The Wasted Vote

Recently, my mother and aunt were discussing the bailout bill and the elections. They are both Obama supporters although my mother traditionally supports Republicans. My aunt asked my mother for whom I was going to vote come November. When my mom told her that I would be voting for Ralph Nader, my aunt said: “Oh. So he’s going to waste his vote.”

I’m really sick of hearing this silly talk of wasted votes! Let’s settle this thing.

In order to have any meaningful discussion about what it means for a vote to be “wasted”, we have to understand what we intend to accomplish by voting. We are constantly told by the media that voting is our chance to express ourselves – our chance to stand up and be counted and heard. While I submit that voting is a pretty sad excuse for political expression, let’s run with this common notion about what voting means.

If I am to have any chance of expressing myself politically and supporting those political ideals and practices which I hold dear, then rationally speaking I need to vote for the candidate whose ideals and actions line up most completely with my own. I have thoroughly examined the positions and political history of John McCain and Barack Obama and find both candidates quite disappointing. On the other hand, I find Ralph Nader matches up quite well with me on issue after issue. Thus, given our established criteria for the meaning of voting, I would be wasting my vote if I did not vote for Ralph Nader.

The way supporters of Barack Obama talk sometimes you would think the most important thing about voting is to make sure you vote for the side that is going to win! Now that’s what I call a wasted and meaningless vote.

Voting for the lesser of two evils gets you nothing but an endless circle of evil.

Vote for the candidate who best reflects your ideals or don’t vote at all.

Nader in 2008!

Today on NBC’s Meet the Press, Ralph Nader announced that he is running for President in 2008 again as an independent candidate, and I couldn’t be more excited!

Ever since Dennis Kucinich and John Edwards dropped out of the Presidential race, I have found myself unable to vote for any candidate in the Presidential elections nor any hope that someone with any media visibility would be challenging the status quo candidates on substantive issues like the war in Iraq, the bloated and wasteful military budget, corporate welfare, and true single-payer universal healthcare for every American.

That has now changed with Nader’s entry into the race. Not only is it exciting to actually have a voice again this election season, but also Nader’s campaign isn’t simply about giving voice to millions of Americans whose issues are ignored by the corporate candidates – it’s also about building a citizen’s movement around the country to put pressure on our elected politicians and to break through the trappings of the two-party system that make our dearly bought voter rights nearly meaningless.

Nader can’t do it alone. His campaign will need active and informed citizens in every State to volunteer and dedicate themselves to fighting against corporate control in our lives. One of the first big issues the campaign faces is the struggle for ballot access in all 50 states.

Visit the Nader campaign today and find out what you can do to help!