Monday, September 19, 2005
No More Bullshit
My mother, who had never before voted for anyone other than a Republican in a presidential election, voted Libertarian last November. I, like many other people I know, voted for Kerry, but only because I wanted my vote to count against Bush. Several people I know did not vote at all because they could not in good conscience vote for any of the candidates, or because they could no longer believe in the system. I respect all of those choices.
We have all been conditioned to think that we vote in a two-party system. We have been told that any vote other than for a Republican or a Democrat is a wasted vote. This is not true, and we must stop thinking this way.
Even now, nearly a year after the last presidential election, I still have conversations with people about how we voted last November and why. For a while, I thought I would never vote again, but I have changed my mind. I believe there are enough of us who are so disgusted with our current system and with both of our main political parties that our unconventional votes could have an effect.
If there were an election tomorrow, I would probably vote for a Libertarian candidate. In last November’s election, Libertarian candidate Michael Badnarik won 0.3% of the popular vote. Not very promising, but what if next time the Libertarian candidate were to win 3% of the vote, and the time after that 8%? Eventually even the slow people would get the message that we have choices other than Republican and Democrat.
I also think that if I could not vote for anyone who was running, I would go to the polling station anyway and write in “none of the above”. I would not want my action of not voting to be mistaken for laziness or disinterest. I would want to let people know that none of the candidates was acceptable to me. I will never again feel forced to choose from amongst people I do not like.
If everyone were to take a similar stand, we could bring about a change in the system from within. If people refuse to vote for candidates that are not acceptable to them, we will no longer have to suffer idiots in positions of power. It may take a while to convince people, and I would love it if we could somehow bring about change in a quicker fashion, but I will at least get satisfaction from making my voice of discontent heard.