I’ve seen lots of tweets, Facebook statuses and blog posts of people telling those in their circles how to vote. Some of the things I’ve seen suggest:
- One candidate is the only option for a certain office if you care about this or that.
- If you are intelligent, you simply must vote for this person.
- Based on religion only this person is qualified to lead.
- This proposition is well-written or it totally sucks.
- America will cease to be America if ______ passes.
Well, I have tried to stay out of telling people how to vote and I can stand it no more. I have to say my peace.
Why should you let me tell you how to vote?
- I registered to vote as soon as I could.
- I’ve paid attention to politics my entire adult life.
- In college, I had a minor in political science.
- I’ve taken time to study up on elections routinely.
- Having voted in four different states (Tennessee, Oklahoma, New York and Mississippi), I have a broad range of experience. And have used all sorts of systems.
How to Vote
Today, I have been spending so much time working through the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s voter’s guide, I knew the big races but for some of the propositions, I needed more information. Guess that made me an undecided voter til I got more information to decide who or what I was for or against. Well, I’ve studied up and have all the answers now.
Now that you see I’m qualified, (at least every bit as qualified as all the others), I’d like to tell you how to vote:
Don’t let anyone else to know how you should vote.
Do the work. Read a lot of info, don’t just let the mudslinging of TV ads sway you.
Think through all the various races, not just “the big ones.”
Take both a sense of responsibility & sense of pride in your role of determining the future.
Try to think about both the big picture and those few things that are nearest & dearest to your heart. And then vote however you feel is best.
After You Vote
Talk about how you vote or don’t, but remember everyone has a right to their own too. Please try to be respectful. Sure you may think someone is an idiot for voting in something, but they just have a different perspective. You really don’t know what drives people to vote one way or another. And sure, you may not get the outcome you wanted but I’d be willing to bet the U.S. will survive. The areas we thrive in may just be different than they would have been.
Remember, Americans have been doing this for generations. We have an incredible system. We have thought through how to make sure we can make corrections along the way. So please do not let yourself get pulled into the war of words that is sure to take place as polls close and pundits add to the proliferation of pronouncements about what this means for us as individuals and as a country.
What is most important is that everyone remain engaged and involved. Calling a senator or a representative isn’t dependent on your having voted them in. We need whoever is elected to office to understand the various viewpoints in our communities so the best possible decisions can be made.
A Reminder for Myself
I wrote this blog post as a reminder for myself as much as anyone else, feel free to ignore it. That’s your right just like voting is.
Maybe I didn’t need to establish expertise in order to tell you how to vote, but we all like to feel like experts. As I was reading through the 33 pages of voting decisions I need to register my opinion on Tuesday, I decided I should remind myself I have as much expertise in this as anyone else does. And I have something more valuable than anyone else’s — it is my perspective. It didn’t just form this week, or as I watched the conventions or even as the primaries were underway. It’s been evolving my entire life. And nobody else has that perspective. I also can’t say how anyone else should vote because I haven’t got their perspective.
To see other posts in the series of 30 days of daily blogging, just click on this image wherever you happen to come across it. There will be a little of this and a little of that in the series, just like there is in my blog at any time! You can also see a list of several other bloggers doing the 30 day challenge on this post by Holly Spangler