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Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Voting For One Candidate While Supporting Others

If the election was held today, I would vote for Jill Stein. Why? Though the Green Party is not a Socialist party, it offers the best hope for us to transition into a more socialist type nation by strengthening our democracy.

The trouble with a sudden change to Socialism is that it probably could not be done without force. And to use force to change to Socialism has, in most instances, resulted in maintaining the same kind of government that preceded it. Lenin's Russia serves as an example of where forced change, such as what occurred in the October, 1917 Revolution, resulted a continuation of the previous type of government. For Lenin's rule over Russia turned into a Tsar type dictatorship but with a different cast of characters. There are exceptions to this quick change rule. Nicaragua, for example, since its forced change resulted in a democracy that the US brutally attacked by supporting the terrorism of the Contras.


So, as of now, I will be voting for Jill Stein, but I am supporting the idea of people voting for other candidates as well as long as those candidates do not belong to the either the Republican or Democratic Parties. That means that I could support someone voting for Gloria La Riva from the Party of Socialism and Liberation, Emidio Soltysik from the Socialist USA Party, or Alyson Kennedy from the Socialist Workers Party. And though I could not support any conservative third party candidates, I encourage disgruntled conservatives to vote for either Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party Candidate or Darrell Castle from the Constitution Party.

Of course, the most common response to voting for a candidate from a third party is that a vote for such a candidate is a vote for the most objectionable major party candidate. For example, some say that a vote for Jill Stein is a vote for Donald Trump just as, in Florida in the year 2000, a vote for Ralph Nader was a vote for George Bush. But such reasoning fails on two levels.

First, such reasoning attacks the independence of the voter. To blame Nader for Bush's win forgets that Nader was the candidate that best represented the people who voted for him. And if we can't vote for the candidates who best represent us because the wrong major party candidate will win, we are not free to vote for whom we want. To be forced to vote for the lesser of two evils forces many of us to vote against the worst candidate while all the other major party candidate has to do is to demonstrate that they are not the worst candidate. Thus, we are always voting against a candidate rather than for a candidate.

Second, such reasoning is myopic. It always focuses our attention on today's election while sacrificing future ones. This is true because always voting for the lesser of two evils maintains the two-party system to which we are pretty much enslaved. If the people who blamed Nader for Bush's win had praised him instead, then it is possible that we would have more than 2 viable Presidential candidates 16 years later. 


We should note that third party candidates do not become viable overnight. So if we wait until a third party candidate becomes viable until we vote for one, we are waiting to vote for Godot. Because there are no viable third party candidates this year, voting for such candidates is voting for changing the system in the future. Refusing to vote for third party candidates is voting to keep the two-party system.

So the objections to voting for the lesser of two evils involve voter independence and voting for the future. Seeing that our choices in the two-party system seem to be getting worse with each election, isn't it time in this land of the free and home of the brave that we do what takes the most courage to do: we change. And, perhaps, changing ourselves will result in real change in the nation.


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