Should a serious independent vote today, or next week?

As I’ve said so many times before, 2008 was the dream year for an independent: The most moderate candidate won both parties’ nominations. It was the no-lose election for people like me. Having endorsed both in their respective primaries, we endorsed McCain in the general, but just barely. When Obama won, as expected, I was totally fine with it.

This, of course, is the year from hell — not only for us independents, but for real Republicans and, to a certain extent, Democrats. They, and we, are beset by fascists and socialists, and none of us know what to do about it.


At least Trump’s name was last. That will lose him a FEW votes…

So, what should a thoughtful, serious independent who truly cares about the country, who wants to avert disaster (or at least fight an honorable rear-guard action), do — vote today, or next week?

I voted today, and persuaded my wife to do the same. I’ve contacted my kids — the ones who live in this country — and simply reminded them that unless they’re voting next week, to remember to do so today.

For myself, I just feel like a vote in the GOP primary does more for the country. I can’t affect who comes in first or second, or even third, but I think every vote really counts in terms of which “mainstream” candidate comes in behind Rubio. And that can affect who drops out next, and who survives to contest with Rubio for the real-Republican mantle. In other words, it can affect who is left when there is only one mainstream candidate left, who can then have the votes to overcome the two nightmares, Trump and Cruz.

But I don’t see my vote, and the votes of my family and friends, having much impact on the Democratic outcome. Either Hillary, the last mainstream candidate on that side, wins by a landslide here, or she’s toast. Either the great mass of people in that primary back her, or it’s essentially over. If she fails to win big here — again — then where can she win? Small groups of voters voting one way or the other just can’t affect that contest.

This is a fairly wobbly argument, I realize. I could knock it down myself without much effort. But the same can be said for every other argument I’ve thought of. So after making the argument to my wife, I didn’t bother my kids with it. I know one of them is for Bernie, and another told me he plans to vote next week, to which I said fine and left him alone. Another has voted today, and another plans to do so later today. My daughter in Thailand did not arrange to vote absentee, to my knowledge.

Basically, I just wanted to make sure that if they don’t definitely plan to vote next week, they should remember to do so today. Not that they’d forget, but you know how parents are, even with adult children — dress warmly, eat right, remember to vote…

The thing is, all the likely scenarios for outcomes here in South Carolina are so unsatisfactory in this nightmare year that I’m not inclined to push my own thinking too hard on anyone.

But I’ve laid out for you the course I’ve chosen. What do y’all think? Is it the best, or least bad, course for a true independent in 2016, or is there a better plan?

12 thoughts on “Should a serious independent vote today, or next week?

  1. Mark Stewart

    The flip side might be that since either of the Democrats is likely to beat out anyone from this anemically week GOP field, voting next week may be a more important vote. Yes, SC will still go GOP in the fall, but SC will be very important for determining which Dem is going to begin to pull ahead.

    I don’t get to vote until March 1st, and I’m restricted to voting in the closed GOP primary – so one of these unpalatables will be mine to choose. Not looking forward to that.

  2. Scout

    I voted today. I’m not happy with what the news is telling me right now, that Trump is the projected winner already and that Kasich is not even beating Bush. I like to think they will be wrong with only 1% reporting. Oh well.

  3. Jean Smolen

    I’ve been a Democrat for 45 years and on Saturday I voted for John Kasich. He’s the only candidate in both parties who has governing experience (sorry, Rubio), is trustworthy (forget it, Hillary), seems reasonably sane (get real, Bernie) and projects leadership (never happened, Jeb). It will take a miracle to put Kasich on the ballot for the general election, but in this crazy political climate, anything is possible.


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