The One Thing You Must Do to Avoid ‘Throwing Away’ Your Vote This Election Season

Just Say No to Election Doublethink

My calendar tells me it’s 2016, but it sounds a heck of a lot more like 1984 as we trudge through this final week of America’s 2016 election season. Each major candidate and all their enthusiastic supporters are shouting the same message: a vote for anyone besides Donald Trump is a vote for Hillary Clinton, and a vote for anyone besides Hillary Clinton is a vote for Donald Trump.

I’m yet to hear the “war is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength” bit, but it’s clear that typical election doublethink is in full swing. Big Brother – and Big Sister I suppose – want you to believe that you’re throwing your vote away unless you vote for a major party candidate. And based on conversations I’ve had with friends, it seems that they’re doing a good job selling that lie.

In reality, there is exactly one way to throw away your vote: by casting it for a candidate in whom you don’t truly believe.

And look, maybe you’re a huge Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton fan. Awesome! I’m not going to tell you who to vote for or who you should hate on LTP. This venture is about liberty, not politics. If you truly believe in one of the major candidates – if one of them is a good representation of your values – then I urge you to exercise political liberty and vote for them on November 8th.

But please, don’t cast your vote for either candidate simply because you despise them slightly less than the other. Remember, when you step into the voting booth, you cast your votes for candidates and for ideas – not against them.

There is exactly one way to throw away your vote: by casting it for a candidate in whom you don't truly believe. Click To Tweet
I Voted Sticker

Photo by Oscar Rohena

Evaluating My Options

Speaking personally (this is my blog, after all), I’ve concluded that neither Hillary Clinton nor Donald Trump are good representations of my classically liberal values. I cannot vote for either candidate with a clear conscience. (Maybe you’ve reached a different conclusion, and I’m good with that – so long as the person you’re going to vote for is a good representation of your values.)

So who do I vote for on November 8th? My original plan was to cast a write-in vote for Dave Ramsey. But then I learned about a 2014 Wisconsin (my home state) law which “requires election clerks to only count write-in votes for candidates who file paperwork to be registered.” Dave Ramsey isn’t running for political office in 2016, so surely he hasn’t filed paperwork to be registered as a candidate in Wisconsin. I realized that my write-in vote for him would literally not count – so, after some research, I’ve decided to vote for Evan McMullin instead.

I’m not saying you should make the same choice. I’m just saying that Evan McMullin represents my values well enough to earn my vote. So I’ll be voting for him on November 8th.

Don’t Throw Away Your Vote!


The pressure to conform is real.

I know that my choice angers the hell out of some people. I see stuff like this cartoon everyday in my news feeds. People argue with me: “A write-in candidate has no chance of winning” – as if I didn’t already know that – “so you’re throwing away your vote!” – as if voting for a major party candidate who does not represent my values is somehow not a wasted vote.

Consider the doublethink:

“A vote cast for a candidate in whom you don’t believe is well cast. A vote cast for a candidate in whom you do believe is wasted.”

1984 was a good year for me — I was born on October 9th, 1984. But that’s the extent to which I seek to be associated with 1984. If you likewise reject doublethink, I implore you to vote for a candidate who does represent your values on November 8th – whoever that candidate might be: Clinton, Trump, or someone else entirely.


I invite you to share your thoughts in the comments section below, but be advised that I will remove any comment that bashes me or anybody else for the choices we make regarding our votes. I also will not tolerate political debate over particular candidates on this forum.

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Ross Brown
President at LTP
I'm a 2007 Luther College grad trying to make the most out of every day. I enjoy spending time with my family, charcoal grilling, downhill skiing, double IPAs, fine scotch, going to church, jogging, Texas Holdem, fishing, reading, and watching the Green Bay Packers dominate the NFL.

I'm passionate about passion. Whatever you're passionate about, go do it!