You don’t know how many times I’ve heard this from friends, family or co-workers the last few months. I don’t blame them, in this nation of so many, how can a singular vote make the difference? Let me tell you why I think every vote is important and how you can justify making a choice even if you are in the same boat as myself and aren’t impressed with either candidate.

First, let me clear up a few things. I am not a democrat, nor am I a republican, I am actually registered as an independent. Which with conservative parents and grandparents, a mixture of both sides with my co-workers and friends and there are always those that are extreme one way or the other it has always been interesting for me to hear both sides of the story before making a decision. I attribute this somewhat to my parents being divorced when I was young. Having your parents giving you conflicting opinions and guidance through adolescence tends to foster independent thinking. I digress.

I want to be clear. Believe me when I say I am not here to push you one way or the other, I want to make you aware of the value you have in your ballot. I myself have in passed elections purposely not voted for a POTUS because of the same scenario I see this year. I am not impressed with what I see from Romney and obviously Obama hasn’t held his end of the deal when he was elected four years ago. I don’t know enough about the other lesser known candidates to comment and chances that they even show up on the map is little to none. So because I don’t agree with what either candidate has to say or the character they’ve shown me, should I just not vote at all? No, this is when I do some research to decide which one I can agree with the most, or inversely the one who I can put up with the easiest. It’s simply the lesser of two evils at this point.

So how do you know what you hear on the news is true? How do we know what the Bill O’Reillys and the Chris Matthews tell us is true and not biased? We can’t, we have to listen to different perspectives on each issue and decide for ourselves. When you read an article from a conservative publication about abortion, find another article on the same topic from a liberal view. Often times the differences are subtle, sometimes they are polar opposites. The point here is to not be brainwashed by one view. If all I did was watch liberal news, read liberal newspapers and associate with liberal people then of course my views would be influenced.

Now, if you’re like me who have friends and family who have fundamentally different views than each other and you don’t want to voice your opinions because fear of letting down or not conforming to what your mother or best friend believes, then don’t. If you feel that you need to share your opinions on anything, not just politics, by all means let it out. I myself don’t like to say much because it’s my opinion and the only person who will see it perfectly is me. I see people get in arguments and get angry because others don’t see things the same way they do. Let me make this easy on those of you who are that way. This is going to happen, and will continue to happen for the rest of your life, so you might as well get used to it.

Now how might all this come together to make a single vote among millions matter? Imagine that you find a candidate that you can settle on, even though you’re not impressed with either. You’re not the only person who feels that way. If there were a thousand people who were feeling the same way as you and did not vote, this could make a huge difference in the overall election. Think about it this way. It’s a popularity contest to the extreme. We all remember in school voting for class president, or prom queen. Often times the person who wins is the one with friends that believe in the person and take the extra step to get involved. What if those kids who were “too cool” to vote for that stuff, got together and made an effort to look passed what everyone else thought and actually vote, the popular kids might not have such great success, maybe they would?

The bottom line is this. You’re not the only person who feels the way you do. That’s why if you just make a decision and put it out there those numbers add up and at least you contributed. If you’re afraid of telling your friends and family how you voted, just tell them you didn’t, they don’t need to know how you voted, because in the end the only person you are trying to please in voting for a president is yourself and your children who aren’t old enough to form an opinion for themselves. I think if half the people who just flat out don’t vote, actually voted, it would have a huge impact on the outcome, but then again that’s just my opinion, and we all know what those are like!

So don’t waste your vote, do your best to research the important topics that you’re concerned with and make an educated decision. Remember, the media is biased, no matter who you prefer to follow, just be sure to listen to both sides of the story before making up your own decision on anything.

  • Hopefully some of you got out and cast your vote two weeks ago and made a change!

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