How to Vote in 2016

Admit it – you have considered deleting your Facebook/Twitter account at least once in the last two months. If you haven’t, let me fill you in on why so many people are fed up with social media right now: politics. Aka, #ELECTION2016.

With the impending doom of who is actually going to be elected into office as our 45th POTUS this fall, many people have literally lost their shit. You may be asking yourself, “Ok, I know I’m not going to vote for XXX, but who SHOULD I be voting for?” Or maybe you’re thinking, “I hate all of this. I’m just not going to vote.” Well, hold on just a minute. I think I can help you out.

Throughout the last 60 days I have researched, configured, eliminated, and confirmed a somewhat-effective solution to guide myself (and you) through the process of deciding who you should vote for and how to come to that decision on your own.

Question someone you trust

No, I didn’t say interrogate. Most likely, if you have a mentor/leader figure in your life whom you respect, you’ll share a lot of views with them regarding the political candidates right now. Mine would be my sweet mother. Not everyone shares political opinions with their parents and I don’t agree with her on everything, but it is a great opportunity to have an honest conversation with no risk of being judged.

Sit down with your person over a decaf tea (because caffeine may constrict your blood vessels a bit too much for a political discussion of this caliber) and ask them why they’re voting. Ask them why they’re voting for XXX.

Confirm with them the reasons you agree with certain issues regarding that candidate, and why you disagree on others. It’s okay to disagree, despite what various social platforms of this decade have told you about arguing until your fingers bleed. Have an adult conversation with an open mind and you’ll walk away with a new perspective.

Do your research

I took a quiz online that told me I was going to vote for someone I definitely didn’t think I wanted to vote for. After reading all of the articles posted on my News Feed regarding different candidates and their flaws, I realized that these articles were nothing more than OTHER people’s opinions! I found myself back at the start of wondering who I actually supported based upon my beliefs, the things I support, and the issues I think need some revision.

Trace the contestants back to the beginning of their careers. Look at articles about them from before they were running for president. Consider their families. Give the person who you have no interest in voting for a little extra exploration and see what you find – you may be surprised at what the media leaves out.

Something I found that I never knew about Donald Trump is that he was voted the class “Ladies Man” in New York Military Academy’s class of ’64. This is a surprising detail to me, considering how derogatory his interviews and conversations displayed as of late have portrayed his opinion of women to be. He also attended Usher’s 26th birthday party.

Agree to disagree

I cannot reiterate this enough – your opinion does not determine someone else’s intelligence. I have seen people absolutely destroy their friends in an attempt to prove that their stance is better than the other’s. When it comes down to it, do you really want your support for a specific presidential candidate (who – mind you – will only be in office for 4 years, maybe 8) to make you look like an ignorant fool when that person messes up?

If Hillary Clinton hadn’t deleted all those emails do you think she’d have more supporters? If Trump wasn’t such an ass, wouldn’t more people be prone to giving him some slack? If Bernie Sanders wasn’t so old….. well, nevermind. That’s not his fault.

Stop talking about it

Back in the days of Reagan, nobody shared who they planned to vote for. In fact, it was quite a private matter. My mom was telling me the other day that when she was in grade school, her teacher asked her class to share who their parents were voting for in the upcoming presidential election. She remembers being extremely embarrassed at the question as it was not something anyone discussed publicly at the time.

There are plenty of things to talk/post/rant about that won’t offend your friends. Do us a favor and keep your political stance to yourself. What made Fight Club so great? Its number-one rule – to not talk about it.

The most beautiful thing about democracy is that we get to decide. We get to voice our opinions and we’re able to choose who leads our country. I love that our collective voice is able to affirm equality and make this great nation greater. The slogan “Make American Great Again” is all fine and good except that the United States of America still is great. There isn’t an “again” because She never wasn’t. 

This country has made strides and bounds since its birth and just because a few hiccups along the way sometimes look like rock slides, we are still America and we are still free. So go out there, form your own political and world views, and make a difference in the polls this #ELECTION2016.