[And if you are not a progressive pal in Colorado, feel free to still read this, but I'm not interested in having a conversation with anyone else. Your comments will be ignored and/or deleted.]
A startling number of my progressive friends have told me that they’re not going to vote in the upcoming election because it’s ‘the same corporate puppet either way’ or that they simply don’t agree with the current two-party system. Which is totally within your rights to do whatever you wish with your vote.
But let me offer this: I’m an economic egalitarian anarchist, and I’ll be voting for Obama. Why? Because you only have two choices for President in the current system, and one of these guys will be President. Abstaining from the vote because you don’t agree with the two-party system is not a vote for a different system. The government could give a shit about non-voters. They never look at voter turnout and think, “oh what can we do to get more people to vote?” Your voice is 100% unheard.
If you want to change the two-party system, you have to put in work outside of your votes. You have to work in your government at a local level and try to elect people on the very ground floor who will affect change in life. I’ll never see healthy anarchy in my lifetime, but I can try to use what democratic power I have to plant seeds now for the future. Plenty of people are blabbing about how they aren’t voting now, but what the fuck were you doing in January to change anything? Two years ago? Simply not voting changes NOTHING.
If your reasons for not voting are that it’s ‘choosing between Coke and Pepsi’, I would point out that might be true if Coke wanted to set women’s reproductive rights back 50 years, and send gay people forcibly back to the closet. Do I think Barack Obama is some magical President? No, I do not. But I do know that at the very least he respects women’s rights and is far more pro-gay than Romney, who could safely be referred to as ‘anti-gay’.
So as a non-voter, ask yourself, is it a little too convenient to not consider my neighbor’s very basic civil rights because of my own political ideals? A lot of these non-voters are straight white males, and I don’t think this is a coincidence at all. Because the possible shitstorm on the horizon isn’t heading for you.
Is voting for Obama choosing ‘the lesser of two evils’? Sure. SO WHY NOT CHOOSE THE LESSER OF TWO EVILS. One of those ‘evils’ will be making very important decisions for the next four years. If you sit out this vote, and Romney is elected, whatever restrictive laws are passed are just as much on your head as every person who actively votes for him.
A lot of people disagree with Obama’s use of drone strike warfare. Okay, but do you think Romney is not going to use violent action against other countries? Do you think he’ll use his zealous religious background to broker peace across the globe? Really?
Colorado is a swing state in a huge way, and this election is going to be incredibly close. So I will ask you, my non-voting, progressive friends: Why not use what democratic voice you have to set up future positive, progressive choices? Why not use your democratic voice to defend the civil rights of women and gay people, instead of giving them over wholesale to faith-based decision-making?
Because your non-vote doesn’t mean shit.