Jeremy Felt

Open source student.

To Everyone (Who Should Still Be Concerned)

Don’t be scared.

I try to keep most of this site non-politically aligned, but I’m going to have to make this exception to be able to explain my point. Here’s my original dilemma…..

I can’t vote for Kerry. When I finally realized that, I was scared at first. What if Bush wins? But then I realized if I voted for Kerry just to keep Bush from winning, then I wasn’t following what I believed in, and that’s not what is supposed to happen. It’s almost as if Bush wins either way then. He gets me to vote for somebody I don’t believe in.

That brings me back to the first sentence. Don’t be scared.

Don’t be scared to vote for somebody that doesn’t have the best chance of winning.

Now, enter the horrible analogy of roulette. It won’t make sense at first, but bear with me.

For those of you who haven’t cared enough to pay attention to your common casino games, roulette is the spinning wheel with the ball. 18 black numbers, 18 red numbers, 0 and 00. Bets on the inside are for the ball landing on the specific number itself. Bets on the outside are for black/red, 1st/2nd/3rd row, 1st/2nd/3rd third, 1-18/19-36, and odd/even.

So…. Let’s say you walk into a casino and decide to sit down at the roulette table. You have the outside bets and the inside bets. We’ll concentrate on the black/red for the outside bets. Payout is 2 for 1 if you win. So you bet red because those seem like the easiest odds to deal with, all you have to keep on doing is betting red over and over again, it’ll hit sooner or later and you’ll have your moment of happiness. You think the other people are crazy for putting all their money down on the numbers, hoping for that 35 to 1 payout.

What you don’t realize right away is that it’s all the same. You may be making the easiest bet, but you aren’t necessarily making the smartest bet. Either way over time, you’re going to lose, the house will always come out 5.26% ahead, that’s by design.

But, if you’re only there for a few spins of the wheel, why not play the numbers anyway… sure the chance is slimmer, but the payout is much greater.


Compare that to your vote. I know it’s not the best analogy, but work with me on this. I’ll concentrate on the presidential election, just because that’s the most important one right now.

The average life expectancy in the US is 77.43 years. You can start voting when you’re 18. That leaves about 60 years for voting. Which means you will vote for president (if you’re a good citizen) about 15 times.

Now, if I walked up to a roulette table with $150, I am faced with two main choices. Bet black/red 15 times or bet on the numbers 15 times. Let’s not go into splitting your bet up among different numbers, we’ll stick with lucky 13 vs. red. And maximum bet is $10, you don’t get more than one vote, so we’ll stick with that.

Now, I bet red 15 times in a row. What will happen? If I win 1/15 times, I lose $130. If I win 8/15, I bring home $10. If I win 15/15 times, I walk away with $300.

Now,I bet on 13 fifteen times in a row. What will happen? If I win 1/15 times, I walk out with $360. If I win 8/15, I bring home $2880. If I defy all odds and hit 13 every time, then I’m really happy with $5400.

So, it’s not exactly the same. But if I rely on the Democrat/Republican voting system for the rest of my life, I may come out a little ahead in the end. They might do some things for me, maybe change a couple things for better or worse. But there is that chance where they go against everything and everybody ends up losing.


If I vote for my lucky number, the people that are going to keep my best interests in mind all the time, and I win, then life is good. There’s no, “yeah, that’ll work I guess”, it ends up being somebody that will follow all of what I believe in, not some of it. And if they win 15 times in a row, that’s even more that they can do in my best interest.

I know politics isn’t as clear cut as roulette, but there are a lot of similarities when you think about it that way. It’s just another analogy to keep in mind the next time that somebody is complaining about “so and so stealing a vote from a certain candidate”. There’s no reason for that phrase to be included in our political process, it makes absolutely no sense at all.

Now, don’t take this as a “you must vote for a third party candidate”, it’s not that at all. This can apply completely if you think Kerry or Bush is acting in your best interest. Just don’t be scared to vote for the person you think is best, not the person you think has the best chance of winning. Life is either all, nothing, or mediocre… take your pick.

Republican Party –
Democratic Party –
Green Party –
Libertarian Party –

and so many more –