Fribble Vote Your Own Decisions

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By Deannda L. Neufer (
November 7, 2000

What is it about elections that bring out the best and the worst of us? Over the past week I have watched people debating, arguing and flaming about the elections. Most of the debates on discussion boards have been over the obvious -- the race between Bush and Gore -- and there have been quite a few on the localized boards concerning the New York senate race between Rick Lazio and Hillary Clinton. I have been involved in a few of these discussions.

What amazes me the most is the fierce indignation that some people feel when they find out you are not on their side. It has been said that politics can make strange bedfellows but this time around it has gone beyond strange. It's downright frightening at times. What makes people think that name-calling and mud-slinging will influence my decision? If anything, it makes me want to vote the opposite just so I'm not associated with that kind of behavior.

We're privileged to live in a country where it's our right to vote for the candidate of our choice. We get to choose the person who represents us in the Congress and Senate of the United States. We get to choose the person in the White House who represents us to the world. Okay, the Electoral College gets to do that, but we can still speak out as a people and tell the candidates what we think.

I will be casting my vote on Tuesday and it may not be the vote some of you want me to cast (especially in New York) but it is MY vote to cast, not yours. I do my homework, I watch the candidates, and I do my research in the same way I plan my financial future -- by checking the facts myself and making my own decision in the end.

Just as true Fools don't take another person's word for it that Company XYZ is "the best thing since sliced bread and you just have to buy it now," you shouldn't cast your valuable vote based on someone else's opinion.

I urge each and every one of you to get out and vote for the candidate of your choice. Don't let anyone else tell you how to vote. Do your own homework, read up on the issues, look at the candidate's history the same way you'd examine a company's quarterly reports. Then make the decision that is right for you. And you know what? If you choose the opposite candidate from mine, that's fine, because that is the right decision for you. Win or lose, I'll be making the decision that is right for me on Tuesday.

And if you don't vote or are not a registered voter, when the dust finally settles and you're not happy about the results, you'll have no one to blame but yourself. The right to vote, like the right to make your own investing decisions, is in your hands, Fool.