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Jeff Watkins
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Previous Posts

Voodoo Music Festival
About A Car
I Spent $179.65 This Weekend...
Another Moment in the Life of the Aging
Jeremiah the Prophet
My Afternoon To Remember
The Bastard Son of Katrina
Who Would Have Thought?
Carry On My Wayward Son

© To Whom It May Concern 2002-2010, except for cited or source material.


Monday, November 03, 2008

On Presidential Elections and Logic

Voting is not only a responsibility, but also a privilege. I have been legally able to do so for a decade now. Yet, I have only voted once. Four years ago, because the election seemed to have a clear, superior candidate (and I stress seemed), I took up my civil liberty and rocked the vote.

This year, however, proves to be a much more difficult decision.

Does one wonder with whom I am lending my support for the presidency? If so, pause please, there's a story. I have been studying logic this semester in one of my philosophy classes. Even at my elementary level, I have quickly realized that very few people actually think 'logically'. On the surface, there are three laws of logic: the Law of Non-Contradiction, the Law of Excluded Middle, and the Law of Identity. I will focus on one particular element for this discourse.

The Law of Excluded Middle states that something either is or is not. Every proposition is either true or false; there is no gray area or in-between.

An example:

A or ~A

Aristotle said, "There is nothing between asserting and denying."

The main point to the Law of Excluded Middle is that any claim has to be either true or has to be false. Please keep this in mind, and again, follow a tangent.

I am still a registered voter in Florida, not Louisiana. This is problematic. I got an absentee ballot. Issue resolved! I looked at my choices. Complications revived.

I like Obama, but disagree with his ideas about health care and tax breaks. I am unmoved by McCain, but actually agree with his tax policies. I kept looking throughout my other choices. Would I go Libertarian with Bob Barr? What about Ralph Nader? Who is Chuck Baldwin? This is not going to be easy.

Because I felt my voice had not been heard in the primaries, and there was not a single candidate I could support, I put a stamp on my ballot, left it blank, and mailed it back. This would be my protest that, at least, the Supervisor of Elections in Jackson County would see. Since I had no choice, I would not choose the ‘lesser of the two evils,’ but I would choose to make no choice.

Remember the law of logic I introduced earlier? A or ~A. Something either is or is not. That’s the catch, and the reason I mention it. This story is true. But, I forgot to reveal an important facet of the story. While I did go to the post office, I only put the absentee ballot mailer and envelop on the scale to make sure it did not need any additional postage. I then accidentally and unconsciously dropped it in the outgoing mailbox, and it was mailed back to Florida. Because I mailed it, they could not send me another one (you know, because it would look like I was voting twice). Something is or is not. I did or did not vote.

I did not...

Yes, I wasted my vote. Am I mad? Yes and no. Do I care, not really. While one vote does not change much, we will see after tomorrow how close this election will be. I am annoyed I didn’t get to vote, but no matter what, we are stuck with whomever we get for the next four years. I think everyone should educate themselves by learning the platforms of the candidates, and then vote. Do not vote ignorantly! That is almost as bad as doing what I did.

This democratic republic we celebrate as the United States of America is built on the ideology that everyone should have a voice. Yet, if you forsake your chance to air your thoughts, you are not going to be heard. The process we call voting is more than simply punching a hole in an index card in a booth with a curtain. It’s showing the government who the people choose to speak for them in Washington D.C.

If you don’t use it, you’ll lose it.

"Elections belong to the people. It is their decision. If they decide to turn their back on the fire and burn their behinds, then they will just have to sit on their blisters." - Abraham Lincoln

posted by Jeff Watkins at 5:06 PM


Blogger matt solomon said...


2:12 PM  
Anonymous Michelle said...

JEFF! You did exactly what I thought about doing! Seriously. It's almost kind of the way Obama "voted" Present in the Senate how many ever times he did so... It's basically a non-vote...


Why give someone your vote if you don't want them to have it?

Hope you're doing well, Jeff!
- Michelle

9:02 PM  
Anonymous Bethany said...

I cannot BELIEVE you didn't vote. We just may have to friend break up

8:36 PM  

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