Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Don't tell me I'm "wasting" my vote!

I really hate it when there's a presidential election.  I mean, every year before Election Day, things have a tendency to get obnoxious.  But when it's the presidential office that's on the line, we get bombarded with political discussions, political ads, and political arguments.  You know what?  I'm at a point now that I don't think it necessarily matters who wins.  I could probably stay home on Election Day and it wouldn't make any difference.

With that being said, I plan to vote.  However, I will not be voting for a Democrat or a Republican, because like I said, I don't think it matters.  If I did have to choose between Obama and Romney, I would definitely choose Obama because I think Mitt Romney is repugnant for many reasons.  I'm not sure Obama is a whole lot better, but at least he's been in office for four years and I'm used to him.

Ever since 2000, I've leaned toward voting for a third party candidate.  I do it mainly on principle.  I know that the chances of a third party candidate ever winning are extraordinarily small.  I just think that when it comes to choosing a president, we need more than two choices.  It's the most important job in the country and the American people deserve to have more than two people to choose from.

I remember getting into an argument with a woman I went to grad school with.  She rather arrogantly told me I was "wasting" my vote by voting third party.  She smugly explained how any votes for a third party candidate end up actually being votes for one of the big party candidates.  I listened to what she had to say and told her that I thought the American people should have more than two choices.  And as long as people maintained the mentality that only one of two people can win, we will realistically only have two choices.

I know the third party candidate is highly unlikely to win, but the reality is, I could vote for one of the main party candidates and still run a good risk that my "candidate" won't win.  What the hell is the difference?  If I vote for a big party candidate that I don't like just because he or she is more likely to prevail, I'm still not really making my voice heard, am I?

Someone on Facebook commented on a friend's political post about how choosing not to vote Democrat or Republican meant that person was not making a choice.  That mindset really boggles my mind.  Again, if you don't like either candidate and you vote for someone whose policies are more in line with your own, how the hell is that NOT making a choice?  To me, voting for a third party candidate is much braver than picking a candidate you don't like just because he or she has a more realistic chance of winning.

Finally, I really think it's rude to tell someone that they've "wasted" their vote.  If I get up, get dressed, get in my car, and go to a voting station to cast a vote, I have NOT wasted a vote.  Shit, if I choose not to vote because I don't like any of the candidates, I have also NOT wasted my vote.  My vote is mine to do with whatever I damn well please.  That's part of what living in a free society is.

So... I will be glad when the election bullshit is over.  I'll be glad to see an end to the political maelstrom... and it also means we will be within two weeks of our big trip to Scotland.  I have a feeling that after this year's election, I'll be needing some scotch.


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