I’ve heard it said, a time or two,
giving resignation to voice,
When voting the lesser of two evils,
it’s still an evil choice.
Likewise, when picking poison,
as the big decision looms,
One still is choosing poison,
as that thing which is consumed.
©2012 James Montgomery
As the 2012 Presidential election approaches and Jill Stein gets herself thrown in jail (happy birthday, Dad, guess what? I’m in jail!), I see the constant tsk-tsking by Obama supporters proclaiming that a vote for Jill Stein or any other third-party candidate is a wasted vote. I would like to take this opportunity to remind these folk that my vote is my vote; your candidate is not my candidate; your politics are not my politics – don’t presume otherwise, although any are welcome to attempt to convince me of the error of my ways and the Sisyphean task that entails.
While I do favor the idealism the Obama campaign theoretically embodies, he is not my idea of an effective leader. Romney is hopeless and the right-wing cronies he would bring into his administration would be nightmarish. A third party candidate is the only choice for me. Is it practical? Of course not, but “practicality” is the concession to a system that is in dire need of revitalization. A third party candidate – as with all candidates – will only do as well in an election as the support they can attract. To change the direction in Washington and our political process, voters have to have the courage to take that first step off the beaten path of two-party politics. Will victory happen immediately? No, but if changing people’s minds was easy, it would happen a lot more often.
An election, first and foremost, is casting a ballot for the person who most closely embodies your own values and beliefs while meeting the standard of qualification to perform the function of the office. Imagine what would happen if people vote their true conscience rather than for party political power – a third party candidate would actually have a chance. To me the courage to take the first step in a new direction is not a wasted vote, it is the true example of leadership.