In talking with different people about their political beliefs over the past few years, I’ve found that those that vote for candidates on both sides of the aisle tend to have the most nuanced views on policies. On the other hand, those that vote a straight ticket every time are often the same that will dehumanize “the other side”.
I talked about this earlier in the year when I encouraged people to see both sides of the aisle. If you can’t come up with a single reason why “the other person” might be a viable candidate, your opinions likely aren’t worth much.
I was pushed to this extra step in my views by a quote in Adam Grant’s book Think Again, when he said:
I don’t really even believe in political parties. As an organizational psychologist, I want to vet candidates’ leadership skills before I worry about their policy positions. As a citizen, I believe it’s my responsibility to form an independent opinion on each issue.
Like most of you, policy positions are certainly a big deal and influence my vote quite a lot. However, I like to look at each candidate closely and sometimes go against my policy positions to help a better human win their race.
Related, I often leave sections of my ballot blank on election day. When I get down to some of the smaller contests, and I don’t have solid information on the race, I’ll just leave it blank and ideally let more informed voters bring the best person into office. I’m not sure it makes much of a difference, but likely would if more people took that approach.