Why we must become single-issue voters
12 JULY 2020
The 2020 General Election has been in full swing for several months at the national level. However, the Primaries are just getting started at the state level. Soon, state legislators and candidates will be canvassing neighborhoods for your vote. As parental rights advocates, your singular vote weighs more if you become a single-issue voter. Let me explain.
Many candidates do not understand the parental rights issues we face on a daily basis. Most of them are apathetic to the cause. To a candidate, they have three to five hot button issues they must master before one knock on a door or one phone call placed. There is a 99% chance that shared parenting is not in the Top Five. Therefore, it is incumbent on us to expose legislators to parental rights.
First, explain to the candidate of your singular issue- parental rights (specifically, shared parenting). More than likely, the candidate will be ignorant on the issue and attempt to pivot away from the topic to an issue in their Top 5. This is how they snag a multi-issue voter. They pull the voter to a more comfortable issue on their grounds in order to close the sale on your vote. If you allow yourself to pivot away from shared parenting, that candidate now can take your vote for granted. As a single-issue voter, you must resist this temptation.
You see… single-issue voters present the candidate with a binary option. He or she is either FOR shared parenting or is AGAINST shared parenting. Candidates do not like to be placed on the record but a video recording of their stance on shared parenting holds the candidate accountable. As a single-issue voter, you have placed the candidate in a rare position- take a position on an uncomfortable issue. Now, your vote holds much more weight than if you were a multi-issue voter for which the candidate can pivot to a more comfortable and established position… especially if you convey shared parenting as a nonpartisan issue.
The candidate would walk away feeling as if your vote was earned. Since shared parenting is not a hot-button topic, the candidate will likely remember the interaction with you and conduct more research into the issue. Based on the feedback from previous candidates and legislators, this occurs.
In the past, other single-issue voters have made their voices heard. Single issues such as environmentalism, women’s rights, domestic violence, abortion and guns rights have become mainstream conversations and unavoidable. This concept of single-issue voters sends a powerful message to politicians and allows your voice to be heard.
Try it out. What have you got to lose? After all, they are not in the voting booth with you.
David Vesper, TFRM Legislative Manager