I don't want to waste my vote. I don't want to throw it away on somebody I don't want in that office. I may not be able to stop them getting in - hey, does your vote stop anybody getting in? If your candidate wins, did your vote put them there? How do you feel about that? On a candidate who you were totally psyched about, you probably felt great! But did you ever vote for a "lesser-of-two-evils" candidate, somebody you think will make a bad president, just not so bad as the next option - and then your candidate wins? How's that feel?
Man, if I don't like the biggest candidate and the next biggest candidate is also no good...? Well damn. My vote is going to make a bigger difference than the person who HAS to vote either/or. They're just there to be counted on. Voting in support! Dominant paradigm YAY! This is how the system WORKS, you ignorant idealists! KOW TOW, or GO HOME!
No, I don't believe I will go home. I will turn up. I will chat with people waiting on line. Very, very amiably - and quite easy to change the subject to anything else we care to discuss. I'm not trying to change anybody's mind on a candidate they like for the job. I've changed ten peoples' minds in on go, sometimes. I have no agenda to push. Turns out, neither did they.
Mine is the vote of engaged discontent. I'm not saying voting like I do has any real pragmatic object. But my attitude is: I sure wish more people showed up like me. Think of all the people in the past 10 elections who spout off in public how they dislike the candidate they voted for - but that it was the lesser of two evils? They endorsed a bad option, because there was nothing better on offer. What is this attitude - "Don't blame me, I voted for the GUY WHO WON." What!? Oh, oh - but you didn't like him. You didn't even like him for the job. Oh but the other person would have been even worse? You had to do something to stop THAT happening! Wow, you and everybody else! Good job! Glad you have so much control over the process, thank you for such a responsible and selfless action you took. Well, fuck.
Imagine if all the people who do not like either candidate had voted accordingly. Imagine if there were a voter discontent movement to opt in to. Well okay, there is such a movement. They don't show up. But imagine if a small part of that movement decided to show up. OCCUPY THE POLLS! Imagine if people realized that they actually do tally the stats after, and publish them! What do you think happens after a presidential election where a significant portion of voter turn out voted AGAINST BOTH MAJOR PARTIES? I tell you what, we'd be seeing a different caliber of candidate. I tell you what, pundits and politicos would be scrambling to find out who this "demographic" is and how they can "tap into it."
Imagine a double-digit stat's worth of the electorate turning out, voting for everything - casting an intelligent ballet, engaged with the issues, familiar with the candidates, voting for what's happening near them - and then, at the top of the ballot - refusing to buy in unless they DID ENDORSE the Democrat or the Republican, for the job? Saying to the ruling parties: I'm here, you know. I wish you'd give me something better. You can see I voted for a decent sprinkling of your party-fellows further down the slate. Wish your headliner didn't suck! See the candidate I voted for? That person would do a good job. Try to find some people like that in your organization. I'm here, you know, and I'm coming back next time too.
I don't know about you, but I don't waste my vote. I turn up. I cast a ballot that shows I thought about the issues and candidates. Whatever boxes I checked, I did not put myself straight down one column, a party-line slate-voting piece of SHEEP. And for the top office? The one everyone is supposed to be turning out for, everyone's supposed to be excited about, the big popularity contest? I don't "opt out." I find my first favorite ACTUAL PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE. And I vote for THAT person.
I say if you show up and vote for 2 party, you're the one who just wasted your vote. Unless you actually are in favor of your candidate! - in which case, good job!
That's how the system is supposed to work. At least some of us are being served.