Friday, July 12, 2024
HomeOpinionYou Can Only Vote FOR. You Cannot Vote AGAINST

You Can Only Vote FOR. You Cannot Vote AGAINST

How many times have you heard someone say he (or she) is voting against a candidate by voting for the other candidate? It is a common expression during an election where some voters have a deep emotional attachment to a political party, or have learned feelings about a candidate from the media without doing their own research, or just chooses not to question their own thinking. But are those voters really voting against a candidate by casting a ballot for the opposing candidate?

The fact is that when there are two or more candidates on a ballot, the voter can only vote FOR. There isn’t an option to vote AGAINST.

In order to vote against a candidate, the question on the ballot would need to be about only that one candidate. For example, the ballot would read “Do you want so-and-so to be Governor? YES or NO.” Any voter who chose NO would in fact have voted against that candidate. This is the only condition where the term AGAINST would be correct.

However, where there are at least two candidates competing for the same elected office, voters can only vote FOR one of the candidates and the policies that the candidate represents. That is to say, the voters select a candidate whose policies they prefer. Voters make a positive selection, not a negative one, based upon the real-world objective measurable results of the polices the candidate supports. Those policies will affect everyone’s lives, either in a good way or in a bad way.

But some people vote with the mindset that they are voting AGAINST one candidate for reasons that have nothing to do with real-world objective measurable results that affect everyone’s lives. Based upon their perceptions of one candidate, or how they feel, or for some agenda they would want to see imposed upon people, they vote for the other candidate on that basis. When voters vote that way, the consequences of the policies the actually voted FOR can turn out to be different than expected. As an example, those who voted against President Donald Trump, believing him to be arrogant, by voting for President Joe Biden, also voted for Biden’s open border policy … whether they intended to or not.

In the final analysis, the policies of the candidate they voted FOR are the only thing that actually impacts voters’ lives. The fact that they feel they voted AGAINST the other candidate is irrelevant. It will not change the results from the policies of the candidate they voted FOR. It is common for voters who say they voted against a candidate to expect that the positive things in their lives will continue, even when the policies of the candidate they voted FOR are markedly different.

In a rational world, people would evaluate how various policies have benefited society overall by improving people’s lives, public safety, national security, and other things important to all people. Instead we have to recognize that not everyone in our society has the concern or the capacity to make the effort needed in a civil society to evaluate policies and candidates’ platforms and as a result are impacted by whatever media they follow.



  1. This one is easy. You either vote FOR the incumbent who’s doing an adequate job or vote FOR the indicted felon who won’t let any of us vote FOR anybody else down the road.

    • Who is the incumbent who’s “doing an adequate job?” The only incumbent President I see is an embarrassment on the international stage and destroying the economy on the domestic stage. The “convicted felon” meme is gonna backfire, as it is clear the current administration has weaponized DOJ and FBI against Trump and, increasingly, the people.

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