I, Joseph Fortune, do not now, nor have I ever felt guilty before about having voted for Ralph Nader.
Unfortunately, however, I do feel somewhat guilty for having voted for Bill Clinton during his reelection bid(my first chance to vote this lifetime:) I had fallen into the he said/she said, us vs them gang war mentality. It is similar to the magnetism of an act of violence(train wreck). You want to know what everyone is so excited about? It is difficult to just ignore. You want to protect yourself first, you also want to help deescalate the conflict, but you’re really more likely to choose sides. Its fight or flight and there’s no time for deep introspection. You could head home(flight) and just ignore the election(scene of violence) and not vote at all. Or you can “fight”, offer yourself to the situation to try to stop the violence and stop the bleeding, (maybe)start the healing. But as the battle wages on, you eventually become collateral damage. You chose a side in a fight where you stand to gain nothing. Even if your candidate wins, you lose.
In the most recent Rhode Island Governor election, I cast a protest vote. I voted for the “Cool Moose” Robert Healy. I didn’t actually even want him to win. I was pretty certain he wouldn’t. What I really wanted was to wave a certain finger at the RI Democratic Party establishment. I had been fortunate enough to be present at an unpublicized, invitation only speech given by Gina Raimondo in a basement in Providence during her campaign. Basically she promoted her own resume of instituting neoliberal policies and her personal commitment to business/private sector interests.
Gina’s more public speeches peppered in some nice talk about the working poor of Rhode Island, but it was clear to me that Gina wasn’t going to be trying to help the people I know in Rhode Island. She was more likely to give advantages to moneyed business interests at the expense of those of us struggling to make ends meet.
The Kasich-Cruz collusion is an exemplary peak into the corruption of our society as a whole, including government, corporate power and the Oligarchy that governs us.
If a tactic that is illegal in business can be utilized freely in politics, what does that say about the morality of the tactic in question? What does our society believe when it comes to the practice of collusion?
Businesses collude for their own benefit at the expense of consumers. Kasich and Cruz diminished their already struggling brands and have given voters even fewer choices. What if Bernie and Hillary join forces to upstage Trump? It won’t be called collusion because they are conspiring against someone not from their party. They will also be limiting voter’s choices. What if Hillary and Donald are colluding to put the Clintons back into office safely in order to continue the global status quo? Maybe we’ve never really had a choice at all.
A voter who dearly wants progressive change in this country will likely have to choose between two candidates who portend to offer either no change at all or a major swing in the anti-progressive(fascist) direction.
This, if we fall victim to the illusion of choice. For a progressive, that is no choice at all. Although many will say voting for a third party is a waste, those on the receiving end of your vote will greatly appreciate your support. They may be ennobled to fight on. Your vote may help the third party grow in future elections. Most importantly, you are expressing to all paying attention(counting votes) that the “Political Revolution” is real. In this way you are indeed voting for change for the long term.
ps Voting is only one part of what we can do for positive changes to occur…