I live in Texas. Tomorrow is Super Tuesday. So that means I have one more day to decide who to vote for. Of the seven current candidates actively campaigning for the presidency, I know who I would like to see as President of the United States, but that is not the same as knowing who I should vote for tomorrow. What I need is an expert on game theory to tell me how to cast my vote.
nounnoun: game theory; noun: games theory
- the branch of mathematics concerned with the analysis of strategies for dealing with competitive situations where the outcome of a participant’s choice of action depends critically on the actions of other participants. Game theory has been applied to contexts in war, business, and biology.
War, business, and biology? Politics/voting should clearly be on this explicit use list. I am a political moderate. Which means as the republicans shift right and the democrats shift left, I have little choice but to think that all politicians are shifty. Still, I think America is pretty darn great already and I strongly believe that casting my vote is a right, a privilege, and a duty. Besides, if you don’t vote, you aren’t entitled to complain afterwards. Statewide and in my home district, Texas is red. Usually I vote in the Republican primary because of down ballot races. If I want to have any say in my elected officials, the real chance is to vote in the primary for a republican who I can live with. (You’ll just have to trustME that I did what I could to keep trusTED out of the Senate because I knew I couldn’t trustHIM to represent my views, but you can see how well that went.) This year, there aren’t any down ballot races that I’m feeling passionate about, so that leaves me trying to cast the most meaningful vote at the top.
A few days ago I thought it might be important to cast my vote for my preferred democratic candidate. I’m not a huge Hillary fan, but on the issues important to me, she is the candidate I most align with. Plus, Democratic Socialism feels way too far left for this moderate who cast her first presidential vote for Reagan. But after Hillary’s huge (that’s WITH an “h”) win in S. Carolina, I’m more confident that she doesn’t need my vote just yet.
Which brings me to the “bat-shit crazy” party. I’m not willing to throw my vote away on a candidate whose name appears on the ballot, but who has officially withdrawn from the race. If I was, I might just vote for Lindsey for providing me with that descriptor of his own party. I would consider throwing my vote away for the only remaining republican who I think might be a reasonable choice. I would also consider voting for the candidate who currently seems to have the best chance of beating the “two-who-must-be-stopped-at-any-cost.” GOP, it’s time you stopped being bat-shit crazy! What game are you playing? Do I abandon all hope of you returning to more moderate social positions and just vote for the democrats? Do I vote for your most moderate candidate to show you that’s how some of us actually feel? Do you need me to vote for the candidate who “the establishment” seems to be rallying behind, to stop the voldemorts of your party?
OK game theory experts. Tell me how to cast my vote.