I came across this question recently in Quora. Apparently, the asker doesn’t like either Trump or Biden and wondered if he should vote at all. My response is “yes.” You should always do so if you’re physically capable.
Because regardless of what people tell you, every vote does matter. Regardless of your age group, voting is a way to make your voice heard.
Choosing Who to Vote For
It can be difficult for someone to pick a candidate when he or she hates all of the options available. However, it’s every adult’s responsibility to be a part of the political process.
Because decisions made by these individuals will affect you one way or the other.
So, how should you handle the vote when it looks like we’re scraping the bottom of the barrel?
Understand Why You Don’t Like a Certain Candidate
First, and foremost, understand why you don’t like specific candidates. It’s super easy to hate someone, especially if those around you are hating on him or her as well.
But, do you actually know why you hate the candidate?
Is it About What You’ve Heard or Read?
Do you hate who’s on the ticket because of something you’ve seen on social media, the opinion shows, or clips from advertisements? If so, then you’re not really casting your own vote.
You’re casting the vote of others.
Politics today twist and bend the truth so often, you’d think it was something straight out of the Kama Sutra.
Is it Because Someone Else Told You to Hate Them?
From the moment humans are born, there is no racism or hatred for any human being. These behaviors are learned. And the same process continues throughout your entire life.
If you hate a candidate because someone else told you to, then you need to pause for a moment. Why should you hate this individual just because someone else does?
Because it falls in line with someone else’s agenda. Again, you’re not voting for yourself.
Base it On Experience
When faced with a decision for voting, base it on practical experience. Has the candidate been previously successful? Ok, so, this is kind of a loaded question.
This is because success is measured by the perception of the one.
For example, I wouldn’t call anyone who bankrupted several businesses to be a “successful” businessman. But, I know plenty who would disagree with me.
Personally, I try to put things into a practical, quantifiable, and factual layout. I wouldn’t hire a gardener to be the head chef at a 4-Star Michelin restaurant, unless he could prove he had skills.
And that’s where you could draw the line. Look at voting as a kind of job interview…because that’s exactly what it is. Who would you hire to do specific tasks based on his or her experience?
Don’t Pay Attention to “Party Lines”
One of the worst things you can do is to vote for a specific party because that’s what you belong to. I’ve seen people who completely disagree with their political party but will still vote that way.
So, like before, you’re casting your vote based on the beliefs of others and not your own.
In the past, I’ve voted for either side of the aisle. I tend to “hire” the one who makes the most sense gauged on what I believe is best for the country. And not because he or she is either red or blue.
And yes, I do my own research and background checks for every person I vote for. More on that in a second.
Base it On the Lesser of Two Evils
I know a lot of people who will cast a vote because they believe they are picking the lesser of two evils. But, think of it more about who is going to leave the United States in a better condition when all is said and done.
What kind of shape will the candidate leave the country after the dust settles over the next four years?
Do Your Own Research, Using Credible Sources
And lastly, always do your own research. But, you need to take it a step further than just reading any source on the Internet. Since the dawn of AOL, false information and fraud have run rampant.
In other words, verify the information you come across. And don’t take the word of some obscure blog that clearly has a specific agenda.
And no, the irony isn’t lost on me with that last comment. That’s part of why I wrote it to begin with.
My point is to really drill into a candidate and see where he or she sits on things that matter most to you. This includes when you vote for local legislation and propositions.
Read the pamphlets that are mailed to you. Understand what you’re voting on and ignore commercials and memes. Remember, they are going to twist and warp the facts to get you to lean a specific way.
Case in point, we had a vote a few years ago for stopping oil companies from drilling within a certain number of feet from a residential zone. But, the commercials made it sound like we were getting rid of oil altogether.
Which wasn’t the case. We just didn’t want drilling done so close to homes, schools, and churches.
Flip a Coin?
In the worst-case scenario, you could always flip a coin to see who gets your vote. Though, I wouldn’t suggest leaving important decisions such as the President of the United States to chance.
Still, at least the vote is cast, right?
But like any gamble, it’s a win or a loss. Would you sell off all of your possessions and buy nothing but lottery tickets with the money for the chance of winning the Powerball?
I know, it’s a stretch of a comparison. But, the basis is still sound.
Try this for a day. Use a flip of a quarter for every decision you make and see how your day unfolds. Do this every day throughout the week and record the results.
Will it be worth the experience?
Should You Vote for a Third Party?
A lot of people will choose to vote for a third party. And it’s an unfortunate truth that this is essentially throwing your vote away.
This is because smaller parties often don’t have the influence to really make much of a difference outside of the House of Representatives. The country is simply too divided between Republican and Democrat.
Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to see a third party actually arise and make a difference. But, I’m also a realist. And until someone simply amazing can come out, backed by a tremendous bank account, we probably will never see anything but the two in any presidential debate.
Until more than a third of the country is swayed from red or blue, that’s all there will be.
Your Vote Does Matter!
Too many people, especially the young, feel their vote doesn’t matter. That can’t be further from the truth. It’s true the Electoral College doesn’t reflect the majority rule. But elections can be won if more people did their part.
And the more often people participate in an election, the better off the country will be in the long run.