Okay, so I am giving in and writing about the great question about who to vote for. Before getting into the candidates themselves I feel it necessary to give my position on the matter of voting.
Regarding the Electoral Process
One aspect of our Republic is that of a “representative democracy”. It has become even more so since 1913 when the average citizen began voting for their senators, doing away with the old model of legislature which emphasized the State’s interests in the Senate and the people’s interest in the House of Representatives. However my greatest frustration comes from the Electoral College system. We are not a representative democracy/republic if our executive elected official (i.e. the President) is not determined by a majority popular vote. These two videos do a great job explaining the Electoral College and why it is not a good way to decide on our leadership.
Regarding the Voting Process
“Every vote counts,” I hear, “Every vote matters!” they say. But here’s the truth of the matter. Turn on the news, or go to YouTube and search for Presidential Elections and you will find news/video on Egypt’s presidential election before you find anything about any American candidate other than the two Democratic and Republican Party nominees. Nothing about any of the other three “major” parties (that is: Green, Libertarian, and Constitution) and good luck learning anything about the 33 other parties registered in the United States.
The fact of the matter is this: we have been led to believe by the propaganda of the mainstream media that we have two options for President. Because of this, we as a people choose not to vote FOR what we believe in, but rather, AGAINST who or what we oppose. This is, in my opinion, a horrible way to run a democratic process. I don’t care for the policies and posistions of President Obama (primarily on the topics of Abortion, military intervention/war, and marriage in that order), but I also greatly oppose Mitt Romney (primarily because of his utter fear of committing to a particular position for more than an election cycle at a time, economic erancy, and his general demeanor toward foreign policy matters). I cannot vote against my personal convictions and support President Obama, nor can I in good conscience vote for Mitt Romney. So that leads me to the “Third Party”.
In Orson Scott Card’s epically awesome Sci-Fi novel Ender’s Game the main protagonist is a boy named Ender Wiggin. He is a “third”, that is, the third child born in a hegemony that controls the population by only allowing families two children. He is viewed by society as a bastard child, doomed to never fit in.
This is much the same as the political system we experience in this country. Third party candidates are not invited to Presidential Debates, they get little to no air time on major media outlets, and generally speaking, they are unknown unless you purposely seek them out. They are the bastard children of the American political system.
If you do a little research on these candidates you can find you can find someone that you agree with on a vast majority of issues, and write them in on the ballot.
Throwing Away Your Vote
As a supporter of a Third Party candidate, I hear the statement “You’re throwing your vote away” all the time. But consider how often you hear people say that they are voting for a candidate, not because they truly support them, but because they are better than the other candidate. I know quite a few people who are voting for Mitt Romney just because they don’t want Obama in office anymore. This reasoning is flawed. The lesser of two evils is still evil, and if everyone who voted this way would do a little research on the alternative candidates, it would make a big enough difference to truly sway the vote.