October 19, 2016

Politics: Throwing Your Vote Away


Personally, I tend to follow Eugene Debs' logic, "I'd rather vote for something I want and not get it, than vote for something I don't want and get it." But seriously, the thing that absolutely drives me crazy about all the people who are just so rabid about lesser of evils voting or a vote for anyone other than Hillary is a vote for Trump or a third party vote is just throwing your vote away apparently don't understand how our election process actually functions or the importance of where they live when it comes to their vote.

Listen up: I know you've been told this is a democracy and every vote counts, but that doesn't mean what you think it means. Thanks to the electoral college it's not about who gets the most votes. It's about who takes what states and gets the right amount of electors. Hell, thanks to the electoral college, it's even possible to lose the popular vote and still win the damn presidency.

So, let's take my home state as an example. I lean so far to the left that I almost tip over, right? Well, Indiana almost always goes red. It's not a blue state. It's not a battleground state. I mean, I think Indiana is like at a +7 Republican on the partisan voter index. In only one of the last 10 presidential elections, has Indiana gone for a Democrat. Furthermore, a Democrat has only taken Indiana 5 times since 1900. Each of those times, that Democrat won the popular vote by big numbers (one of those times, the Democratic even had a Hoosier for a VP).

Trump will almost certainly take Indiana since Hillary isn't anywhere near popular enough to be number six and Trump did far better in primary numbers than Romney did last presidential election when he took the state. It's the same with my neighbor to the South. Trump will almost certainly take Kentucky. The only time Kentucky voters have been willing to go blue is when the candidate is a white, male, Anglo-Saxon, Southern Governor. Do you follow what I'm getting at here?

As a liberal, you know what would be throwing my vote away? Voting for Hillary. Seriously. Wasted vote in Indiana. Trump will take the state and it's electors, rendering a Hillary vote absolutely meaningless. You know what makes my vote useful? Voting third party (since I'm a leftie that means Jill Stein). Even if the Green Party doesn't take Indiana, my vote for Jill Stein still accomplishes something. Things like ballot access and federal election funds? All that stuff that's important to building viable alternatives? That's all tied to how well a party does in the election. So, if you really want to stop Trump and don't want to "throw your vote away" and you're sick of having two terrible options for president? Then vote smart. Not blindly.
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