This is a much debated topic every election, but it’s even more serious this current election. Do you have a standard method of making your choice? There are several options, and one must certainly not be wedded to any one of them. I make my choice based upon the particular of the situation placed before me. What applies as important to me in one election may be outweighed by something else in the next election. What are some common voting strategies?…
Straight party ticket: You have your party, your ideology, and you will support that no matter what. There’s nothing wrong with that, per se, but to me… which shouldn’t come as a surprise coming from a Centrist… it’s lazy. The candidates mean nothing to you, only the ideology. Obviously, this would appeal to people who are farther to the extreme of their particular party.
Your conscience: Most commonly, people in this category are willing to vote third party even though they know their candidate has pretty much zero chance of winning. Unfortunately, a great many people reject this option precisely because the person has pretty much zero chance of winning, which tells me they’re shallow and have an insecure need to identify with the winning side, even if the winner is not their ideal. In a perfect world, we would ALL vote our conscience, then maybe there would be some greater variety in our leadership. Greater variety might give us better and more thoughtful governing.
The “Lesser of Two Evils”: We’ve all heard this phrase, and most people will deny they do this, though in my opinion many of these same people still do it for the reason I mentioned above… they feel the need to be identified with the winner. Personally, I don’t think this is automatically the negative strategy that it is portrayed to be. There are times where, when one candidate is so repugnant, that you feel the need to vote for the other person who might actually win to try and keep the repugnant person out. Not that you are enamored with the person you voted for, of course. I have used this tactic from time to time when it was really important to me, and in this scenario it is a variation of the “conscience” vote, though I try to use it sparingly.
I have never *purposely* voted straight party line, though a few times it ended up working out that way. The “lesser of two evils” is legit, in limited circumstances, and this year I can absolutely see why someone might pick Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump simply because they loathe the other one. I understand that option more for this election. But for me, the conscience has to win out the vast majority of the time. That means I vote third party a lot, but not exclusively. If nothing else, when all the business-as-usual political crap happens… again…, you can’t blame me because I didn’t vote a known schmuck into office.
What would happen if everyone voted what they really believed?