Prof. Wagstaff wrote:I also think the "sending a message to Washington" take on voting doesn't accomplish anything. I don't think Washington is listening.
Actually, it is one of the things they do pay attention to. After every election, both parties will pore over the results, ward-by-ward, in order to determine where third/fourth parties managed to siphon away "their" votes. Both parties will also conduct market research, in order to find which issues it was that drives those voters to seek answers elsewhere, in order for them to possibly adopt those issues as their own. A lot of changes in our country...some major, like Women's Suffrage...came about exactly that way.
Also, Sanders probably would not have have even entered into this primary if it wasn't for the (relatively) strong showing Nader had previously. That election clearly showed there was a very strong thirst for a progressive candidate, leading Bernie to try and tackle it with the party rather than outside. If Sanders hadn't ran and had such a solid race, then Clinton wouldn't have moved to the left (at least for now) as much as she did. Ergo - Hillary would be far more to the right if it wasn't for Ralph's running in 2000.
Don't get me wrong - if you actually support Hillary then by all means vote for her. But do not vote for her if the only reason is 'cause you're buying into the "don't waste your vote
" or "you're voting for Trump
" bullshit....don't let the bullies suppress your vote like that. In fact, a case could be made that voting for one of the TwoMajorParties is actually the "wasted vote". After all, the BigTwo already have ballot access, media respect, matching funds for candidates, invites to televised debates, etc etc etc. Voting for a third/fourth party helps them a lot more in those regards than voting for either of the other two does.
More importantly, if everyone just keeps on voting for whatever Wal-Mart-loving Goldman-Sachs-owned TPP-embracing chickenhawk that the Establishment Wing of the party puts on the ballot, than that is the only option you and your kids and your grandkids will ever
have on the ballot. After all, why would you expect the powers-that-be to put anyone different on the ticket when they know most of ya'll are gonna vote for 'em no matter what their stances are?
You want an actual choice someday? Then the time to start is now.