Where This Meets That
On the eve of Super Tuesday, I hope to plant a seed of renewed principle with any voters reading this.
The flaw with the philosophy of the typical voter is that it’s usually unwittingly driven by one of two (or both) lies. We’ve generally bought the ideas that voting against someone is more important than voting for someone and that any vote not cast for a mainstream candidate is a wasted vote.
1) Voting against Someone is more Important than Voting for Someone
It happens every election cycle that the sitting president or party has made such an unprecedented wreck of things that they must be elected out at all costs. This is “the lesser of two evils” mentality, and we use it to ease our anguish over using our vote to promote a candidate we find undesirable.
It’s a trap of logic and also a primary tactic of the partisan trying to gain favor for a candidate he knows can’t stand on his own merits.
Conveniently, these two “evils” are our only “legitimate” choices; “they are the only ones with the experience or the coffers to have a real shot at winning.” Nevermind that their experience is laden with Machiavellian maneuvering that is typically in direct proportion to the content of their coffers.
2) Any Vote not Cast for a Mainstream Candidate is a Wasted Vote
And not only is such a vote wasted on a candidate who “can’t” win but it also takes a critical vote away from the “lesser evil” candidate above, thus effectively being a vote for the “greater evil”.
See the flaw there? Another trap of the partisan hack. It attacks the very spirit of free elections and teeters on coercion to channel all would-be voters into two choices that, in reality, lead us to very similar destinations.
I tend to think the only wasted vote is a compromised one.
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Only about half of legal voters in this country vote. Sure, the reasons for non-voters are manifold: they don’t understand the process; work shifts prevent them from voting and they aren’t aware of alternate avenues to the process; they simply don’t care.
A significant number, however, are split between either protesting by non-vote or thinking their vote just doesn’t matter in the grand scheme. The sad thing is that, if they buy into the two lies mentioned at the start, they are absolutely correct. What good is it to vote away your conscience for one whom you don’t believe deserves it?
Our goal should be to vote for the person we want to see elected, not the one we think has the best shot at winning. This isn’t Vegas, and we’re not picking winners here.
When we compromise our values to vote for someone who has demonstrated that they don’t represent our most fundamental moral beliefs, then why are we surprised when they betray the office we elect them to?
So, my ask of you and all Americans in this election year has two parts:
2) Don’t buy the partisan lies; vote your conscience