Sleep > Voting

Posted on April 9, 2012 at 8.45 pm

Q. I’ve been having some issues lately. In the coming election, it is becoming more and more obvious that Ron Paul will likely not receive the Republican nomination for the presidency, and this has led me to be indecisive. I am not a fan of Mitt Romney, or of Rick Santorum, but I’m not a fan of Barack Obama either. I tend to side more with the Democratic sides of issues, with the exception of the things that I dislike in both parties. I’d like to vote, obviously, but I don’t know what to think. ??? — shakeandjake2010, from tumblr.

A. Well, that’s a question for you to weigh thoughtfully, but ultimately not to lose sleep over.

Sleep is really important.

Here are some questions I suggest asking yourself:

  • Do you think your vote matters?
  • If so, does it matter to you, or does it matter to the election?
  • If not, why?
  • Are some issues more important to you than others?
  • Do you trust Barack Obama to do what the campaign rhetoric you like says he will do?
  • How much evil are you willing to accept because it’s less evil than the alternative?
  • Regardless of your answer to that first question, are you committed to voting?
  • Does a write-in vote “count”?
  • Does a third party vote “count”?
  • Which is more important:  Voting, or voting on principle?
  • Which is more important:  Voting, or not voting on principle?
  • More bluntly, which is more important:  Voting or principle, plain and simple? If they conflict — and from what you’re saying, they will for you — do you want the “I voted” sticker, or do you want to stick to your guns?

Personally, I will do what I did in 2008:  Voted for Ron Paul in the primaries; researched the candidates for lower offices in the general; voted for the local, state, and congressional candidates worth supporting based on that research; and in the cases (like the presidential race) where there is no one I could vote for in good conscience, left it blank.

So that’s me.  What you do will probably depend on how you answer a bunch of those questions above.

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