Some people say it in frustration, and others say it to explain their intention to not vote. To that I ask, what do you expect your vote to do? Be the one that decides the election? If your vote is always the decisive one, you don't have a democracy or a republic. You have a monarchy. It's a fallacy to think that a vote that doesn't contribute to the win doesn't count. If everybody thought that way, nobody would vote. The whole point of voting is that opinions are expressed in aggregate. You either participate or you don't. I'll admit that I don't vote on every position that ever shows up on my ballot, but I feel like I have a moral obligation to participate when there's a moral issue on the ballot. And the presidency seems to always have moral issues attached to it. So I guess I'd say that even if the voting system makes your vote unlikely to sway the results of the election, if nothing else you can see it as taking a side. You are making it known that one person is standing up for your position. And personally I feel like I'm standing accountable for what I believe in.
And as a final note, if everybody who doesn't like Trump or Biden voted for a third party, that third party would win. Everybody needs to vote.