In trying to get one-time Obama supporters to volunteer for the November election, I often hear this refrain: “The Democrats have sold us out. I’m tired of their spinelessness, their subservience to corporate interests. I’m staying home to teach them a lesson.” Not everyone responds this way, but enough do to make me worry, because if these people don’t show up and work to get others to vote, it could make the difference in race after neck-and-neck race, as a similar withdrawal of Democratic volunteers and voters did in 1994. As I’ve written, we either get past our broken hearts to help elect the best possible candidates between now and November, or cede even more power to the most destructive interests in America.
Jan 15 2010
While it is true that our system has a winner take all voting system, which means the candidate with the most votes wins irrespective of whether they have even 50% of the vote, and it is true that by voting 3rd party the candidate you least like might win, it doesn’t mean you are not having any effect. You can still use your third party vote to purify the major party of a corrupt candidates, which can make a difference in the long run. Also if enough people vote for the third party it can replace one of the two major parties which is what happened in the 1850’s with the republicans replacing the whigs. Third parties can also win. Look at Jessie Ventura.
It is true that you can agitate to change the voting system, but you must go through politicians that were successful with the old way to get something new. Not a likely prospect in my view.
It is true that you can technically run primary challenges, and get some changes, but if those are so easy to run, why hasn’t anyone run them on a mass scale, that I believe is needed to get reall changes? In reality there are tremendous structural barriers to runnng any kind of primary fight, otherwise people would do more than talk and threaten them. This talk of running primaries has been happening for ten years, and nobody in the final analysis does them.
The people who voted Nader in 2000 may not have helped but they didn’t hurt anything either. The war probably would have happened either way. Lieberman was Al Gore’s pick for vp. Martin Peretz was Al Gore’s mentor. Many dlcers like Gore voted for the Iraq war resolution including Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, and John Edwards. Obama claimed he would have voted against the resolution, but Obama has claimed to be for, or against many things, that didn’t pan out in reality, because of his commitment to dlc policies. For instance, during the campaign, Obama claimed to be against mandates and excise taxes on cadillac plans. How did that work out in reality. He claimed to be against fisa but voted for it. He claimed to oppose corporate lobbying, and the revolving door, but hired a bunch of Goldman Sachs employees to serve him in his administration. He also claimed to be against the Iraq war, but never missed an opportunity to vote for war funding.
Nader voting changed nothing, in my view, but it did offer and opportunity to vote for someone who told the truth. I so wish I hadn’t bought the lesser evil bs and wasted my vote on Gore, than Kerry and now Obama. The democrats have mislead people for far too long. Obama proves Nader was completely correct, and those of us who sympathized with Nader literally wasted 8-9 years working our butts off for democrats who hate us, and think we are idiots.
While it is true that Lieberman is a leader of these bad dems, it is not true, that lessor dems like Coakley who take money from the insurance companies, and who support mandates bare no responsibility. By only targeting the big sharks, you let little sharks like her off the hook and they continue to vote for the wrong things. You partisans claim that not giving them a 60th seat will be permission to move to the right, but they are already moving to the right so it looks like the mere act of putting right leaning dems in office is permission enough. You claim we don’t vote for Coakley we wont’ have another shot at reform for a generation, yet we are suppose to believe you will come back and improve the bill later on? Come on! We aren’t self-defeating. We are beaten down by corruption! Beating us more won’t help!
reposted from my blog http://dameocrat.blogspot.com