Four years ago I wrote this message to America. Obviously, America didn’t listen. Let’s try again.
Here we are. Election day is finally here. It’s almost the same feeling as high school graduation. It seemed like it took forever to get here. We are relieved it’s finally here, but we can’t help being anxious about what the future holds. We celebrate the end and hold out hope that tomorrow will bring success.
When the election is called for a candidate tonight there will once again be people on the winning side celebrating and disappointed people on the losing side. If you win, please win graciously. Take the time to listen to the other side. There is a reason they voted against you. Don’t just label them as the enemy and move on without considering that they might have some good ideas. They are still Americans and you are supposed to represent all of us, even the ones who voted for the other side. Work with the other party. Try to reach consensus on issues. Don’t be a dividing force.
If you lose, please lose graciously. Don’t claim the election is rigged. Don’t threaten or carry out violent protests. Don’t “take up your musket.” Don’t spend your days complaining, insulting and working to undermine the “enemy”. They are not the enemy. They will be your president. Treat them with the respect and dignity the office deserves. Work with them. Don’t work to block their agenda, their nominees, etc. The last thing we need is for the country to again grind to a halt over political differences. Be adults and work to find common ground.
A country divided is a country at risk. Don’t be a part of the problem.
Four years ago I had a dilemma. I was not going to vote for George W Bush and did not like the other major party candidate, John Kerry, any better. I didn’t like the idea of voting for the lesser of two evils, so I researched the other party candidates and felt comfortable with the platform and candidate for the Libertarian Party and decided that was where I would cast my vote. After making that decision, I heard from everyone that I was wasting my vote. Now, as we head into another election, I find myself again not wanting to vote for either major party candidate and in search of an alternative. This has brought my thoughts to the idea of a wasted vote. In my opinion, a vote for a third party candidate is no more a wasted vote than any of the following:
Voting for a candidate because you dislike him a little less than you dislike the other.
Voting a straight party ticket regardless of the candidates and any knowledge of who they are.
Voting(or not voting) for a candidate based only on their gender.
Voting(or not voting) for a candidate based only on their race.
Voting(or not voting) for a candidate based only on their religion.
Actually, I believe the only true way to “waste your vote” is to not vote at all. Don’t waste your vote. Do a little research into all the candidates(not just the two we see in the news) and go to the polls and vote.
I just took the selectsmart.com test to see who I should vote for in the election. These are the results:
I am happy to see that I am above 50% on candidates, but as you can see I am dead even on both the major party guys and only 2% lower on the libertarian(the party I voted last election). No wonder I am wavering every day on which one I like. I will be paying close attention to the debates this year and will continue to read and listen to people from both sides as much as possible to make an informed decision in November.