Vote!

I used to think that voting was not that important. For a long time I was pretty apathetic about the political system. I realize now that simply voting for a president every four years will not do a lot to fix things, you need people to be more involved to affect any change. The other day my son said he didn't think voting made a difference & that he didn't know who to vote for. Well, I am about to tell you how this all works.

[step 1] Why should you vote?

First off you should forget the notion that "a single vote does not count". In the one of the most contested elections in U.S. history, Rutherford Hayes won by only 1 electoral vote. But don't just vote for the President, vote for everything, bills, Congress, Senate, Local & even questions. You can find out literally anything about politicians & issues on the internet. [Where do I vote?]

[step 2] What party are you?

I believe you should vote for a candidate, not just a specific party. That said, it is a good idea to at least which party you identify with, because you have to register with one. Even if you identify as a 3rd party, at this time is is best to register as either Rep or Dem, as doing otherwise might limit your voting options. (eg. I am a registered Dem, though I side more with progressives) Here is a brief list of the differences. This is not a foolproof determination & there are always exceptions, but this is a basic guide. [try this quiz]

Democrat - (left): They are typically in favor of people, minorities & social programs. I say typically because it is hard to differentiate some of them from Republicans. They favor more fairness in tax laws & are in favor of progressive views, such as: same sex marriage, legal abortion, medicare for all & a smaller military.

Republican - (right): These guys are the conservative party, meaning they believe in Christian values & that America is the greatest country in the world. They are in favor of lower corporate taxes & regulation. They strongly oppose gay marriage, abortion, social programs & gun control.

Independent, Progressive & other 3rd parties - There are many parties that try to break into the political scene, unfortunately the system we have is prohibitive to them getting coverage. I will not get into all of the different 3rd parties as you will need to register as one of the two major ones to be able to vote in most of the primary elections. I recommend you research every candidate & vote for the one you agree with most, regardless of party.

[step 3] Who do I vote for?

This is the important question & it is entirely up to you. Don't be intimidated by all the mudslinging that goes on, or be frightened by words like socialist, progressive, left or right. Learn about the candidates for yourself & vote for who you feel most comfortable with. I myself am a very progressive voter so I side with candidates like Bernie Sanders, Tulsi Gabbard & Elizabeth Warren. I am a registered democrat, but do not like the current state of our party (2018). I will give you some links at the end to help you out more & I hope you will get involved.


[step 4] Get registered, find your polling place
& GET OFF YOUR ASS & VOTE VOTE VOTE!!!

This is work, I know, but it is really worth it.

The most important thing is to REGISTER & get out & vote. Your one little vote will only make a difference if you use it.

Also, be careful where you get your news from. Places like CNN, FOX, MSNBC & other "mainstream" sources have recently proven to be extremely biased. I recommend some of the following services: TYTTYT politicsSecular TalkReal News Network & Al Jazeera to name a few.

  • Brand New Congress - If you are unhappy with Congress (who isn't) find out how to change it.
  • Justice Democrats - Pledging to run without corporate money, these are the people we need.
  • GovTrack - Find out who your representatives are, & how to contact them to Let them know how you feel.
  • Fact Check - Giving you facts you can use to make informed decisions.
  • Vote Smart - Find out about a politicians positions & voting records.
  • Politifact - Aiming to help you find the truth in politics.
  • FiveThirtyEight - I don't know what this is exactly, but if you love graphs...