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Is Voting Really Worth the Effort?

By V. Susan Hutchinson

After exiting the Joe Biden rally at CCU the other night, my friend, who knows I am not a strong Biden supporter, says to me “If you don’t vote for Joe it is a wasted vote because he is the only one who can beat Trump.”

This upset me a bit. Not only because this was my friend, but because of the belief that Joe Biden alone is all the Democratic Party needs in November.

I began to question if it was worth it to vote at all. After all, people like my friend seem to know that of all the Democratic candidates there is actually only one who can win.

And then there is Donald Trump, who wants to disrupt the South Carolina primary by telling his supporters to go out and vote for Sen. Bernie Sanders. Why? Because Trump thinks Sanders has no chance against him in November.

What about the Democrats? Aren’t they unified to pick the candidate chosen by the people at the DNC National Convention? Well, seems the superdelegates are already coming out against Sanders as they did in 2016, well before the convention, seemingly to make sure he doesn’t get the nomination.

Combining all of these things together, it appears Trump is trying to stack the deck in favor of his preferred challenger and Democrats are already deciding who they want regardless of who actually comes out on top when the primaries are finished.

So, does my vote really count for anything anymore? Is it a wasted vote, as my friend said, to cast my ballot for my candidate instead of who everyone thinks will win or who both parties might try to manipulate to either get on the ticket or off?

Should I Vote?

I had to actually stop and think before going to the polls today to decide if I really wanted to vote this time. That is the first time this has happened; in this age of Trump it’s easy to get beaten down.

I just didn’t expect it to be by Democrats too.

I did end up going out to vote for my choice this morning. I am wondering, though, how many people have read all the stories about potential manipulation of the Democratic nominee or looking at polls that show their candidate doesn’t have a chance and decide it isn’t worth the effort.

Things to Remember for November

In spite of what anyone says, I feel that any one of the Democratic candidates can beat Donald Trump if there is a proper strategy, support from the DNC as well as all the candidates who ran and everyone gets out and votes their butts off. Here are a few points to consider in November.

Unity: Unless someone has a crystal ball that shows who will win, the only thing that is certain is that if we don’t all pull together to support the Democratic nominee and get out there and vote en masse on November 3, Trump will be re-elected.

All Democrats need to commit now to support the nominee chosen by the people even if it isn’t their first choice and even if there is something they don’t like about their platform. Most of the candidates are on the same page on the major issues. Now is not the time to nitpick little things.

You can help control how much they get done if you:

Don’t Forget About Congress: Congress is the key in 2020. Democrats need to keep the House and take back the Senate regardless of who wins the Presidency. A Democratic President with a Congress that is all or half Republican will be worthless.

If you don’t like something on the Democratic candidate’s platform, remember that he/she can’t get legislation passed without the approval of Congress, including a Democratic one. There will be plenty of moderate Democrats who will want to negotiate for less drastic change, especially if you express your views to your representatives.

We are not voting for one person: I recently read an op-ed about a suggested strategy for a way to defeat Trump. This election is not just about a head to head with Trump; it’s about a regime change. I agree with New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman that voters should know who the Democratic nominee wants as his cabinet before going to the polls in November. And yes, including moderate Republicans who have been vocal against Trump shows we need this government to be bi-partisan in order to accomplish change and close the political divide.

In the past, the Vice-Presidential nominee, who is announced at the DNC convention, had some sway with voters who did not necessarily like the choice for President. I think this will especially be true in 2020 if the nominee is older. However, this year, Trump’s entire cabinet is, in essence, up for re-election. We need to replace an Education Secretary who hates public schools, an Energy Secretary who wants to keep fossil fuels going instead of moving to renewable energy sources, a Secretary of State who is a warmonger. This list goes on and on and many are unqualified for the positions they were appointed to.

Voting for an entire administration is a change, but one that, I feel, is sorely needed as it may help sway independents and moderate Republicans.

Yes, Your Vote Does Count: Maybe your candidate didn’t win the primary or didn’t get the nomination. Someone has to lose, but it doesn’t mean that you stop exercising your right to vote. In November, every Democratic vote counts. Don’t be so upset by any tactics used by the Republicans or the Democrats that you stay home in November. The point of the election this year is to remove Donald Trump, and his administration, from office.

We must return to an America where voters can feel they are voting for who they think is the best person for the job without questioning whether it is worth it or not.

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