Don’t Encourage Them

I am starting to see and hear the “don’t vote for _____ because you’ll just help _____ win” nonsense once again. This happens every election cycle. Do not fall for this reasoning.

If you vote, then vote for the person you believe will be the best person for the job.

There is an argument to be made against voting. It is often summed up by a old joke about a woman who was asked if she voted, and she replied “No. It just encourages them.” Oh I know, arguing against voting is supposed to be horrible. “If you don’t vote,” I have been told, “then you have no right to complain.” That is hogwash. Wait, let me explain.

People who vote for this or that candidate because they do not want this or that candidate to win are the folks who have no right to complain. The people who vote for this or that candidate because so-and-so cannot win are the folks who have no right to complain. What do I mean? I mean that supporting the status quo that has gotten us into this mess means you’re part of the problem not part of the solution. The people trying to find a better way, the people who want to vote for the candidate who will change things, the people who believe that voting is just giving support to a broken system, those are the people with a right to complain.

I will never tell anyone to not vote. I say you have to decide for yourself. If the candidate you like is not the Repocrat or Demublican nominee, you are not wasting a vote to vote for the candidate you prefer. If all the people who say “I really like this guy, but he can’t win” would vote for the person they really like anyway, it would change the political landscape.

Some people tell me I am supposed to choose between the lesser of two evils. As has been pointed out many times, the lesser of two evils is still evil. Why would I want to vote for that? Why should I sacrifice my convictions and my morals to support something evil merely because someone else deems it a lesser evil? No. I refuse. To put this another way, if the person who takes the office is little different from the person who is voted out, nothing has truly changed. And that would mean I had wasted my vote.

So while I say “do not encourage them,” I am not saying do not vote. I am saying if you vote, do not pick an “evil” candidate. If you vote, then vote like you care about who your leader is, not just about getting/keeping that other guy out of office. I am saying if you vote, then vote as if your morals and your principles actually matter to you. If you do that, then you will never waste your vote. The people who tell you otherwise are generally the same people who voted over and over for the schmucks politicians who got us into this mess, so you probably should not be taking their political advice in the first place.

And while I am talking about elections, I want to say something about voting for Obama. If you genuinely believe he is the best candidate for the job, then vote for him. Please do not vote for him because of his skin color. If anything should ever be done without regard to the color of a person’s skin, voting for who holds public office is it. One of the things that made me nearly ill in 2008 was the notion that people were supposed to vote for Obama because of the color of his skin. Over and over I heard people talk about they had an obligation to vote for Obama because he would be the first black President. That was and is so very wrong.

Please, please, please, do not misunderstand me. I do not care what color a candidate’s skin might be. It could be indigo or plaid or lavender blue dilly dilly for all I care. Please, no matter what color your skin may be, and no matter what you may hear about voting for a black man, remember that the candidate’s skin is not the part of him (or her) making the decisions. What is in the candidate’s brain is what matters. The character and the philosophy and the ideas of the candidate are what matters. And that should be why you vote or not for a candidate.

And for the record, yes, I do vote.

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