Look, I know it just as much as the next person – our options for President this year are horrible (and that is putting it nicely). We have a power-hungry career politician who is under investigation with the FBI, a mediocre business man who loves spray tanning just a bit too much, and then there is Gary Johnson. The options are rough, there is no disputing it – so bad in fact, that I have heard many family and friends simply saying I’m just not going to vote, what’s the point? Or if I vote, I’ll write in Mickey Mouse or Santa Clause. Well I have news for you! Walt Disney is not going to come out of his frozen state of bliss to take office for a cartoon mouse he created, and Ol’ Saint Nick is too busy dancing with Donner and prancing with Vixen to want to run our country.
That’s right everyone, it is time for us all to put our collective big boy pants on and come to the realization that the next Ronald Reagan or John F. Kennedy is not going to be elected this year. But does that mean you should just not vote? Not take part in one of the greatest freedoms bestowed upon us by our forefathers? Or waste your vote on the likes of a cartoon mouse or seasonal character? That is just ridiculous. If you are even considering that option, listen up! Someone is going to be elected President whether you vote or not. The country is not going to sit back and wait for someone worthy of your vote to enter the ring. So while there may not be an ideal option for you, wouldn’t you at least like a say in which one is the best of the worst? It is pathetic that a great voter turnout is less than two-thirds of our population. Shouldn’t more people care about a decision so important? For years people fought to get the very right that so many people just throw away.
It isn’t just the Presidential election on the ballot either, which makes voting that much more vital. In fact, one could argue Congressional races are even more important than the Presidential one, simply because Congress ends up determining more policy then the President does. Did you know, in 1974 a New Hampshire Senate race was determined by just two votes? That was two out of 223,363 total votes. Imagine if your candidate lost that race, but you didn’t vote? If just three people more had voted on the other side the outcome would have been completely different. In addition to Congressional races there are state and town races that deserve your attention and vote as well. Not to mention there are always various bonds and other ballot measures that are extremely important. That’s why it is so important to vote down the ballot just as much as it is to vote for President.
So instead of spending the next few months whining and complaining about all the options you do or do not have – instead of debating if you even want to spend the time to vote, take that time to research the candidates and pick one that best aligns with your beliefs. Will they be perfect? Certainly not. Will they make you feel warm and fuzzy? Definitely not. You will, however, be having a say in the future of your country and exercising your constitutional right (at least that one hasn’t been taken away yet, am I right?).
The message here is clear, your vote actually matters. So please don’t let the fact that your ideal candidate is not in the mix prevent you from making sure your voice is heard. Listen to the candidates over the next few months and make your choice after much consideration, our country will still be here after the next election, regardless of what happens. So on November 8th, head to your local polling place and let your vote change history – don’t waste it on Mickey Mouse, pick your candidate and stand by them. Your country thanks you.