Jessica and I voted tonight, and I hope by now that you have too. Of course we brought Namine with us, and let me tell you right now: you can only explain so much about democracy to a four year old.
It turned out that in telling Namine that we were voting, she misunderstood us. She thought we were saying “boat,” not “vote.” So when we went downstairs in the courthouse, she exclaimed, “Yay, we’re going to boat! Hey… where’s the water?” I think, in retrospect, our example of the three of us voting on what to have for dinner (fish tacos, if you’re interested) was pretty decent.
The other day – I think it may have been last week, actually – I heard someone speaking on the radio on the topic of voting. It was her opinion that it was pointless and wasteful to vote for any candidate who did not have a great likelihood of winning. That is to say, vote for Obama or Romney or you are an irresponsible citizen.
This prompted a great deal of thought in me. I had, previous to this, operated along this same assumption, though I would not have phrased it so abrasively. But I wondered: is it pointless to vote for anyone else? I concluded that it was not.
While the most straightforward answer could be that in voting for another candidate is analogous to throwing your vote away, I consider it to be more complex than that. Voting is, to quote V, the vox populi. More than that, as has been said by so many, every vote counts. If that is so, then my vote, placed in favor of the little guy, so to speak, has as much meaning as any for Romney or Obama.
No one should not be forced to compromise on their issues, least of all because the candidate who best represents their ideal president is not assured to win. If everyone did, then no one would vote for those not favored by the media to win the presidency. I believe, more so than in the mere importance of voting, in adhering to one’s principles, to resolving to remain committed to what one believes in. The assurance of losing, therefore, should mean little in the face of solid resolution.