Back in 2008, I wrote about my difficulty with the presidential candidates. I lamented that i couldn’t see much difference between the coke and Pepsi parties or who was running for president. I caught some flack for that but I think that history has borne me out. Spending is way up, that was expected, but Gitmo is still open, we’ve doubled down in Afghanistan, not only is habeas corpus still being denied in the “War on Terror” but now the administration is targeting US citizens for assassinations, drone attacks continue farther and farther away from combat areas, etc. We’re on the brink of the Fed ramping up the printing presses and the specter of awful inflation leading to a possible zombified economy kind of like Japan’s has been for this past decade. I would have fully expected all this from a republican administration too.
So if Democrats are going to act very similarly to republicans, what is the option? Most people simply held their noses and voted for the candidate that bothered them the least. Our current political climate is a direct consequence of that type of voting. Bush was so bad that he destroyed his party’s “brand” even among many that usually voted republican. Obama got many, many votes simply because he wasn’t Bush. The trouble is that those folks voted for a party that they didn’t agree with on a lot of things. The democrats took their convincing victories as backing their agenda instead of understanding that a big chunk of folks were voting against people moreso than voting for them. So the dems took advantage of their control and passed stuff that a big percentage of people that voted for them didn’t like. Outrage, anger, etc. have followed.
Here’s a startling idea, instead of voting against someone, why not vote for someone? That was my decision last election and it really freed me from guilt about my vote and angst over the two party system. My alternative was not to vote, and i didn’t like that idea. Instead, I found a party that is anti-war, pro gay rights, anti-war on drugs, and believes in well understood paths to prosperity. It also makes you promise that you will never use coercion to further political aims. You can read the full platform here. Stumping for my particular favorite party isn’t why I’m writing this. My main goal is to get people thinking about what they are actually voting for. It turns out that there are other parties that may more closely match your views of the world. If your views don’t match the big two parties, you do a great disservice in not making those views known. If you persist in voting for the big two, you will only embolden them to keep doing what they have done. The best way to voice your displeasure is to vote for someone that shares your view on the world. Peruse the list here and see if there’s a party out there that more closely matches your views and go out and vote!