I’m going to let you in on a little secret. It’s ok to not vote. No one else will tell you this. That’s counter to what pretty much everyone else is saying right now. It’s more important than ever to vote. Your vote is critical. Your votes does make a difference. You’re being bombarded with these reasons from all angles. And let me be clear it’s not necessarily bad reasoning, it’s just selfish reasoning, and not fully honest reasoning. They’re leaving things out and being just a tad duplicitous. We absolutely are in trying times, and who is in power means a lot and will affect your life and the lives of your children for years to come, but voting should be done smartly and with clear defined purpose regarding what the individual actually wants.
I will be accused by some of being irresponsible in saying you don’t have to vote. That’s fine. I’m not playing into partisan hands. The flip side, though, is that it is even more irresponsible to vote ignorantly. You will do more damage by voting without any real knowledge or opinion than you would cause by not voting at all.
When people tell you that your vote is important and that you need to exercise your right to vote, what they really mean is that they want you to vote their way. They want your ballot to match their ballot. They want their people in, not the other side (not even by honest difference of opinion or ideology), and if they can cajole you to go vote, hoping it will be their way, then that’s all part of the grand strategy. All’s fair in love and politics, and politics is war.
I will even go farther and say there is no shame in not voting. If you honestly don’t feel the importance of taking time to investigate the candidates and the issues, that’s who you are. Yes, we have the freedom to vote in this country, and that freedom is huge, but the unspoken part is that we also have the freedom to NOT vote, should we choose that option. In my opinion, not voting IS voting. You are stating that having other people make decisions for you is acceptable to you. And that’s ok… just be true to your choice and don’t complain later.
Side note: If you do go to the polls, also know that you are not obligated to cast a vote in every single race. If you only care about one or two races, cast a vote in those and leave the rest blank. I do that in some lower races when I am not sure of the people. I do that in almost every election for a judge, even if it’s simply a ‘yes/no’ choice, I don’t know who these people are. Only vote for what you know.
So, if you are not comfortable voting, if you are unaware of the candidates and issues, don’t vote. I won’t judge, and no one else should, either.