Politics and Voting

So I’m not a single-issue voter. I’m not a single-party voter. But I’m also NOT something that most other Americans are:

A two-party voter.

That’s right. I don’t vote the two party system. I vote my conscience. That means that I don’t like to vote Republican or Democrat. I vote for whichever candidate best fits my views. Some years back in a presidential election, that happened to be a member of the Constitution Party. Some candidates that have earned my vote are effectively Tea Party candidates. And yes, I have at times voted for Democratic and Republican candidates.

But Ryan, You’re Throwing Away Your Vote!

I have one thing to say to that: BULLSHIT!

The simple act of voting is ME using MY voice, and not yours. Not the media’s. Not my neighbor’s. So if I only vote for one of the two parties likely to win, I’m perpetuating  that only one of these two parties will ever win.

And it’s a sad fact that neither the Republicans nor the Democrats even come close to representing the majority of my views. Which, not entirely coincidentally, are shared by the vast majority of my friends, family and co-workers. That’s right – I know very few people who differ with my stance on gun control (actually, very few = one). I personally do not know – much less am friends with – a single person who believes that gay marriage shouldn’t be permitted nationwide. And those two stances are decidedly Republican and Democratic, respectively.

So Which Party Do You Vote For, Ryan?

Oh, my god! Have you not been reading? STOP VOTING FOR A PARTY, NUMBSKULL!

Vote for the candidates that you believe will take your values and your ethics and your beliefs the furthest. Vote with YOUR voice, not a party’s voice. You’re not likely to agree with every single thing a party says. For example, the Constitution Party candidate I voted for was – in accordance with the party’s views – against gay marriage. But their other views aligned much more closely with my view of America than if I could cherry pick the views of both Republicans and Democrats. Ideally, if a candidate fulfilled all of the tenets the Libertarian Party supposedly clung to, I’d vote for them. But let’s face it – politicians are politicians, so they tend to vote in the way that keeps them in office, not necessarily what’s right.

So Do You Advocate Voting for Independents?

Grrr, you’re pissing me off.

It’s not about what I advocate. It’s about your voice. Speak up! Say your own peace. If voting for an independent candidate speaks to you because of their stances, go for it!

So, Ryan – Are You One Of Those Guys Who Says He Writes His Congressmen, Then Doesn’t?

Nope. I have written my representatives at multiple levels of government, expressing my views. A few have even responded. In at least one case, my local representative has even read a paper I wrote about her and another politician (They were a district Representative and a district Senator). I expressed my views openly and honestly, and while I probably didn’t change their minds on one major issue, I’m sure they at least heard me out.

So, What Should I Do Now, Ryan?

Simple. There are a few things:

  • Get off your ass
  • Think about what’s important to you, and who represents those issues
    • If you only vote on one issue (a.k.a. single-issue voting), you should get some more depth in your life
  • Research actual voting histories and trustworthiness of your candidate(s)
  • Write to them on issues you like and don’t like – some may actually have changed their mind on issues
  • VOTE, dammit!