*Disclaimer: There are no political sides taken here.
Facebook has lately been a constant barrage of negativity in my life. Day in and day out I find myself less and less on the social networking site. The constant feeds of email servers, groping, racism, and newly reopened FBI investigations. It's a trying time to be a citizen of our country, an election cycle that should have us seriously reconsider how we conduct elections here. The spark of viciousness of two rabid dogs neck-to-neck in a battle to the death. Wasn't this supposed to be about the issues? Yeah, maybe those days are long gone.
... Or are they? Today's story is about your voice in your vote.
A post pops up in my feed, it's a friend who is pleading with anyone who will listen. "Don't vote for [3rd party candidate]! We need to beat the [Democrats / Republicans]!!! DON'T THROW YOUR VOTE AWAY!" When did politics become nothing more than a football game. Your team vs. mine. Red vs. Blue. When did that happen? ... Why did it happen, and why should we care?
The problem with a 'game' is the purpose: the purpose is TO WIN.
It's not to do good things, help others, or make the world a better place. Nope. It's simply to beat the crap out of the other team. Ahh, ok. Now this election cycle is making a bit more sense. Who cares about 'others' when we can WIN! WINNING is great! This is why we've watched ~$1.8 Billion (B... yeah, Billion $) be spent this election trying to convince us to pick their candidate, so they get to WIN!!!!!! Gosh WINNING IS SOOO AWESOME!!!
Personally, I think we've gotten off track.
Voting, the vote, the voice... all of an individual, not some team. And really, that's how this has been continuing, you're not an individual... you're part of a organized group. Red or Blue or .... you're nobody that matters, (right?) The football game works when everyone is picking sides, you or me, because somebody has to WIN and somebody has to LOSE. But it all stops instantly when everyone is out there by themselves, deciding what's best for everyone in the whole stadium.
The game ends when we, the voters, simply stop playing it.
She screams out in another comment: "DON'T THROW YOUR VOTE AWAY! PLEASE!!!". As as far she sees, there's only two options in the booth: Red or Blue, because any other 'choice' isn't going to WIN (purpose of the game) so it's a "wasted vote", right? By her perspective, why would you do anything else?
Well, I feel that you should do something else.
Each of us should be voting like we are the only vote, the only voice that matters. As if our singular vote is the determining factor that will call the entire election. Vote like it truly matters, for whom you feel should be holding those offices. Whatever circle you choose, whoever's name you write in: that is your singular choice of who should be standing in those ranks, regardless of any and all outside influences: That vote is your voice!
As far as choices, you have only two:
- Vote your voice
- Sacrifice your voice to some 'team' to do with as they will
So next time someone tells you not to throw your vote away, explain this to them. As long as we're voting in the Monday night football game, every vote we cast is thrown away. That's when a vote no longer has a voice.
Vote like it matters.
I love you all,
--Paul Jacob Evans