Let’s just vote

As I near the age where I will inevitably begin to con­tem­plate run­ning for pub­lic office, I am think­ing a lit­tle more about pol­i­tics than is usu­al for me. Anoth­er nation­al elec­tion has come and gone. Some can­di­dates won their races; far more of them lost. That is just the way it goes.

The two-par­ty sys­tem that we are locked into in this coun­try is such a straight­jack­et for pop­u­lar involve­ment in the demo­c­ra­t­ic process that it is no won­der large num­bers of peo­ple are apa­thet­ic about vot­ing. Even those who do vote are often vot­ing against a can­di­date they do not want to win rather than enthu­si­as­ti­cal­ly cast­ing their bal­lot for a can­di­date they want to put in office. And those cit­i­zens who choose to vote for can­di­dates who tru­ly best rep­re­sent their val­ues and inter­ests are reviled for “steal­ing votes” from the offi­cial­ly-anoint­ed can­di­date of one of the major par­ties.

This makes sense, if it is a game we are play­ing. If win­ning is the whole point (as opposed to, say, rep­re­sent­ing or gov­ern­ing) then it is entire­ly fair to rant against those who did­n’t vote with the pro­gram, whose squan­dered vote allowed the the oth­er par­ty to win. And, sad­ly, I think it has long been just such a game to those involved in the elec­tion process at every lev­el.

Until we can reach a point where peo­ple, all of we the peo­ple, feel con­fi­dent in sim­ply and sin­cere­ly vot­ing for the can­di­date we feel will best rep­re­sent us in the gov­ern­men­tal sys­tem, with­out con­cern for par­ty strat­e­gy and par­ti­san manœver­ing, then we will all still feel that it is a flawed sys­tem, because it is. And until then, we will have to choose at the polls each elec­tion year. The choice will not be which can­di­date will best rep­re­sent us in the gov­ern­men­tal halls of Saint Paul, MN and Wash­ing­ton, DC. No, the choice will remain whether we want to play the game again, or whether we want to waste our vote.

One Reply to “Let’s just vote”

  1. Well said my broth­er! I always find elec­tion years SO FRUSTRATING for this very rea­son. The ques­tion of course is — will it ever turn around? And what will it take to get it to do so?

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