The Dependent Independents
In one of my honor’s classes in high school, my classmates had the bright idea to get out of doing a menial homework assignment: we decided that we would tell the teacher that our substitute had never assigned the homework. It was a collective lie and we all knew it would work only if everyone went along with it. Of course, the plan failed when one of the girls developed a conscience the next day. It was an important lesson and I find there is a similarity between what happened that day and what happens every four years during election season. If a formal survey were conducted, I would wager that a good portion of the general American public is dissatisfied with the current process of electing a president. Every four years two people are chosen from within the two ruling classes of government, the Democrats and Republicans, and the lament for the remainder of the election season is that we the people must choose between the “lesser of two evils.” The problem lies in the fact that there are voters who may believe that other candidates are more worthy, but since these candidates are running on an independent ticket the voters do not cast their votes in these directions, because they know that then their vote will count for nothing. So, to feel a part of the process, they also vote along the party lines. The blocks of people voting down the party lines prevent the stragglers from ever tasting glory. It is the repeated problem of democracy: it only works if everyone goes in on it. So as a call to action, I’m inviting people to break the party lines this voting season, to look into each of the candidates, and to vote for the one you want, not against the one you don’t want. It is a risk sure, and it is likely the vote won’t count for anything, but in the larger scheme isn’t that the whole point of voting? It is one person throwing his penny into the tray of over 300 million coins and hoping that enough people like himself are doing the same thing to tip the scales. This election season, realize there are more than just two people running for the presidency. Research the rest and vote for the one you actually would like to see in office. And hey, if your first choice isn’t elected, at least you can complain about it.