This is a post I meant to issue in May. But coming across it again, especially in light of Tweets, debates, and conversations, I think it's worth posting now:
There has been, and will be, a lot of talk coming up about voting and voting for the main parties. So here, before we have official candidates, is my response.
“People say that by voting for a third party, they’re throwing away a vote; my response to that is: voting for a candidate you don’t agree with is throwing away your vote.”
I’m 36. I’ve voted in 4 presidential elections. So far, I’ve gone like this: Bush 2000, Kerry 2004*, Obama 2008, Obama 2012**. 2016: open***.
It appears at this point, as of late May 2016, that it will be Trump v. Clinton for the main parties, two candidates that seemingly no one likes. Yet. Though we don’t like either one of these candidates, we’ll soon be passionately discussing their respective merits. We’ll take sides, get angry, talk about how the other one sucks. But the truth is: both are bad.
• Too disrespectful to be running the entire country. He’s got a lot of positive business qualities.
• The best thing I’ve heard about Trump is not about him, but rather what he inspires: he brings out people’s hate.
• Would not be in this position without her husband****.
• As wealthy as they get, but pretends to be on the side of the oppressed.
Now comes the time when people begin the rhetoric that voting third party is throwing away your vote. But you know who this helps?
No one. It keeps the status quo.
Of the people I know socially, very few have strong party alliances. I can think of two strong Dems and one strong Rep. The rest are in a fluctive state, based on issue and character. THAT’S WHERE WE SHOULD BE.
In what arena (other than sports) is an us v them, only two sides to an issue system really a good one? This perpetuates the thing of winners and losers, and that must change.
Now, often times when people tell you to hop the train of the candidate, the people are fairly close. Romney and McCain aren’t that far apart. And so it has made sense at some level, but: Trump and Cruise? Sanders and Clinton? If you like one of either of those four candidate, it is not even close to a smooth jump to begin supporting the winner. I like Sanders for all the reasons I don’t like Clinton.
Hoping on the bandwagon, to me – especially this year, is the worst thing you could do. If you really liked Ted Cruise, don’t just go for Donald Trump. See what’s out there? See your options, like Gary Johnson: he may be more up your alley. If you liked Sanders, don’t simply go for Clinton, check your options.
As someone that has ‘not thrown away his vote’ by voting for Kerry over Nader in 2004, I can tell you first hand that I have compromised. Rather than caring or being passionate or anything like that, I voted for a guy I thought was weak and dopey. Instead of for someone I thought could have been good.
Sports analogy, tying into the NBA Finals:
One of the most annoying things in sports is when someone is cheering very hard for one team, like the Thunder, and then they (The Thunder) lose to the Warriors. So the same person that was just cheering very hard for the Thunder now loves the Warriors. The Warriors are now ‘his’ team. The same players that were just ‘ass’ are now great. WTF? How can that be? How does one make such a drastic transformation that, essentially overnight, they go from hating to loving a team. Or the MFs that cheer against someone all year, only to find them in a championship game and now rooting very hard.
But in politics, this is somehow expected. It’s expected that you go for someone under the same generic title that you’ve given.
*Was planning on Nader going into the booth, but a friend convinced me that this would be throwing away a vote. We were in Broward County, FL, the same county that had decided the previous election. So, I listened to him. If ever there was an election to not vote third party… I changed my vote right there. I’m not glad I did this. Rather, I regret the vote. I voted for one of the biggest dopes ever to run for president, instead of going with my gut. After doing so, I can easily say I threw away my vote that election, and I regret doing it then. So, I won’t do it now.
**May not have technically counted. I think I sent my absentee ballot in after the deadline. BUT this did allow me to see, first hand, how fucked up the registration process is. I’d just moved to Michigan, been to the secretary of state several times, and one ass clown told me I didn’t have the proper identification to register to vote. I was later told, after the deadline, I had well more than I needed. So that’s why I voted absentee. Also, I was teaching journalism, and took the ballot into class to show the students what some of the things looked like that we were talking about.
***I recently had a conversation where I was criticized by keeping my vote ‘open’, which I’ll get into in a later post.
****It’s true. #NotMyWoman.