I'm not really sure why everyone I know is asking me who they should vote for. Four years ago, these same people would have avoided talking politics with me at all.
Now, they are coming from all directions. Some of them are lifelong Republicans who simply can't vote for Trump. Some are fiscal Republicans who don't mind social Democrats, but can't bring themselves to vote for Hillary. "Should I vote third party?" they ask. "Is that throwing away my vote?" "Should I protest with a write-in?"
One friend of mine clarified it pretty neatly: The choice is between 4 years of paralysis hoping for a better choice in 2020 and 4 years of systemic demolition, hoping that random luck improves things by 2020.
Paralysis... demolition... paralysis... demolition...
And only paroxysms of indecision break the endless ping pong.
That is why I'm thrilled to find myself oddly indifferent towards Trump v. Hillary. Perhaps that's also why my friends ask my opinion.
I shouldn't let it go to my head when they ask. It's just an involuntary cry in my direction from casualties of dilemma. But "who should I vote for" emboldens me to list:
1. Vote your conscience. Go towards the thing you want, not away from things you hate.
2. Vote without thinking of outcomes. Too many variables. Unless you like math. And chaos theory.
3. Vote your instincts. Look at the candidate and listen to your gut. Then vote.
4. Don't give the decision more power than it deserves. You are one vote and no candidate will save the world on his or her own.
5. Since he/she will delegate most of the work, ask yourself, do your instincts like the candidate's circle of friends?
6. Vote to represent. Your vote represents you; it's your own personal pixel within the chaotic CG fluid called "Americans." It's as frivolous, branded, individual as a momentary selfie. It says, "I was here."
Finally, to my friends who feel their vote is insignificant -
Maybe you want to make a difference - and the younger you are, the more difference you expect to make. Don't scorn your vote because it lacks the difference-making clout you expect of yourself.
To put it in perspective, all historic periods are great hives made of individuals, zigging and zagging. They are shaped by individuals taking action - whether by following the leader, following the rules, following their passion, or not.
One vote makes a difference, even if it's just the difference between 45,090,331 and 45,090,332 for a candidate who lost.
Your vote is not a chess move.
It doesn't solve.
It's not the culmination of research on a cure for evil.
It is not about wielding power.
It's about being seen and heard.