A few years ago, I wrote an impassioned piece about why voting the 3rd party option—or not voting at all, or leaving the Presidential box unticked for either color—was not actually a feasible choice in elections like the one we had in 2016. The outcome was the usual result: the candidate that won, most people did not choose.
It looks like that’s exactly what’s going to happen AGAIN. Because once again we have an extremely privileged portion of our voting population who refuse to hold their nose and vote for the blue candidate. They might as well check the red box because it will end up giving us all exactly the same result as last time. And down to every last one of them, their song is “it’s just one vote, it won’t matter”—and all together, it adds up to a win for That Man in the White House.
Now I’m not saying that EVERY person who considers themselves to be a liberal, 3rd party adherent says this. That is true in every single demographic you can use. The 2016 election proved that there were indeed enough who believe and said this then. That means that there is enough to make a serious impact on this upcoming election. Those of us who are not happy with the current administration realize this and do not want a repeat. No more “four more years”. Frankly, I also believe that if he wins, this will be the last election we ever have. We’ll end up with “President for Life” Trump, something he dearly wants. He also has the ass-kissers around who will continue to support him as they profit—sometimes literally—from his behavior and actions.
I would suggest to you, dear reader, that any one of these people who say this (and emphatically believe it, unfortunately) have to be incredibly privileged to be able to make that statement. They honestly have convinced themselves that their personal “one vote” is not worth the effort of making any choice at all. They have either no knowledge of all the “isms” that cause inequality and being “less than”—or what is worse, they know but don’t care.
Without making sweeping assumptions about this particular group, I would point out that a lot of them also say that they support Social Justice. They don’t “hate black people” or women, or Latinos, or, or, or. They think the system should support those in need—but it seems to be fairly obvious that they themselves are not black, women or Latino—or any other group that is marginalized, ignored and/or “downtrodden”. I do realize that yes, some of the people who vote this way (by not voting) are of course female. But again, they feel supremely entitled/privileged and have no need to change anything in their own (personal) lives. For whatever reason, apparently they do not understand or are not concerned about those whose lives are not happy for external reasons (like jobs, public treatment, human rights).
If you Google “things decided by one vote” or “importance of one vote”, a long list of results appears. The one result that has always stuck in my mind is that the decision of our national language was decided by that one vote—and so we speak English instead of German. That’s a HUGE difference, right?
The idea that “my vote won’t matter, I won’t choose anyone” is because you only see it as Just One Vote. Each person who believes this, who makes their voting choices based on that premise—each one needs to understand Just One Thing. It’s one vote, yes. But it’s one of MANY that CAN make a HUGE difference. Add up all those “Just One Vote” people and you are quickly talking about enough votes to make historic changes in the results.
And yes, it is historic. The Presidential office has been decided by winning the electoral college over the popular count only 5 times. In 1824 (John Quincy Adams), in 1876 (Rutherford Hayes), and in 1888 (Benjamin Harrison) all won by electoral college. Then we have a gap of more than one hundred years, until George W. Bush President in 2000 (the infamous “hanging chad” count) and then in the last election (2016), we got the current Man In the White House—even though Hillary Clinton won the popular vote. So that’s just 5 in over 240 years, or 60 possible elections.1
By that example, it’s clear that Just One Vote matters every election, but perhaps more in those elections with a popular candidate (more individual votes by the people) can be lost to someone who gains more electoral college votes—but is obviously not the voting population’s choice.
We have been taught that it’s “one man, one vote”—okay, “one person of legal voting age, one vote” (never mind all the added stuff about crimes and etc). The electoral college sort of shoots that in the foot with the way it is currently set up, which is not truly representative of our nation. We can do this by selecting these electors based on population numbers instead of using the number in each state’s associated congressional delegates. (One for each House representative they have, based on their population, and one for each Senator, of which every state has only two). The alternative is not having any electors at all—just abolish the electoral college completely.2
Electoral colleges are used in other countries. The main 3 would be America, France and the Holy See (the Catholic Church in Rome). India, Germany and Italy also have some form; there are about another dozen who have electoral colleges with similar rules to ours. It seems that more than one country (other than these) might have had an electoral college at one time, but abolished it before current times. So we’re talking about 15 or so countries that use this process, out a total of 195 countries in the world.3
So knowing that, is it truly necessary in our own country? I don’t think so, if only because it can (and obviously has) negate(d) the popular vote and the whole idea of “one person, one vote” upon which we base a lot of our freedoms, relative to other countries that have no elections at all. We have never had an autocratic leader. Before this one. He’ll accept “President for Life” but he’d much rather be “King”. Or “Emperor” even. He continually says that “he has the ultimate (last, final) authority to do such-and-such”—and that he cannot be tried for any crimes he is committing (or has committed) while he is president.
