I voted in the Democratic primary today. I am not a registered party member — my refusal to register is primarily symbolic because I can’t actually see myself voting for a Republican again, but the Democratic party does not represent me or my morals or my hopes for our country, so I’m resistant to joining it as though I approve of it.

However, in Texas, you do not have to be a party member to vote in a primary. You just select which one you’d like to vote in when you arrive at the voting site. It was the same in Tennessee, where I’m from, but in most states, you have to be a party member to vote at all. Obviously, I prefer being able to vote.

Technically, I guess I could vote in the opposing party’s primary and select all the candidates I feel are weakest, but I don’t approach voting like a strategy game. I try not to prioritize the candidate I think is most viable, but instead vote for the one whose platform I genuinely prefer (which nearly always renders them completely unelectable, especially in Texas). I don’t know if this is how one is supposed to vote. But if feels so cynical and empty to vote for someone I don’t actually support for purely tactical reasons (but yes, I did hold my nose and vote for Biden, obviously). Because of this voting seems increasingly futile and pointless. I have a hard time convincing myself that it matters at all.

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