Voting is Not a Religious Experience. It’s a Strategy.

Voting is not a religious experience

voting hands_fb

It’s time to place your bets. We’re down to the final choice in picking the leader of the free world. Who will you put your money on?

This dilemma of conscientious voting is age old. Vote your conscience, they say. Amen to that, I say. At least I used to. I’ve struggled voting my conscience many times, often down to the last moment, when it’s been just me, my pencil and the ballot.

But not anymore. I’ve realized I’ve been making too much of all this. When it finally gets down to me alone in the voting booth, it isn’t a question of who can I vote for, “in good conscience.” At that point, it’s all strategy.

You can either see life as a box of chocolates; you-get-what-you-get kinda thing, OR a game of chess; strategy baby, strategy.

It isn’t going to matter, at this point in the presidential election process, what your conscience is telling you regarding your hopes for third party candidates or dreamy write-ins. Or even if you’ve convinced yourself that you don’t care.

This 2016 presidential election is going to go to either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, regardless of whether you vote for one, or the other, or neither.

I’m no whiz when it comes to statistics (ask my husband who has finally come to accept my one-in-a-million analysis for most everything), and I’m not a particularly strategic sorta person either. I pride myself in my seat-of-the-pants dogma, going with my gut over mind-boggling strategy. (Full disclosure: I don’t even play chess.)

Butttttttt, when it comes down to casting my ballot, my gut is telling me this whole fascination surrounding conscientious voting is a bit overdone.

Voting is NOT a religious experience. It’s a strategy.

I’m not saying that our elected officials aren’t important, because indeed they are. I’m saying that at this stage of the game, in our current race to the White House, the horses are already outta the barn.

We are down to only two choices.

Regardless of your fervor, or lack thereof, for either of the candidates, one of them is going to win, but you can rest assured, the outcome is never as straightforward as it seems on the face of it.

Perfect candidate or not, neither hold that much power. Influence, yes. Power, not so much.

Thanks to those who shed their precious blood during our divorce from the crown, we’re not a monarchy so you can have peace in knowing that your decision in choosing one or the other won’t likely crumble the republic.

(Yes, I am aware of the arguments otherwise, about a total meltdown of the country, whether we choose one or the other, or yet another. I’m not talking about that. I’m talking big picture here, friends. The world will continue to spin on its axis. The sun will continue to rise and set regardless of the outcome of this election. More than likely . . . )

My husband, against my better judgement, recently ran and won a local city council election. As important as we’d like to think he is, as he always says, he’s only one of seven on the council. He’s got six others that can overrule his crazy. He’s not all that powerful.

Same, same for the president. Yes of course the position holds a lot of prestige and influence, but by design, the president is constantly in check by our Congress and Supreme Court.

My big picture point here is to urge you to make a choice. One way or the other. Just forget about another.

And if you don’t like either candidate, please know, there is no sin in choosing the lesser of two evils. Why is that concept given such bad rap? It’s life. We make those kinds of decisions every day. Even when we think they’re equally as evil! (Parenting teenagers comes to mind. Let’s see…should we let him drive our car to the beach with a pile of his friends, or let him ride with them?)

So then, at this point, unless you’re impassioned by one candidate over the other, it’s a simple Would You Rather game.

Who would you rather have leading our country? Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump?

I am 99.9 percent certain that one of them will win.

Based on my statistical calculations, I bet there’s only a one in a million chance that a third party candidate or write-in could win. We’ve all heard of wasted votes, and yes, that is what I’m talking about.

But it’s deeper than that.

You can either play the game and put your bet in for a win by voting for either one of the major candidates . . . or not. But choosing “not” is leaving the decision to others.

That doesn’t seem to be too conscientious.

It’s kinda like walking past some litter on the sidewalk and leaving it for someone else to pick up.

To choose neither one of the two major candidates we have is handing over your privilege to vote. Maybe not technically, but theoretically, voting for someone statistically unlikely to win is really like leaving the decision for someone else to pick up.

And that’s not something I can rest too easily with.

My point here is to urge you to make a choice that’s relevant. One way or the other. Just forget about another.

As my back-seat-driver husband always reminds me when I’m making a lawful, yet sketchy choice behind the wheel, “Your headstone will read: She had the right of way,” emphasizing I may be right, but I’ll be dead.

So yes, you have every right to choose whomever you wish. Turn into oncoming traffic. Just remember the odds. One in a million . . . .

At this stage in the game of electing our 45th president, now is not the time for philosophizing. We can all wax and wane righteously about how both candidates are not up to our standards, but really, that’s immaterial.

It’s all hot air at this point. It matters not. It is what it is.

I’d suggest putting that energy of discernment into cultivating and supporting a plight or candidate of your liking for the 2020 election, but at this point, in this 2016 US Presidential election, the die is cast. Ballots are set.

You will not burn in hell if you choose one over the other.

And you need not feel guilty for choosing the lesser of two evils or however you want to put it.

I, right now, by the power vested in this blog, absolve you of all your guilt.

And let’s not forget to be grateful that we even have the option to vote (or even not to vote) in this country. That’s really where the whole religious experience comes in. . . . in being gracious to the memory our forefathers and all those who have shed blood on our behalf so we may have this privilege.

It’s like deciding whether you want chicken or beef at a wedding reception. Assuming you care, there’s usually one thing / feeling or otherwise that can put you over the top in making that decision.

But even if you don’t care, they’re going to put a plate in front of you whether you like it or not. Whether you’re vegan or otherwise.

No decision is still a decision.

It’s time to make our pick. It’s either one or the other.

What’s your strategy?

Thanks for reading. This is my little place to vent out the noise in my head so I appreciate the listen. I don’t post often, so if you would like to keep up with my posts, subscribe to my updates and I’ll give you a shout when a new one surfaces. Plus, I’m always making some sort of printable that I share with my subscribers so you’ll get that too. But, I promise I won’t bury you in emails. For realzies. 

About The Author

Maria Slaby

I'm a lot of labels, not the least of which is a mom / wife with four awesome kids and an amazing husband. My lifelong love of making cool stuff with an eye on our humanness has also turned me into a branding and publishing specialist. I love helping others bring voice to their passions in this wild and tangled digital world. Catch up with me on social media. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram @mariaslaby.