Sunday, October 23, 2016

Get Out the Get Out the Vote

“Get Out the Vote.” Remember that? It came about a few election cycles ago. The idea was to get as many people to the polls as possible. Now, at first glance that seems a great idea. But when you give it a little more thought, like me, you discover it is not such a good idea. Especially when it comes to this current election.

I've joked that my Twitter feed seems to be all liberal and my Facebook feed seems to be all conservative. My social networking is a bit bipolar. And since I'm the same guy in both networks, the algorithms seem to be a bit . . . off.

Now, in both the emphasis is the same: you have to vote for one candidate to make sure the other candidate doesn't win. And if you are thinking of voting for a third-party candidate, you are guaranteeing the other candidate will win. In all cases, I see very little convincing for you to vote FOR a candidate, only AGAINST the other one. This tells me that people really don't like the candidate they are voting for, but the other candidate is so much worse and needs to be stopped.

As I've written previously, this is a job interview, and we are the potential employers. We are trying to find the best person for the job. When you hire someone, you not only look at their background and opinions, but you look to see what their job qualifications are. You don't have to go much further than the last three Presidential debates, to know that the emphasis of this particular job interview has very little to do with qualifications.

So, if your intention is to vote for someone only in order to vote against someone: DON'T VOTE!

If your intention is to blindly vote along party lines: DON'T VOTE!

“J.P., are you seriously telling us not to vote?” Yup. Absolutely. What's more dangerous than a wasted vote? A vote made in ignorance.

I don't care how many women Trump may have groped. I don't care how many emails Clinton may have deleted. I don't care if Johnson can't find Aleppo on a map. If you can't honestly say you are voting FOR someone because you AGREE with MOST (not necessarily ALL) of what they have stated their POLICIES are, DON'T VOTE!

Now, you'll notice I did not say to stay home. Go! Vote! There are usually local issues and candidates on the ballot, and those you need to vote for. Oh, and as in the above, if you can't honestly say you agree with most of what the candidate's policies are, you don't for them either.

Here is what I do: I read the ballot carefully. If I do not know enough to make an informed decision on an issue, I skip it. A non-vote is not counted as For OR Against. If I cannot say I agree with a candidate based on their policies, I skip them too. I do NOT vote along party lines (to be honest, I'm a registered Independent, so I don't HAVE a party line to vote for). And that includes those situations when there is only one candidate running for a position.

I hear that voting is one of the most important things an individual can do, outside of running for office. I say that is wrong. INFORMED voting is one of the most important things an individual can do. UNINFORMED voting is one of the most DANGEROUS things an individual can do.

So, get out and vote, or get out the get out the vote. This is too important for an emotional decision.

Our democracy depends on it.

©Emittravel 2016

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