On “My Vote Doesn’t Matter” and “Voting Your Conscience”

The other day I was listening to talk radio, where the host was encouraging people to vote regardless if they felt that their vote mattered or not. If you’re in a state that regularly votes one political party (Democrat or Republican) you may feel that your single vote will not contribute to the final outcome.

I can understand that line of reasoning and the feeling.

So I propose that you think differently about how a vote “matters”.

Think of your vote as part of a team, your political party’s team. Now forget that you are in a different physical location and figuratively put yourself on the same playing field as your team. In a team competition, every position matters and everyone has a job to do. And the strength of a team is defined by the size of the group that shows up to play.

Now that you are on the same playing field with a team, you don’t have the luxury of saying your vote doesn’t matter. Be committed to your team, show some empathy and put yourself in their cleats. Think about how you would vote now that your vote does matter!

If you think your vote doesn’t matter, then rethink. Your vote matters to your teammates, and you would have the same expectation of them if the situation was reversed.

Some may suggest that if their vote “doesn’t matter” (meaning it won’t alter the outcome) that they can instead “vote their conscience”.

If you would vote one way when your vote “matters” by living in a swing state and vote another way when you don’t live in a swing state, then this is equivalent to putting on a different jersey just because you have some sort of liberty to do so. If you really are giving up on your old team then admit it to yourself. But you don’t have the liberty of “voting your conscience” and staying on the same team.

How will you make your vote count? Is there a difference between voting your conscience and making your vote count?

I submit that your vote always “matters” and says more than you may think.

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