Friday, November 04, 2016

He found out ballot isn't cast for who he says it is

In a further attempt to prove that I care about you - as well as prove to you that it's not easy being a writer of op-eds - here's something new for you that was rejected by some 20-odd newspaper editors.

I'm serious. I sent this one out to a quadruple-handful of newspapers - one at a time, every few days - after my editor at the Boston Herald passed on it, and I didn't receive so much as a "Thanks, but no thanks" in return.

Every so often I totally misjudge what I've written. I thought this one was sure to sell somewhere. I think it makes a good point that nobody else was making. I thought it contained a couple of nice little bits of sour humor. It has a family anecdote and a quote from a famous celebrity. What more did they want?

The answer is... Something I wasn't giving them, apparently, and so here it is for your consumption. If you don't like it as much as they didn't like it, I expect I'll be losing a few readers. If you're one of them, thanks for the memories and I hope your candidate loses.

As I mentioned last time out, I will have something in the Boston Herald this coming Sunday and I'll put a link to it here at that time. Meanwhile, thanks again for coming here and now I'll close with the usual - Soon, with more better stuff.

He found out ballot isn’t cast for who he says it is (536 words)

I've been voting for over 40 years now and I’ve discovered something alarming. It seems I’ve been mistaken about how voting works. It seems the person you vote for isn’t really the person you’re voting for. Who knew? I feel so silly...

Since announcing my intention to vote for Gary Johnson, scads of helpful people have told me, “You’re electing Hillary Clinton if you vote for Gary Johnson!” I honestly didn’t know. I thought a vote for Johnson was a vote for Johnson. Instead, it appears I will be voting for Clinton. Then again, I may be voting for Donald Trump. I’ve been similarly advised, by other kind and helpful friends, that my vote for Johnson will elect Trump.

It would help if I knew which one of those other two I’m truly voting for. It’s terribly confusing. However, it’s also pretty cool. I’m not sure how I can elect two entirely different people by the act of voting for a third person, but I’ve always liked magic and that’s one heck of a trick.

True story. My uncle - an otherwise sane person - gave me the most convoluted argument I could have imagined concerning how people who vote for Johnson will “steal” votes from his preferred candidate. He said those people who would normally have changed over to voting for Clinton, once they became disgusted with Trump, were now voting for Johnson, instead, and therefore stealing votes from Hillary.

Do you have a wall handy? I need one to bang my head against. That’s the only way to help me make sense of such an argument. I felt synapses frying just typing it out.

Even though we’ve traveled a long way from reality, let’s see if we can find our way back. The whole idea of “stealing” votes is an absurdity. It’s a canard foisted on the American public by those who wish to scare people away from an attempt at bucking the two-party system. My new favorite response to such idiocy was recently given by Drew Carey. When asked how he felt concerning the possibility of someone "stealing" votes from Hillary Clinton and thus helping to elect Donald Trump, the comedian and game show host - who is also voting for Gary Johnson, by the way - summed it up rather succinctly. He used a few choice words I’ll have to bowdlerize for newspaper consumption, but I’m sure you’ll be able to figure out what he actually said.

“I don’t give a fudge. If your person doesn’t get enough votes, you lose... There are more than two choices and you are allowed to vote for whoever you want. This is America. If you can’t get the votes to win, tough spit.”[1][1]

Thank you, Mr. Carey. The only way I could have said it better would have been to leave the curses intact.

Can we please put to rest the idea that voting for a third party candidate is somehow actually voting for one of the other two choices? If you vote for someone, you vote for someone – period. If you know someone who believes otherwise, that person definitely needs a refresher in civics.


Tabor said...

Best argument I have heard. But I am still hoping my candidate wins. I follow the math.

Shoshanah said...

When I voted for Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary, someone very close to me said, "A vote for Bernie is a vote for Trump. I'm blaming you when Trump is president." This was the primary, mind you. The Democratic primary.

That kind of blew my mind.

Ami said...

::reminding self to leave the f word out of my commentary::

I can't believe how many _ _ _ _ ing stupid _ _ _ _s use this _ _ _ _ing stupid logic.

How _ _ _ _ing stupid do you have to be to say that voting for the candidate of your choice is stealing a vote?

I will be SO damn glad when all this crap is over.
I have not rejected any friends.
I don't care if they agree with me politically.
I admit I have rolled my eyes and called people I love 'stupid'. But not to their faces.

Because when this is all over, I will still love them. And we'll still be in the toilet as a country.

Blech again.

Absolut Ruiness said...

I loved this! But i guess you already knew that. I dont know why so many editors passed this on, maybe they thought this was a little too short. At least I did.

messymimi said...

Yes, i've been told the same, and i think it's silly. My vote, if it happens to be for a third party candidate, shows my preference and shows that many of us want better choices and we should have them.

Shammickite said...

Those publications should have printed this. Definitely! You make perfect sense. Before all this Clinton/Trump fiasco, I had no idea that there were any other candidates to vote for in any of the American Presidential elections. I thought it was only this or that, no other choices. But then, I'm from Canada, which explains it.

Daryl said...

bottomline is you vote and then its up to the antiquated Electorial College ... something that along with DST should be eliminated ... then your vote would be for the person you voted for