Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Patriotism: Casting a Real, Meaningful Vote

May I make a small suggestion for those of you who, like me, will not enthusiastically cast a vote for either major party candidate this year? Here's the reality:

If you vote for a minor party nominee in a state where the vote will be close, you will have a negative effect on the presidential race, but likely not the one you want. The best example is Ralph Nader's 1 percent in Florida in 2000, a state where George Bush was declared winner by almost no margin at all and was sent to the White House. We know what he did there.

The Nader vote was a protest vote, one that rejected the two major parties at a crucial time in a vital state.

My suggestion: Examine the polls closely as we head to election day and if your state of residence has a close presidential race going on, choose one of the majors and put your vote there. Back into the booth if necessary. I've done that upon occasion. You can make a difference. If you vote for Mr. Johnson or Ms. Stein, you will simply toss your vote into the wind and allow one of the majors to win by default.

Americans desperately need to make a distinct and defining statement in this election and voting for somebody who can't possibly win is passing the buck, kicking the can down the road and all the other cliches you can dream up that say, "I don't want that kind of responsibility." You are an American citizen and, as such, you have a responsibility to the rest of us. That, boys and girls, is the very definition of patriotism.

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