For myself and other Americans, this year’s presidential election is a choice between acceptance of scarred and plainly imperfect political competence, and total surrender to a fear-and-hate-fueled demagogue. I understand why people, even nice people, might choose the latter. I, however, pledge my support to the former candidate, who I think would make for the skilled, stabilizing, and ultimately quite unexciting president that my country needs right now.

No viable candidate comes close to Obama in terms of raw, ebullient positivism and hope. I know I don’t stand alone in having either choice unavoidably feel like a downgrade. The candidate with the highest excitement-and-inspiration quotient didn’t make it through his party’s primaries. If he had, I would have gladly backed him today. But he did not, and so with equal conviction do I back Ms. Clinton instead.

Yesterday I let myself feel hopeless and out of options, before a piece of found art from my own laptop helped kick me back on my feet. Since then I’ve read things like this Twitter-essay by Max Gladstone, as well as reminders from many that the ballots across the country this November won’t just decide the country’s chief executive, but also a great deal of other downticket contests. We can argue about how much influence the president really has, or how much of a say any one of us has in choosing the president, but the real power of the electorate rests in local offices. Even if none of the presidential choices move you — or if you live in an irredeemably “red” state — you still have a relatively loud voice applicable to the politics directly around you.

I will do my best to not surrender myself any further to cynicism or hopelessness, and I hope you will join me in promising to do what you can to reify a stable present and a better future — even after misfortune, and especially during those times when the swell of anger, fear, and hate reaches a crest. We can stop that sad evil from eroding hope. Please vote with me.

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