I remember that pearl of life wisdom being thrown at me very early on, somewhere between “use the potty, not your pants” and “don’t talk with your mouth full.”
Thing is, given the way we elect presidents in this country, the phrase is misleading.
Every vote counts.
But it doesn’t necessarily matter.
And while I’m about as far from being an Electoral College scholar as you can get, I understand its basic principle.
If I didn’t understand it before 2000, I sure figured it out then.
The simplistic truth is that we, the people of the United States, don’t elect presidents.
That’s done by they, the people of Nevada.
Or they, the people of Ohio.
Or they, the people of Colorado.
Or they, the people of Florida.
Or whichever state ends up at the end of the night with the number of electoral votes necessary to put a candidate over the top and into the Oval.
So, while I am certainly not about discouraging anybody from exercising, and enjoying, their founding fathers given right to pull the lever, I feel it worth mentioning that if you live in a state that is already a lock for either McCain or Obama (and, let’s be honest, my country tis of thee sentiment aside, red and blue states are as real and inevitable as Wall Street greed), then your vote wont really affect the outcome of anything.
Oh, it’ll count.
Cause they have to count it.
But, until we finally send the Electoral College to the back of the storage shed with the eight track tape players, your vote isn’t going to matter all that much.
Unless, of course, you live in Nevada.