Any Mom knows, if you ask a child "what do you want for dinner?" your kid will refuse to choose and eat anything resembling a real meal. BUT if you ask "Do you want Chicken Nuggets or Spaghetti-O's?" your child gets an actual choice, and you know they're more likely to eat what you serve.
Barring a truly bizarre catastrophe, either John McCain or Barack Obama will be our next President. 100% of media outlets, Democrats, Republicans, and Independents agree on this. Yet many voters, with motives admirable and petty, insist that they can have a meaningful role in the process by withholding their vote from both of these candidates: staying home, or voting for a third-party candidate.
I'm not going to make the (errant) argument that third parties don't have a role in American politics: half of Americans see a role for them, half don't (sound familiar?). But at this point in the process, the ship has sailed. The horse has left the barn. Elvis has left the building.
Everyone in America gets a voice - but it's not "Open Mic Night." It's a multiple-choice test: Column A or Column B. If you withhold your vote over one issue, one vote, one speech, one bugaboo with a candidate, you're not 'sending a message to them.' You're forfeiting the opportunity to send a message. You're walking away from the most important discussion. You're deciding that your disagreements are so significant that you don't care which of them is chosen. You're taking your proverbial marbles and goin' home.
Every voter gets an equal voice in this process. (Assuming, that is, we can prevent the entire Dallas Cowboys squad from voting multiple times in Nevada courtesy of ACORN.)
The question right now, with less than 30 days to go, is not 'who is perfect' but 'which of these two people should run the country?' Which of these people do you want as your Commander-in-Chief? Which of these people do you believe can really work with a bitterly divided government to get anything accomplished? Since we know ONE of them will be chosen, WHICH one do you prefer?
I can't tell you how to vote. But I can tell you what your vote can do, and can't do. It can't end the two-party system in America. (And no, that's not me being a meanie, that's what empirical data in this election tells us.) It CAN put someone in office who you believe can make the tough calls, can act with courage, can take a stand, can restore pride in our country.
America will go in two very different directions under these two candidates. You can choose the direction for this country, or you can idle in the driveway while others take the wheel.