“Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.” -John Quincy Adams                                                        

HOLLYWOOD, MD — Having the ability to vote is my given right as an American citizen, and I wouldn’t dare throw it away on a candidate I didn’t think was capable of leading the country to a better tomorrow. 

Voters should consider the merits of their potential leader, and not just which flag they wave.  It’s absurd to think how many unqualified politicians blanket their motives with a red or blue flag, and people fall for it because they risk looking like they are not loyal to their party. 

A vote is a terrible thing to waste.  Conservatives, liberals, and anyone else with a Facebook account will complain that their options are limited, they have to pick between the lesser of two evils. Such was the case between Obama and Mitt Romney in 2012, and is currently the case with the current prospective presidential candidates. 

While Obama may have promised change, the leaders already in office wanted nothing to do with that change he promised. Instead of working together, the nation is only crawling to a better tomorrow, instead of sprinting at full speed. Will the current and future leaders in office want to work with the 2016 candidates? 

We need a leader who will consider all constituents, from the young single parent working doubles for minimum wage, to the top executive at a corporation. They should deny their greed and stop taking handouts from businesses that want continued loopholes for profit. This leader should be able to inspire the collaboration of the whole, and not only cater to their party’s goals. They should actively work towards solutions for today’s problems, while keeping an eye on the future for the children and future voters. Leaders should also keep the past in mind, as history tends to repeat itself.

Instead of looking for a leader who will inspire others to work together, voters focus on who looks better in the media, who appears to align with their party principles. How is it possible to make this nation ‘great again’ if people vote based on how candidates appear to be, instead of looking at the politicians’ voting and leadership records? Stop being lazy and research those candidates. Their actions should speak louder than their scripted speeches.

Political party affiliation should only be a guideline, not a hard rule to follow. It’s not a team sport where members are kicked out if they don’t agree. Even when the choices are between principled or flawed candidates, voters lose their nerve in fear of being rejected by their establishment. I thought that voting was a private matter, not something to flaunt. 

Those who choose to throw away their vote based on their political color are a large part of the problem the country has. They turn a blind eye to the candidate’s voting record and only see the red or blue flag they wave. This kind of voter doesn’t consider the implications of voting for a so-called leader who isn’t looking out for the common people. 

What do party loyal voters accomplish by voting on principle if the election is then lost to the less qualified candidate?  We would be better off voting for a moderate candidate who may be the leader the common people need, instead of the fools the parties want.