Alright, since today is a bit of a yawner between my office and the headlines, I may as well take this time to get something off my chest that I’ve been thinking about for awhile.
Before I begin, this is a matter of voting against W. during this year’s campaign, so anyone strictly of the Rep. persuasion can sod off. Your mind was made up for you when you registered… wanker.
This first occurred to me during a debate I saw, probably over a month ago, amongst – I dunno – 10 or so Dem candidates. What surprised me was that the less established a candidate was, the more I agreed with them. By “established,” I mean how long they’ve been in the political arena as a standard Democrat. Kerry, Gephardt, Lieberman = established. Less established would be the ones whose names you can’t remember.
Part of the problem was that the established Dems were just angling the same old party line bullshit. I’d heard it a thousand times in past elections, and frankly it doesn’t sound a helluva lot different than when a Rep says it. However, the less established candidates seem to be speaking from somewhere else. It was less of a prerecorded message, and more of an attempt to communicate what actually, legitimately sounded like attempts at common sense. They almost sounded like educated human beings. This is when I noticed Dennis Kucinich and realized that a lot of what he was saying were things that I actually stand behind.
And there is no way in hell he’d get elected. Look at his past and you realize he’s the guy who will let his career go down in a shameful blaze, so long as it happens for the sake of doing the right thing. Guys like that don’t get elected to be president.
That’s when the conflict occurred to me: do I promote someone or attack someone?
This year is different than four years ago. Then, it was easy: I always said that I’d vote for Nader if he ever ran. I knew there was no way in hell he’d win. He’s scary looking. But he actually gives a shit about the people who live, breathe, and die in this country – all of them. I didn’t care what threat Dubya posed. I was not going to live the rest of my life knowing that I took the one rare (and possibly last) opportunity that I had to vote for someone that I truly believed in and blew it by opting for – of all people – Al Gore. Pass.
This year, however, my best option happens to be a Dem. The problem is, even if they counted my vote here in Florida, it wouldn’t make a difference, because I can’t vote in the primaries. Not being registered with the two parties that have the system rigged, I can’t vote until the final vote comes up. So, my opinion is actually quite moot and unbiased. However, I can offer some sound voting advice to those who have a choice in the primaries.
Normally, I’m an altruist and opt for voting in who you believe in. However, I really didn’t know that one yahoo could so remarkably cornhole a planet in so many ways in a mere 3.5 years. For the first time in his life, Dubya has become an overachiever. Frankly, he’s a dangerous threat. Actually, he’s not a threat. He’s a danger.
That said, I want you to consider something. Back in the good ol’ days (like a century ago), third parties posed an impressive threat. This was a time when two parties would pretty much get the government in cahoots, and certain issues, say women’s suffrage, would be largely monopolized off the pulpits. (It was kind of like the way that Gore and Bush wouldn’t let Nader into the room much less on the stage to take part in the presidential debate.) A third party would come along with a platform issue that was so strongly neglected, that it would actually start sucking away votes from another party. Finally, the predominant party would make a deal with the third: endorse me and go the fuck away, because you’re stinking up the place by proving how much I stink. We’ll carry your platform, if you give us your votes. It was the definition of politics. The third party agreed, they faded into the margins of U.S. history, and things like voting rights for women became major issues that got people elected to the White House.
This is why I don’t always vote for the popular choice. See, if enough people voted for their Nader or their Kucinich, then people like Gore might lose elections. Let me explain why this is a good thing.
People tell me that I got Bush elected, because I voted for Nader. It’s not true, but I wish it was. Fuck Gore. That’s what he gets for walking the safe moderate line, a hair left of his opponent’s. The way I see it, the devil I don’t know is the same as the devil I do know. If enough people vote for the person that actually represents them, then the weaker mainstream guy is going to lose out.
It might take an election or two, but when the candidates and their experts look at the charts, they can’t just blame a bunch of people who didn’t vote. They have to see a piece of the pie that shows that people are making an effort to go out of their way and say, “neither of you assholes.” And the only way they can acquire that missing pie piece is to change their tune – to make themselves REPRESENT their constituents.
I know. It’s a wild idea. It almost sounds like a (eek!) democracy.
So the question stands come primary time: vote for the guy most likely to slay Bush, or vote for the guy you want to be president and send a message. Wow. In review of the paragraphs above, I… um… don’t know if I’ve been the least bit helpful. Um… good luck at the primaries?