Originally a comment by Captaintripps on “But you’re wrong that you’re free to vote third party.”
This line of reasoning is so screwy, though I understand where it comes from. My vote is just that: my vote. It wasn’t Al Gore’s and it wasn’t the string of third party candidates I voted for, nor was it Obama’s. It was my vote. When I voted third party I didn’t screw you over.
I think getting screwed over is beside the point, but if we’re going to put that terminology to use, people voting first party and second party are the ones doing the screwing for the rest of us. After Obama broke most of his campaign promises around civil liberties and kept us a violent and suspect nation, I refused to vote for him again in 2012.
I should take a hint at “secret ballot,” because I take a ton of shit for it from friends and relations when I say that I’ve not voted for a major candidate. But I’m supposed to hold my nose and not vote my conscience on issues I care about (like, I dunno, not bombing predominantly brown people on the other side of the planet) and care about “your” issues like the Supreme Court. Because pragmatism.
Pragmatism doesn’t seem to fly for a lot of the other ideologies our amorphous end of the spectrum holds dear. Why this one?
And I hate that positioning, too. Yeah, the Supreme Court is also my issue, but it’s like my own compatriots make me damned if I do or damned if I don’t. Because then it comes down to abortion and then I’m told I’m basically voting against a woman’s bodily autonomy. I don’t know…I think those bombed brown people way over there had a right to have bodily autonomy, too, but that’s gone.
There’s a whole load of stuff protected in the Bill of Rights; a lot of it is getting trampled on, abused, or outright ignored. Stupid precedents are being set. And ultimately I believe other civil liberties issues will make solving any of the rest next to impossible in the coming decades if they are not addressed. Which, ultimately is why I hate the discourse because it’s not nuanced and everyone feels forced to make pragmatic choices about what’s most important. Like they are “your” issues or “my” issues.
It doesn’t matter how cogent your arguments may be or how politely you put them, though. If you vote third party, you’re the asshole. Then clearly thoughtful people like Ophelia have to fall back and equivocate and say, oh, well, my vote didn’t count anyway, I don’t live somewhere contested. Fuck that. Own your vote. You don’t need to excuse it. It’s those overwhelmingly larger number of people who voted for the first and second parties who are the problem.