Posted by Mycroft Holmes | Filed under Decision Eh
With the presidential election one week away, there’s one idea I would like to start circulating, which is this: vote for the candidate you want in office.
I know, that sounds self-evident. However, for too many people, all that matters is that they voted for the guy who eventually won, rather than the guy they would have preferred to win. Or, all their friends, co-workers, and other acquaintances say they’ll be voting for one guy, so they vote the same way to fit in. Either way, I want to discourage such behavior in the strongest possible terms.
If you don’t vote for the candidate you prefer, there is no way he can possibly win. If all your friends say they’re voting one way, go ahead and vote the other way if you want to. Maybe your friends are atypical, and the majority agrees with you. Or maybe they’re lying because they think that’s what you want to hear. Or maybe it really is a foregone conclusion that your chosen candidate cannot win your state, in which case your vote for the preordained loser is purely a personal stand against your own hypocrisy and for your own principles. And maybe you’ll wind up being pleasantly surprised.
You don’t get anything for picking the winner. It’s not a horse race. Your taxes won’t be any lower. You don’t get five minutes alone with the winner to suggest things. You might get a warm fuzzy for “being on the winning side,” but that pales in comparison to the pain of four years of the nation being driven the wrong direction when you had a chance to prevent it and did nothing.
Remember, it’s a secret ballot. Vote for the guy you want. Claim you voted for whomever you feel like. No one’s going to go back and check.
Also remember that the exercise of your right to vote is intended to be your voice in the Great Experiment of American representative democracy. People gave their lives, and are still giving their lives, so that you, the average American citizen, could have a say in how the nation is governed. That simple notion, which most people take for granted or ignore completely these days, is astonishing, ridiculous even. Ultimately, everything the United States does is the responsibility of each of its citizens, because we vote to choose the people who make the decisions that affect the entire world, or because by not voting we allow others to choose those people for us.
So vote. Exercise your power as an American. Select the candidates whose policies and positions you think would be most beneficial to the United States, or your particular state, as applicable, and vote for each one for that reason. Don’t follow the crowd. Don’t worry what people will think. Don’t give away that most precious of rights, self-determination. You have the right to make up your own mind and do exactly what you want inside the voting booth. Don’t screw it up.
Think. Decide. Vote.