If you’ve at any point said that you’re voting outside the Republican or Democrat parties, then you’ve probably been challenged by a very tired objection … “You’re wasting your vote!”
This argument suggests that if I vote for someone who will not win, or no one at all, then the vote doesn’t count and I might as well not vote at all. And that’s insane, I’m often told. But being told I have to vote for someone in a democracy just because of the letter next to their name is pretty insane, too.
“Okay, but who would you rather have, Trump or Clinton?” Neither. They are equally awful candidates, for their parties and their country. I intend to vote for someone I actually want to be my president.
Really, if voting for someone you know will lose is wasting a vote, then unfortunately, a very large group of Americans will also be wasting their votes this November. Say again?
In this country, the president is chosen by the Electoral College, not the popular vote. This means that every vote for Trump in New York or California is completely worthless, and the same for every Clinton vote in Louisiana or Mississippi. So those of you living in solidly blue or red states, your vote has already been decided. The “wasted votes” argument suggest that you are all throwing your votes away. Better to just stay home and pretend you are content with the status quo.
So What’s the Point of Voting? It’s a chance to tell the country what your vision of US government and society truly is.
But, rather than vote for the candidate who best represents your value system regardless of party affiliation, every election cycle most of us end up voting the “lesser of two evils”. But the last time I checked the lesser of two evils is … still evil.
In addition, voting for the lesser evil sends another bad message .. that you are voting out of compromise rather than principle. Anyone who tells you that you’re wasting your vote is really telling you that your beliefs, values, principles, principles, and choices aren’t worth very much. They’re saying that selling out your principles for a chance at getting something you don’t believe in is somehow better than voting your conscience and fighting for something better.
You don’t have to choose between voting for a candidate you can’t stomach, or wasting your vote. Take a look at the third-party candidates to see if one is qualified, experienced, doesn’t have a trail of corruption or boorish behavior allegations, and closely matches your personal beliefs.
And if you do, don’t let anyone convince you that you’re wasting your vote … the only wasted vote is one not cast!