Tuesday, November 1, 2016

It's Not a Lottery, It's an Election

Have you noticed that the presidential candidates spend a lot more time of late talking about winning in polls than they do about issues? Do they think we vote based on who's going to win? I believe that's exactly what they think, and they may be right. The experts know they can surge turnout or stifle it if they can manipulate perceptions about winning or losing. So voters go to the polls as if the goal is to vote for the winner instead of to vote for the candidate who best represents their views. It's as if they vote like they're playing the lottery where the only goal is to guess the winning numbers.

I'm voting for the Libertarian Gary Johnson this year, because he best represents my values. It doesn't matter to me that I know he's going to lose. I think that the two major party candidates this year are the worst two choices I've seen in my lifetime. If you like them, you should vote for them. If you feel as I do, you should not. If you continue to vote for candidates who don't represent your values, the major parties will continue to serve up candidates who don't represent your values. They'll market them as the lesser of two evils and convince you that a vote for an alternative candidate is somehow really a vote for the dumpster fire you dislike marginally more than their dumpster fire.

Don't like Johnson? Green Party candidate Jill Stein is on the Delaware ballot. If you're up for a little more effort, Evan McMullin the independent from Utah is a registered write-in candidate. Registered means that if you go to the trouble of writing in his name, it will actually get counted. Or you can skip the presidential line when you vote. That's a principled choice as well. Withholding your vote is as meaningful as casting it. The wasted vote is the one you cast for the candidate who doesn't represent your values.

John Quincy Adams wrote,

“Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.”