As a Tea Party member who happens to live in Speaker John Boehner’s district I’m often asked the question about whether I plan to vote for the Speaker in the upcoming election or do I plan to simply sit that particular vote out. After all, my rather staunch logically conservative nature has a tendency to get frustrated so often by conflicting with many of Boehner’s more centrist “establishment” positions on certain issues. This same question came up in the last presidential election regarding Mitt Romney, the results of which perfectly explain why I not only still plan to vote, but to do so FOR Boehner.
Contrary to what Democrats would like for us to believe Obama did not win re-election because of some overwhelming love that the people felt for his first term policies. In fact, he actually lost about 3.5 million votes between his 2008 and 20012 totals. So why did he still win? The reason was because of all the votes of those who didn’t actually vote. So am I suddenly becoming the type of conspiratorial theorist that I deride in my commentaries by accusing Democrats of massive voter fraud? No! Besides, that’s a topic for another day. What I am saying is that Obama didn’t win, but instead Romney lost because of all the negative votes cast by virtue of voter apathy. Are you confused yet?
What most of us are taught is that ours is a one voter, one vote system. This isn’t actually true. As my own parents taught me as I approached the very important voter eligible age is that what we really have is more of a two vote binary system where each voter has both a positive vote and a negative vote. If you understand the laws of finite numbers you probably already understand this concept. However, for those that are unfamiliar with such a concept please allow me to explain further.
Suppose there are two candidates and 100 potential voters. If half were planning on voting for each candidate each would receive 50 votes thus creating a tie. However, if one of those voters changed their mind and instead voted for the other guy the difference isn’t one, it’s two, with one candidate now winning by a 51-49 margin. That’s because the new favorite candidate got a +1 (or a positive vote) and the old favorite received a -1 (or a negative vote). Now suppose that the person who changed their mind simply decided instead to not vote at all. Well, it still counts as a -1 vote for the old favorite which still breaks the tie thus causing the old favorite to lose by a 50-49 margin. As you can see “not voting” is still an effective form of vote which is why in reality there is no such thing as not voting. If you apply this principle to the 2012 election it’s easy to see based on the numbers that Obama didn’t win since his total actually declined, but rather Romney lost due to all the negative votes of those that mistakenly decided it would be better to sit out an election rather than voting for someone they didn’t agree with often enough.
As an intelligent adult I’m smart enough to understand that I’m never going to find the perfect candidate that I agree with on every issue. What I also understand is that voting is often times just as much about voting AGAINST someone as it is voting FOR someone. Therefore, we must accept the idea of either voting for the candidate that most closely resembles our own positions, or at least voting against the person who least agrees with us. This often translates into placing a vote where we must do so while holding our nose as I did in 2008 with John McCain. I wasn’t as much a fan of McCain’s positions as I was against Obama’s socialistic agenda.
My parents raised me with the understanding that voting is both a serious responsibility, but also a sacred duty based on the sacrifices of those who gave their fullest measure so that I might have such an opportunity in the first place. They never pressured me on how to vote, but just how important it is that I should vote. Since I’ve already let the cat out of the bag about who I plan to vote for the question many might be asking is whether my vote is actually based on being FOR Boehner or AGAINST any possibility of Nancy Pelosi becoming Speaker of the House ever again? In truth it doesn’t really matter. What does matter is that I plan on not disappointing either my parents or those that sacrificed so much regardless of why I end up voting the way I do. I would suggest you do the same.