If you are unemployed, or underemployed – or if you’re afraid of losing your job – or if you’re worried about the economy, or the future of this country – I have a job for you. Temp work, and no pay, but it’s an important job, and if done right I believe our economic situation will improve over the long run.
Here it is: between now and Election Day, make SURE that EVERY eligible citizen you know REGISTERS – and VOTES.
Now let me add that you get extra points if they register as Independent or Third-Party — and double extra points if they VOTE OTHER.
What do I mean by “VOTE OTHER”? VOTE OTHER means to support independent and third-party candidacies – or if no alternative candidates are available, to WRITE IN another name. The goal is to demonstrate, using the power of the ballot, that we citizens no longer have faith, not just in one party or the other, but in THE ENTIRE RULING SYSTEM.
Today’s voters may be forgiven for being disillusioned with the political process. Many will show that disllusionment by staying home on Election Day — but noninvolvement, I must insist, is not a viable or productive option.
Folks who stay away from the polls “as a protest,” or because “they’re all crooked,” ignore the fact that as fas as the System is concerned, their “protest” is indistinguishable from apathy. Rather than saying, as some do, “Don’t vote — it only encourages them,” I would say that it is not voting that encourages irresponsibility and unresponsiveness on the part of elected officials, and that leaves our government as easy pickings for special interests.
But, some will say, what should we do when there’s no one worth voting for? When neither of the major parties offer someone whom we can support, or when the similarities between candidates overwhelm the differences? If you don’t have the option of voting for a third-party candidate (and the system is set up in such a way that this is a rare option indeed), there is still a way for you to let your political opinion be known at the polls.
If you have no other option, no one else that you deem worthy of your vote, don’t stay away — rather, just write in another name. (You could even vote for yourself – after all, who else shares more of your values? Who else can you count on to look after your own interests?)
Imagine the impact that a widespread VOTE OTHER campaign could have — “The Republican got 17% of the vote, the Democrat got 15%, and Other got 68%…” This, more than almost anything else I can think of, would get the attention of the established politicians, remove any illusion of “mandates,” and give clear evidence of the level of disaffection among the American electorate for “politics as usual.”
Remember, the only “wasted vote” is the one that you don’t cast — or one that you cast in a way contrary to your conscience. GO TO THE POLLS this November, and VOTE OTHER.