So, Who Ya Gonna Vote For?

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A few weeks ago, I made the mistake of stating who I was going to vote for. This was in a private conversation. C’mon…I’m not arrogant enough (nor stupid) enough to get into a flaming war about politics on this blog, Twitter or Facebook.

Anyway, my conversational partner and I usually fall down on the same side of the political aisle. However, when it comes to the November Presidential election, we’ve got different thoughts. While we were talking over dinner, I made the mistake of blurting out my choice. Bad mistake.

In this heated political season, it seems like a lot of people lose their civility, respectfulness and (dare I say?) their head when someone has a differing opinion. Voters? Sure, but where it’s really ugly is when it’s the politicians themselves. Whatever happened to the idea of being able to have a different viewpoint without being labeled (insert your favorite political slang here) and still be friends? It’s just a sad state of affairs these days.

So, a little stroll down memory lane…

One day back in high school, I was sitting in French class. This happened to be the day everyone received their scores from the latest rounds of the ACT. One classmate asked another, “So, what’d you get on the ACT?” A benign enough question, seemingly. But, before a reply could be given, our teacher jumped in. “Don’t answer that!” Uh, why not? She explained.

“Any grade you receive is no one’s business but your own. That goes double for scores on the ACT. You shouldn’t have to share that information if you don’t want to. It’s personal. It’s like asking a woman her bra size…”

Of course, this brought about some chuckles from the teenage guys in class because we most certainly wanted to get into a convo about bra sizes! But, I digress…

But, when I think about it, she had a good point.

Now, bring it back around to the elections. When we Americans go to our polling places, we walk into the voting booth and pull a curtain behind us. Why? Because it’s a secret ballot. Duh! That information is not and should not be for public consumption.

Why, when something is set up to be private, would we press another on their choice for a candidate? We certainly wouldn’t ask others if we’re in their will. We wouldn’t ask a couple if they have a pre-nup. We wouldn’t ask deets of what they did on their honeymoon, what they have in their bank account or a whole slew of other questions that are personal. Why then, do we feel it’s okay to ask people who they’ll vote for?

Most people are more than happy to flap their gums about their political ideology. That’s their right and their prerogative. Me? I’ve learned to steer away from this over the last decade or so. Why? Because we are such a polarized nation. If your viewpoint doesn’t line up with someone else’s, they may be quick to not only disagree, but demonize your opinions and, sad as this is, you personally. It’s gotten to the point where a convo of any political nature can bring about hurt feelings and misunderstandings. And because we’re so quick to put labels on ourselves and others, this just sets up an adversarial situation.

In this political season? Get informed! Vote! I mean seriously, don’t even think of NOT voting. It’s your right AND your responsibility.

But when it comes to the votes of others? Don’t ask. And if someone asks you? It’s your right not to tell. No one needs to have the pressure of revealing something that’s intended as secret.

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