-I have no problem with anyone who makes the effort to get to the polls on election day. Everyone is entitled to cast votes for whomever...or whatever...they so desire. That's the way it works in the good ol' US and A...as Borat would say.
But, there is one aspect of the political process that rubs me a little raw. Straight party voting. To me, for someone to go to the polls and vote straight Republican, Democrat, or any other party, is a waste of the right to choose the right people...and policies...to run our country. Voting a party line seems to me to be one of the biggest cop-outs imaginable...almost an unpatriotic act. I believe I read that Missouri is not giving voters the option of voting a straight ticket anymore...at least not by pushing a single button in the booth. Good for the Show-Me state, if I got that right.
I realize that some folks, depending on their financial circumstances, feel more inclined to vote a straight ticket. But, even these people, I believe, should understand that the candidates themselves, and their stances on all of the issues, are more important in the long run than any party affiliation. The best person for the job will be more beneficial to everyone in his, or her, jurisdiction no matter the party. If it so happens that one's beliefs and core values align them more with a certain party, fine. But don't go to the polls hellbent on voting a certain party without regard to the person wearing the label.
When I was younger...I leaned more to the liberal/Democrat way of thinking. As an older person, I tend to see things from a more conservative standpoint...and therefore Republican candidates have become more appealing. I have voted for independent candidates in the past. Some say that's wasting a vote. I disagree. How will anything about the two-party system ever be changed if people aren't encouraged to vote their conscience? (The two-party system seems more geared to keeping one or the other party in control than providing us with reasonable candidate options) If that includes a vote for an indy...so be it. Bottom line for me...I don't care if someone is Republican, Democrat, Independent, Green, Blue, or whatever. As long as they are the best person for the job, according to my homework, they get the vote.
Most political party leaders will tell you, if they're being honest, that from time to time they have a bad candidate running on their side. It happens. It's up to us to make sure when it does that we don't sweep that person into office with a vote that's oblivious to qualifications. When we go to the polls, we should vote our own conscience...not somebody else's priorities.