As a conservative Republican in New York State, I have long understood my vote doesn’t matter. Yes, Reagan won the Empire State back in 1984, however it is quite clear that unless the entire lower tier of the state were to sink in the ocean, we Republicans do not matter statewide. The same is true for liberals in Texas, unless by a freak accident Austin were to withstand an alien invasion that destroyed the rest of Texas, a liberal Democrat’s vote does not matter. So this election, perhaps due to my youth, political naiveté, or apathy to the entire political system, I am voting 3rd party.
If you a resident in any state except for New Hampshire, Missouri, North Carolina, Virginia, Florida, Ohio, Colorado, Iowa, Nevada, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, New Mexico, Michigan or Maine, please understand that your election has already been decided; your vote does not matter. If you happen to live in one of the states previously mentioned by all means, vote the traditional way and make a decision for the rest of the country.
However, being a conservative first and a Republican second, I cannot vote for Mitt Romney in good conscience. He is not a conservative, no matter how many times Ann Coulter or any other conservative pundit may tell me he is. Without breaking into a diatribe of his record or speeches… a liberal, a moderate and a conservative walk into a bar, the bartender says, “hey Mitt”. The humor is valid because the truth is well known. The Republican party is only a viable political party when it is instilled with values, when it campaigns with candidates that do not have intrinsic values it is as useful as a 1992 Sony Walkman.
President Obama is not hope and change; he is a cesspool of polls, interest groups, and large donors. He is the type of man who states we cannot go back to the failed policies of George Bush but has launched more aggressive military action than Dick Cheney ever dreamed of. He is a man who states he going against greedy corporations, but he signs into law legislation that benefits and is lobbied by big corporations, such as Philip Morris’ efforts to lobby for the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. He is a man who will play to the lowest common denominator for votes and campaign donations.
Our problem is not the lack of a large third party, we lack a third, fourth, fifth and sixth party. We need parties that show every shade of our political beliefs instead of allowing just two parties to encompass our political philosophies. Luckily there are plenty of minor parties to start with; on the right we have the Constitution, Libertarian, America‘s Party, and Boston Tea Party while on the left third parties include the Green Party, Justice Party, Peace and Freedom Party, and the Socialist Party USA.
The idea of voting third party has been called crazy or throwing a vote away. However, unless people start to demand a greater narrative from their nominees and parties, how can we ever actually even expand the conversation?
Political debate is stifled and the only questions “reasonable” people are allowed to ask are which nation should we bomb next, how high should the level on inflation be, when will China overtake America as the world’s largest economy, how should our healthcare be micromanaged by the state, and when will the government create hate speech legislation. When either party gains total control over one interest group, whether it be the Christian Right, Feminists, Labor, or in the larger picture, conservative and liberal thought, then they are free to ignore or abuse the voter at will because the voter has no where else to go.
To any clear and rational reader, the re-election of Barack Obama or the election of Mitt Romney as our President will change very little. In real terms of how it affects the life of John Doe, change will not be very dramatic. The bureaucrats who control Washington will have more or less all the say as they do today. The EPA, FDA, Departments of Education, Energy, Homeland Security, TSA and the IRS will still be meddling with private property, children’s education, the efficiency of our homes and work places, being frisked at the airports, monitoring our phone calls and taxing a third of our livelihood.
The lack of choice in this election is so stomach turning and disappointing, at times it makes me miss the idea of being under the monarchy. At least in a monarchy you know who to guillotine, which is an implausible reaction to our current system. By the time we finish off the EPA, the guillotine will be too rusted for the Dept. of Education or the TSA.
While for those consumed with love of party, the vote for Mitt Romney or Barack Obama seems to be a battle for the lesser of two evils. But for those consumed with the love of country or political thought, a vote for Barack Obama or Mitt Romney is a betrayal of the heart and mind. So if a voter understanding that their vote already doesn’t matter, why vote for the evil at all, even if it is the lesser of the two?