Excuse me! What did the Republicans do to William Clinton while HE was President? Tried to oust him of office on the charge of getting a blowjob, that’s all. In 3 years, That Man in the White House has managed to replace anyone with integrity with people that line up to kiss his ass, people who have been in jail—and have not served their much decreased sentence. He’s consistently chosen inept, uneducated people to take jobs that require specific knowledge, such as the EPA, the coronavirus response team, the head of the DOJ—and they have not disappointed him in dismantling our democratic republic’s government.
He has known Russian connections—they interfered in the 2016 election and are doing the exact same thing to the 2020 election. Putin must bust his gut laughing at us, floundering in the wake of the walking disaster we elected to the highest office in the land. But “we” didn’t elect him. He BOUGHT just enough votes to get the electoral college win. For what it’s worth, I believe that we got the President we deserved. We deserved to become the laughing stock of the world, to fail at every attempt to be noble and good, to live up to the American standards of being “great” because we used to be. We sat back on our laurels and thought we didn’t have to maintain it.
We’ve reached the point where just saying the words “I’m an American” should be enough to give us everything we wanted. Problem with that is, we’re not DOING the things that made us American, that made us great. We have no citizenship, no sense of national pride in anything that WE have done. We’ve been coasting along on the efforts and work of 2, 3 even 4 generations behind us—the ones who were in WWII, who fought and bled and died for a reason.
Our soldiers in the Middle East don’t have that chance. There is no honor, no pride in occupying some place for YEARS, shooting all the people and bombing their infrastructure to bits. It’s all just destruction. It serves no purpose except to keep the American soldier icon going. We walked out of Turkey and left the Kurds, our allies, high and dry with nothing but enemies around them. We left behind the leaders and eager new recruits for ISIS, the group responsible for the 9/11 attack.
Oh, we did some “humanitarian” work, rebuilding some of Afghanistan, that sort of thing. But we’re tossing gasoline-soaked firewood on a flame that’s been burning in that sandbox since the tribes first caught sight of each other. There is NO unification possible in the Middle East. Anyone who denies that is denying the stark religious differences that cause zealotry and wars against all who are “not us”. If they cannot worship what is frequently the very same god together, they cannot live together in peace. Each group believes that only they have the Real Truth and it is their sacred duty to remove anyone who does not agree with them.
Unfortunately, America has developed that same mentality. Supposedly Christian people want to see others “not like us” die or be locked up. They want a return to a “simpler, more Godly time”—that realistically, never existed. If it did, it’s been lost in the modern sandbox of our country—the deification of the corporate entity, recognized by the law as a person with rights comparable to a human being. It has been eradicated by the turn from God and Christianity (or any other traditional religion) to the worship of the Eternal Dollar. Profit at any cost, especially if that cost is “only people”.
Consumerism is the new form of worship and Money, well, Money is a VERY jealous God. It’s created a feeling of “NEED” that supersedes the more common sense approach of want or desire that can be controlled and directed, or even ignored in the times of money scarcity in YOUR pocket. We are trained, like a dog, to buy, buy, buy—even if we have to have 3 mortgages and a maxed-out credit card. Or two, or three…whatever. When you get married, you MUST buy a house, right? That was affordable in 1950. Not so much now. We’ve reached the point where a large measure of our population can’t even afford to buy a car—but we live in a world where you must have one to get a job, and incidentally, to go shopping.
The whole thing was already headed downhill, or we never would have gotten That Man (in the White House). As I said, we deserved it. However I do hold the 3rd party adherents to have some small responsibility for him as well—by not voting, not casting their individual Just One Vote, they helped pave the way for his rise to the Oval Office. I shudder to think what he’ll do with four more years and what, if anything, will be left of the United States of America when he does eventually go, kicking and screaming and trying to hang onto the White House doorways with his fingernails.
I implore, I beg, I entreat these people with Just One Vote: Get out there and vote for whoever the Blue candidate is. I don’t care if it’s Joe Biden, Mr. Clean or Elmo. I don’t care if it’s someone you can “get behind” or not. Once you’ve cast your vote, you can go back to your halcyon bubble of privilege and ignore the whole thing for another 4 years. Stop voting for Jill Stein, who never campaigns, never makes a speech—she just shows up in time to get her name on the ballot and hopes through some liberal application of political magic to get enough votes to get a job she has absolutely no clue about. I’m not even sure she has a background that would let her fake it. All she does is distract from the terrible choice being presented.
We must choose between two old white men. I would LOVE to see a woman running the White House. I would LOVE to see a “First Gentleman”. Or whatever her companion might be. I would love to have a visible change of command, instead of this parade of old white men, Barack Obama being the only exception – and I wish he could have stayed longer. He doesn’t wish that, it’s obvious. Like so many of the predecessors, he came in a young, vigorous man and left with grey hair and lines on his face. He did his duty for 8 years and stepped down. I could only wish That Man would be as gracious. But he’s not known for his graciousness…
Just One Vote is all it takes to remove him now. Just One Vote can be, might be the deciding factor for the whole enchilada. Whose to say that specific Just One Vote isn’t yours?