I am taking a brief digression from my usual focus on writing and life improvements to discuss something opinion based; voting. Yeah, yeah I know. I’m not preaching at anyone but I wanted to run on a few random thoughts I’ve had about voting lately. Why don’t more people vote? Why are we forever stuck in the two party system in the US? (Yes, I still say “we” when referring to the US even though I live and am a Canadian citizen also.) Why can’t we just vote for who we want opposed to the “don’t throw your vote away” nonsense that is spewed every 4 years.
I’m nobody. Nobody is going to listen to me or take my opinion seriously. My single vote doesn’t count in the grand scheme of things. There are very few states that are ready to swing either way and the state I’m registered in certainly isn’t one of them. For the past 6 elections California has voted Democrat with the last two being by an overwhelming amount. So I have two different thoughts on this. What does my vote mean and what if everyone thought that way?
Can my vote mean anything when the state is most likely to go Democrat anyway? Would it mean anything if I took my vote and I voted for a different candidate? What if I voted for someone who I really wanted to win opposed to the person I would rather win of the two choices given? If I really believed in Jill Stein or Gary Johnson (could he have a more generic name?) why don’t I cast my vote for them to show support in what they’re doing. If my candidate is going to lose or win anyway then it makes no difference and I can stay true to my beliefs. But what happened if everyone did that?
What would happen if everyone across the country decided that their state was going to go a certain way and their vote didn’t matter in the overall election so they were going to vote for the person they wish would win? I think we would have a vastly different field than we do right now. If this had happened during the primaries Ted Cruz and Bernie Sanders would still be in the race for President. If that were true there would be four viable candidates for the POTUS and people could actually vote more based on what they believe in rather than fear of “the other one” winning. Hillary Clinton insulting Bernie supporters would cause anyone on the fence to go to Bernie. Ted Cruz wouldn’t have to grovel at the Republican parties feet in fear for his next term. It would make everyone happier, except the Republican and Democratic parties.
In 2008 over 60% of the eligible United States voted. If the majority of eligible voters actually voted and we were closer to 75% or 80% we would see a more complete view of the United States and the voice that the country wants to have. There would be less old white male views and more ethnically diverse views to balance what the country really looks like. I’m living in another country and although I still see myself as an American citizen first I have been living in Canada for nearly 14 years and I can give up time to vote. I may not have to stand in a line but even so its one day every four years that you can give up a couple of hours and make your statement for the country. Vote. Vote for who you want to win. Don’t vote based on who you are afraid might win.
Except this election. For the love of sanity don’t let that psychotic, orange, racist, sexist, troll step anywhere near the White House. In fact, humiliate him by making him lose by a landslide. Unless of course he’s just doing all of this to claim another loss on taxes, then the jokes on us.
Those who stay away from the election think that one vote will do no good. ‘Tis but one step more to think one vote will do no harm.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson