FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Election 2016: They Don’t Own Your Vote

With large blocs of Republican and Democratic voters vowing to abandon their parties rather than vote for Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton in November — and in the GOP, even some party establishment figures mulling an alternative ticket if Trump takes the nomination — the “wasted vote” argument is peaking earlier than usual this year.

We hear it every election cycle, all cycle long, but the heat wave of patronizing rhetoric usually crests in early October as the poll numbers of third party and independent candidates evaporate beneath its glow. It goes something like this:

“A vote for anyone but the Republican is a vote for the Democrat!”

“A vote for anyone but the Democrat is a vote for the Republican!”

“A vote for any candidate but my candidate is a vote for the candidate who’s worse than my candidate!”

“Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good!”

“Don’t be a spoiler!”

“Don’t waste your vote!”

The subtext of this line of campaign propaganda is actually pretty ugly. The people telling you to vote for a candidate you don’t prefer rather than for the candidate you do prefer are telling you that your vote really belongs to the candidate THEY prefer. Third party and independent candidates “steal” their votes from the big dogs, with you, the voter, as their accomplice.

Seems pretty arrogant when you look at it that way, doesn’t it? Well, it doesn’t just seem that way. It IS that way.

I suppose there’s a case to be made for strategic voting. If I think that Candidate A is just a wee little bit not as bad as Candidate B, I might decide to vote for Candidate A instead of Candidate C who “can’t win.”

Or maybe not.

Maybe I’d rather vote for what I want instead of voting against what I fear.

Maybe I’d rather not vote at all than choose from among a gang of grifters I wouldn’t leave alone in a room with my wallet or my daughter, let alone the codes used to arm nuclear missiles.

The candidates don’t own your vote. The parties don’t own your vote. Until you cast your ballot and give that vote to the candidate or party of YOUR choice, it’s YOURS, not THEIRS.

Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Not now, not in November, not ever. Vote your own conscience and let the chips fall where they may.

More articles by:

Thomas L. Knapp is director and senior news analyst at the William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism (thegarrisoncenter.org). He lives and works in north central Florida.

June 18, 2018
Paul Street
Denuclearize the United States? An Unthinkable Thought
John Pilger
Bring Julian Assange Home
Conn Hallinan
The Spanish Labyrinth
Patrick Cockburn
Attacking Hodeidah is a Deliberate Act of Cruelty by the Trump Administration
Gary Leupp
Trump Gives Bibi Whatever He Wants
Thomas Knapp
Child Abductions: A Conversation It’s Hard to Believe We’re Even Having
Robert Fisk
I Spoke to Palestinians Who Still Hold the Keys to Homes They Fled Decades Ago – Many are Still Determined to Return
Steve Early
Requiem for a Steelworker: Mon Valley Memories of Oil Can Eddie
Jim Scheff
Protect Our National Forests From an Increase in Logging
Adam Parsons
Reclaiming the UN’s Radical Vision of Global Economic Justice
Dean Baker
Manufacturing Production Falls in May and No One Notices
Laura Flanders
Bottom-Up Wins in Virginia’s Primaries
Binoy Kampmark
The Anguish for Lost Buildings: Embers and Death at the Victoria Park Hotel
Weekend Edition
June 15, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Dan Kovalik
The US & Nicaragua: a Case Study in Historical Amnesia & Blindness
Jeremy Kuzmarov
Yellow Journalism and the New Cold War
Charles Pierson
The Day the US Became an Empire
Jonathan Cook
How the Corporate Media Enslave Us to a World of Illusions
Ajamu Baraka
North Korea Issue is Not De-nuclearization But De-Colonization
Andrew Levine
Midterms Coming: Antinomy Ahead
Louisa Willcox
New Information on 2017 Yellowstone Grizzly Bear Deaths Should Nix Trophy Hunting in Core Habitat
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Singapore Fling
Ron Jacobs
What’s So Bad About Peace, Man?
Robert Hunziker
State of the Climate – It’s Alarming!
L. Michael Hager
Acts and Omissions: The NYT’s Flawed Coverage of the Gaza Protest
Dave Lindorff
However Tenuous and Whatever His Motives, Trump’s Summit Agreement with Kim is Praiseworthy
Robert Fantina
Palestine, the United Nations and the Right of Return
Brian Cloughley
Sabre-Rattling With Russia
Chris Wright
To Be or Not to Be? That’s the Question
David Rosen
Why Do Establishment Feminists Hate Sex Workers?
Victor Grossman
A Key Congress in Leipzig
John Eskow
“It’s All Kinderspiel!” Trump, MSNBC, and the 24/7 Horseshit Roundelay
Paul Buhle
The Russians are Coming!
Joyce Nelson
The NED’s Useful Idiots
Lindsay Koshgarian
Trump’s Giving Diplomacy a Chance. His Critics Should, Too
Louis Proyect
American Nativism: From the Chinese Exclusion Act to Trump
Stan Malinowitz
On the Elections in Colombia
Camilo Mejia
Open Letter to Amnesty International on Nicaragua From a Former Amnesty International Prisoner of Conscience
David Krieger
An Assessment of the Trump-Kim Singapore Summit
Jonah Raskin
Cannabis in California: a Report From Sacramento
Josh Hoxie
Just How Rich Are the Ultra Rich?
CJ Hopkins
Awaiting the Putin-Nazi Apocalypse
Mona Younis
We’re the Wealthiest Country on Earth, But Over 40 Percent of Us Live in or Near Poverty
Dean Baker
Not Everything Trump Says on Trade is Wrong
James Munson
Trading Places: the Other 1% and the .001% Who Won’t Save Them
Rivera Sun
Stop Crony Capitalism: Protect the Net!
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail