The Iowa Caucuses have taken place which means that the 2016 Presidential election cycle is officially underway. Yes, we’ve had all of the pre-election debates and other nonsense, now it is time for some actual voting to occur. I would say that the time for talking is over but these are politicians and really all they do is give speeches and appear in campaign ads. I can’t say that the time for talking has begun because um, it started last May or something.
I really try not to follow this stuff as much as possible. Actually, it wasn’t that hard. It was real easy for me to not watch any of the debates. I’m certainly not going to learn anything, who does? When was the last time you or someone you know picked your candidate of choice based on a debate?
While I’m on the subject of debates, I want to make the following point. Any Democrat that watches a Republican party debate knowing in advance that they’re just watching to see what kind of stupid things are said and any Republican who does the exact same thing with the Democratic debates are not allowed to make fun of anyone for watching a NASCAR race to see a car crash.
I can honestly say that I have not picked a candidate yet. I don’t really have to worry about this until June as the South Dakota primary is very late in the cycle. This means that by the time the primary takes place, each party may have selected their candidate already.
It is entirely possible that when I sit down in the voting booth in November, I will not vote for any candidate for the office of President. This is sort of the point of my post today.
Every election cycle, I see the same thing said over and over on Facebook. Get out and vote. Exercise your right to vote. People died to give you the right to vote, so get out and do it. This is too important for you not to do. Left unsaid in all of these posts is “and when you do vote, please vote for the same person that I voted for.”
Well, I don’t happen to agree with that logic. A lot of people, both men and women have died in many battles to secure and preserve freedom. But this does not mean that you are required to go and vote. The right to vote also includes the right to stay silent. I always hear that people vote for the lesser of two evils. My question is why vote for evil at all?
People say if you don’t vote then you can’t complain. What if your complaining is what has compelled you not to vote? You know which countries have incredibly high voter turnout? Those countries that are dictatorships. You can get a lot of people to vote when you march them to the polls at gunpoint.
Even if I do not vote for a President in November, I will go and vote. I will vote because I feel like I can have a say in something that’s actually important and that is the laws that are part of the state ballot. I know some people don’t like that a law passed by the legislature and signed by the govoner can be put to a vote. Frankly, I wish it could happen more often. I don’t think we would have had Obamacare foisted upon us if it were on the 2010 election ballot.
In 2014, by the time it came time to vote, I was so dissatisfied by the campaign being run for our state’s open U.S. Senate seat that I nearly flipped off my ballot when it came time to fill in that part. When my personal blog was at CaseyTrowbridge.com one of my earliest posts was about how I felt sitting down and voting in elections on that November day. That was when I made the promise to myself that I would never again pick the lesser of two evils and would instead decide not to vote for evil at all. If we’re willing to vote for just anyone, then just anyone is who will run.
If I don’t find a candidate I genuinely like I just won’t vote. This is going to be true for the office of President or anything else on the ballot. I’m not going to pick the person I hate the least and back them as a candidate. As an American, this is part of my right to participate in the electoral process. I’m damn sure not going to vote someone just because they have the letter “R” or the letter “D” after their name. Most people do exactly that and the political parties know and take advantage of this behavior. This is how we get what we get every election cycle.
An old friend of mine had a theory. He suggested that anyone who actually wanted to be President of the United States should be immediately disqualified from holding the office. His argument is that being the President is a thankless and stressful job and so anyone that would actually want it would only want it for the power of the office and would thus be an undesirable President.
This is the same man behind the Committee for the Rise of Apathetic People (CRAP). The foundational belief is that the majority of people who are able to vote don’t actually do so and that these should be the people who actually get to pick the President. CRAP would announce meetings and when nobody showed up, they’d claim perfect attendance because of course they are apathetic people. It was quite humorous and I laughed each time I heard that story but every election cycle I start to think more and more that the idea isn’t such a bad one.
So if you read this, live in the United States and are of legal voting age, this is what I ask you to do. If you don’t like anyone then don’t let your friends and family bully into just voting for someone. The very attempt to bully you into voting for someone is as Unamerican as you can get.
So I wanted to lighten the mood on this post and as a result I turn back to the weird one himself. Since politics is basically in the news, I thought I’d pick his song about the news. So here is Weird Al singing ‘Headline News’.
And just for the sake of comparison, here is the song that ‘Headline News’ parodies, ‘Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm’ by Crash Test Dummies.