I voted for Mitt Romney.
Now I have your attention.
With the election only five days away, everyone has become political analysts.
And with the sudden influx of political experts, everyone should practice proper election etiquette before, during and after the election.
First, don’t begin an argument you cannot backup.
If you want to back up your candidate, at least know their stances on the most important issues.
At the bare minimum, know what color your candidate’s party uses.
Secondly, try not to argue with someone who falls under my first point.
As George Carlin once said, “Never argue with an idiot. They will bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.”
Debating with someone who is sure of his or her candidate but has no knowledge of them can lead to a frustration which one may have never reached before.
It would be like convincing your grandparents why we text people instead of call them.
Third, be cautious of political content around social media sites.
Each presidential debate brought a flood of political content to Facebook and Twitter.
One could log on and instantly know how their friends felt about the election. Naturally, there would be disagreements.
The problem with social media is people can say whatever they want to say to whomever they want with less repercussion than if said in person.
Behind a computer, we are all the same.
This facet, combined with my second point, leads to all out wars in the digital world.
I applaud those who voice their political opinions on social media; just don’t fall victim to an uninformed person’s post or a vicious troll.
Debating with people you don’t know or may not know well is one thing, but debating with friends is different.
While someone may feel very strongly about one candidate, you may be close to someone who feels the same way about the other candidate.
Is it worth damaging or potentially ruining a friendship over the feelings you may or may not have toward one candidate?
Some of my colleagues have very different political views from mine. We will talk politics occasionally, but it is always respectful and tasteful.
We should treat the election like we would anything else.
One of my best friends is a staunch atheist. I am a devout Roman Catholic.
These come off as very conflicting interests, but why should that get between our friendship?
We each know the other’s religious views, but it doesn’t come between us because it doesn’t have to, nor should it. The same should be applied to the election. If you are voting for Romney and a friend is voting for Obama, why would you want this to come between you?
At one point, chances are you will find yourself in a disagreement with someone over politics.
The best thing to do is to keep it as classy as possible.
With that said, the most important thing is to vote. It only takes five minutes, and it affects the world for the next 50 years.
Whether you only know the names of the candidates or know their life history, go out and vote for the leader of the free world.
Chad Merritt is a junior journalism major from Livingston who serves as multimedia editor for The Tech Talk. Email comments to cam...@latech.edu.