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Every four years in the United States, Americans choose a President. This pandemic-affected year, how we vote has taken on new significance as people fret about voter registration, mail-in ballots, potential hazards of in-person voting, and the timely counting of all ballots.

Though only about two-thirds of eligible voters typically cast ballots in a Presidential election, many consider voting almost sacred. We declared our independence from British rule over our ability to have representation. Countless lives and livelihoods have been consumed by efforts to secure the right to self-determination by men and women of every race and creed. Voting is a big, scary deal, right?

In truth, we’re all expert voters. We each “vote” daily for brands and retailers, products and services, by how we spend our time and money. We vote by the restaurants we frequent and the menu items we purchase. We vote for Amazon or Walmart, Dominos or Papa Johns, Wendy’s or Taco Bell, Pepsi or Coke, Toyota or Ford, MSNBC or FoxNews, Schitts Creek or Ozark. We survey our options and choose our preferences. Nobody tells us what to do. We’re pros at voting.

Just as with candidates for office, messages we hear and see influence our thoughts and actions. We see ads in our social media feeds based on previous choices and inquiries we’ve made. Ads on TV and radio may impact us. Opinions of family and friends influence our behaviors as we vote for products and candidates.

And at the end of the day, just like shoppers, we choose the winners and determine the losers. Shopping makes us expert voters. We discern then select based on whatever criteria we want. Don’t shy from making your voice heard at the ballot box any more than you shy from choosing a Whopper over a Big Mac. The power resides with each of us, the voters.

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