That being said, it is already clear that our local Tea Party has reduced this year's presidential race down to the media's level--which is why my mother was so disgusted. Basically, they are saying (as ever) that a vote for anyone other than the GOP candidate is a vote for Obama. Because, you know, we all realize and acknowledge the concrete fact that the GOP would never nominate someone who wasn't...well, ideologically sound with their beliefs, and sincere in his own belief in that ideology. Obviously.
In any case, besides the mathematical odds of your vote even doing anything for your candidate, much less against him or her, there is the matter of the choices I, a young voter, am being faced with. I feel a bit like a harried shopper. Let me explain.
Imagine, for a moment, that you walk into a grocery store. Perhaps you are hankering after some good beef, some potatoes on the side. And pie. (Pie is a necessary part of any good meal.) But as you go to select your steak, a wild-eyed employee comes running up, apron flying, hair rumpled as he screams in your face and quickly replaces the steak you'd picked up, practically yanking it from your hand. You protest, as you should, that you quite liked that steak, and had been planning to buy it. No, he screams, that steak is bad for you. That steak would ruin the store if you bought it! No, no--you want one of these steaks. And into your hands he places two old pieces of meat.
They smell as rank as they look, and for a moment you're nonplussed. Surely these two can't be the ones he means! And besides, look at the price tags! But the employee insists, and somehow you've dropped one of the steaks, and the employee has already put an arm around your shoulders and is steering you towards the check out, chatting your ear off about how you've made the right decision, and the choice was inspired, truly inspired, sir, and bravo and cheerio!
Ridiculously lame attempt to be British aside, it seems that sometimes this is precisely the kind of choice that is given voters. Romney or Obama, they say--"Here you are, have the compromising hack or the suave liar. Which do you prefer?" The media has reduced the debate down to which one stinks less, rather than which one will actually help the country and abide by the Constitution while he's at it. And then of course, there's the lovely citizens of this fine country, who insist that if we don't vote for their candidate, we're "wasting our vote"... and God Almighty forbid we vote outside the two party system! Why, that would be tantamount to treason.
Let it be known here and now, then, that I will vote for whoever I please, fearmongering notwithstanding. And I know, quite well, that my vote will not be wasted.
Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.
John Quincy Adams