A Public Service Announcement for Election Day

by Ken Mueller on November 6, 2012 · 9 comments

English: Ballot Box showing preferential voting

It’s election day and most of us will be preoccupied with voting, posting our thoughts on social media, and then watching as the results come in on television and online this evening. As a result, I know you won’t be paying attention to a lot of marketing mumbo jumbo and blogs, so I won’t keep you here long. But before I let you go, just a few thoughts.

1. Vote – I urge you to vote. Whether you vote for one of the two main party candidates, a third party candidate, or even write in someone, I don’t care. Heck, feel free to write me in. I promise not to do any more damage than our elected officials normally do. But seriously vote. Having said that, I’m not one of those people who says,

“If you don’t vote, you don’t have a reason to complain.”

As far as I’m concerned, not voting is a form of voting, and I fully understand the disenfranchisement of the American voter. But let your voice be heard.

2. Be Civil – I’m tired of the negativity. I’m tired of the invective. Do me a favor and surprise me. Tonight as we are watching the results roll in, and tomorrow morning when we (presumably) have a newly elected president, I fully expect to see a lot of nastiness. The race is incredibly close and I’ve seen a lot of divisiveness. Tomorrow morning, about 50% of us will be happy, while the other 50% will be ready to move to another country. At least that’s what I’m seeing on Facebook.

Guess what. The sun will rise tomorrow morning. Over the past 200 and whatever years, we’ve survived horrible presidencies and tough times. No matter how horrible you think our new president will be, we will survive.

So as you go online to Facebook and Twitter, please be civil.

Your friend and neighbor whom you’ve liked for years? They voted for the other guy. But you’re still allowed to like them. Their vote didn’t change who they are. How about you two go out for a cup of coffee rather than questioning each other’s intelligence.

And if you write me in this year, and I don’t win, remember…there’s always 2016!



We just had this conversation at dinner the other night with one of our daughters and her roommates. The Big Guy and I said we strongly believe that November 7 should be a time to set aside our political differences and move forward as a country. That includes having respect for the office of the president, regardless of who wins. I have my opinions on who I'd like to win, of course, and have expressed them (repeatedly) offline. But today I'm just asking friends and family to vote with integrity, with a sense of responsibility for all Americans, and not out of fear or personal interest. May it be so.


Nope, totally disagree on the "If you don't vote then don't complain" issue. Non-voters are acting like helpless victims, and how does that do them or anyone any good? This is the system we have; this is our power. It's purely moronic to disengage. 

Sorry, Ken, I almost always agree with you, but this one's non-negotiable.

KenMueller moderator

@maryhruth My feeling is, this is America. We have the right to vote or not vote, and believe me, I considered not voting. The system is broken. It is completely negotiable to decide not to participate as a form of protest.


@KenMueller @maryhruth While I admit that the system is broken, I don't agree that voluntarily staying away from the polls is a valid form of protest. There are state and local issues that need attention, and voting third party is always a viable option. Some might consider that a 'spoiler vote' but the fact remains that the two-party system doesn't help things along.

Work towards a better system, but staying home and not voting isn't stopping the machine. Just my $.02.  

To the rest of your points in the post? Hear, hear. 

Latest blog post: A Few Thoughts on Election Day

KenMueller moderator

@ginidietrich Oh, I see what you saw. I said "newly elected president". Technically if Obama is re-elected he is a newly elected president. I have my thoughts, which I will share with you, but that wasn't what I was saying up there.

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