In our current election, tensions between political parties have become so strained that many are seeking to vote against the candidate they like the least. In doing so, a candidate who may actually deserve the position may end up losing out.

In a democratic system such as ours, one of the greatest powers our citizens hold is the right to vote. Every American of age is allowed to voice their opinion as to whom should be voted into office. Choosing to use this vote against a candidate you dislike, rather than for one you do like,  only helps to perpetuate a broken system that has been suffering for years.

Deciding to vote not for a qualified candidate but against the most distasteful candidate does not place the most worthy person in office. If there are 100 people to choose from and the choice is made to vote for the second worse candidate just because they aren’t the worst, then we guarantee that it is not the best candidate who takes office.

It seems a common misconception to believe that we only have two choices in every race. Voters become so overwhelmed with the idea that since two candidates have the best chance of winning, then voting for a third less popular candidate wastes a vote. It may be true that this third party candidate won’t win, but no vote is every truly wasted.

A vote is a statement of support. By voting for a person a citizen is saying that they trust that candidate with running their government. By voting against a person, a voter says that they simply dislike another option more.

The only vote wasted, is one for a person you don’t believe can do the job. Every time we as voters choose to vote for someone we don’t trust, we cheat ourselves out of voting for the person who we do.

It may be true that the person you best believe can hold the office will lose even with your vote. However, by standing up and refusing to vote against you make it clear that your vote is worth something. You say to to the world that you will not fall into the foolish game of voting in a popularity contest, and that you care not about who has a cheating husband or hates women, but who is best for the job.

Imagine for a moment a system in which voters do not simply choose from two political parties. A system where every voter actually takes the time to vote for the person they feel could do the job best.

Most likely we would end up with far more candidates. I know I for one would more than happily vote my old Burger King manager into office. Afterall, I’ve never met anyone who I think could do the job better.

It may be true that this practice would lead to far too many choices, but it would provide options our current two party system does not. Americans would be able to give their vote to the candidate they believe in the most.

So when the time comes to vote in this coming election think carefully of who you are voting for, and not who you are voting against.

If we as Americans ever want to change our political system so that we aren’t always choosing between a person we hate and one we despise, then we have to start picking the one we believe can best do the job.

We have to stand together and realize that the only vote wasted is the one used for a candidate we believe isn’t right for the position.