In Which I Waste My Vote

It’s election day, and that means it’s time for Bryce to vote. There’s a couple of races up here in Maine that I’ve been following. The biggest is obviously the race for governor. For you non-Mainers out there, we have a three way race, with a Democrat, an Independent, and an incumbent Republican.

Last time around, I voted for LePage—the Republican. He seemed like the sort of person who would dive in, get his hands dirty, and fix things. Sure, he had a big mouth at times, but I figured I didn’t care what he said. I cared about what he did.

Then he went and got himself elected, and he set about proving me wrong. The man never met an idiotic statement he didn’t like, whether it was telling off the NAACP or bad mouthing the press. He’s managed to make the national news on several occasions, and he’s made Maine look like a bunch of ignorant hicks every time he’s done so.

And as for getting things done? He’s done some things, but I don’t feel like he’s been very effective overall. Granted, some of this is because I’m surrounded by librarians and professors—not exactly the most Republican group out there. Mention LePage in some rooms and I’m surprised the whole room doesn’t go, “LePage!” and then spit on the ground in disgust.

Still, I don’t think I’m so easily influenced by my peers as to give up on a guy just because people don’t like him. (I still like W. Bush, for example, and I continue to think he did a great job as president with the hand he was dealt. But that’s a topic for a different time.)

So I don’t like LePage. So why don’t I do what everyone else is doing and vote for the Democrat? The problem with this one is that I don’t really think Michaud (the Dem) is going to get anything done at all. He seems to me sort of like a sack of flour. Wherever he gets dumped, he’ll sit there doing not a whole lot until someone picks him up again and carries him somewhere else. Maine needs someone who’s going to get things done. There are a lot of problems in the state, and I’d like to see them fixed. I don’t feel like Michaud’s the man for the job.

But wait! There’s an Independent running, right? Right. Cutler. And Cutler impresses me. He’s bright, he’s not ruled by either party, and I think he’d get stuff done. Not perfect, but certainly my favorite of the three. The only problem? He ran last election, and he almost beat LePage but came just short—in the process drawing a lot of support away from the Democrat running. So there are a whole slew of people who are quite bitter LePage won last time, and who blame Cutler for that victory.

As I’ve talked to different people, quite a few have said they like Cutler and would vote for him—they voted for him last time—but they’re worried if they do it again, LePage will pull off another victory, so they’re voting for Michaud, instead. Ironically, I’ve also met conservative Cutler supporters who aren’t voting for Cutler because they’re worried about how many people are going to vote for Michaud, and they’d rather an idiot win the race than a sack of flour.

This is the situation we come to: a whole bunch of people thinking the third candidate’s the one for the job, but no one willing to vote for him, because they’re too worried about their least favorite candidate winning. This isn’t a race about choosing the best candidate. It’s a game to see if you can ensure your least favorite candidate loses.

And then we’ll be stuck with the result for the next four years. Joy.

So who am I voting for? Cutler. I realize he doesn’t have a chance of winning, but I just can’t bring myself to vote any differently. I don’t want to support LePage or Michaud. It feels strange to me, but there you have it.

One of the local papers had a test you could take to see which party you support more, based on the issues. I took it and discovered I’m split right down the middle. I support half the Democrat ticket and half the Republican. So I suppose whoever wins today, I can either be half happy or half sad.

Such is life.

At least it’ll be entertaining to watch the drama unfold, even if it leaves me with mixed emotions. How about you—any races you’re watching particularly closely? I’d be more than happy to discuss the various issues, as long as people keep it respectful and clean. And whatever side you support, please please please

GO VOTE!!!!!

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