Raise your hand if you are truly, sincerely, excited to vote for either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump.
Okay, you folks with the raised hands, today’s post is not for you.
Now raise your hand if you expect you will vote for either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, because the alternative is too horrible to contemplate, but you REALLY don’t want to.
YOU FOLKS are the people I’m writing to today.
I have spent a number of election years voting for the lesser of evils, and I hate doing it. Can you relate?
And here we are, faced with the prospect yet again, only with astronomically more less and evil.
If you are anything like me, you may even have a candidate that you would actually prefer. Someone you think would make a good president, or at least someone you think would support what you value.
And you are deeply distressed that you can’t vote for them, because that would be throwing away a vote. And every vote AGAINST either Hillary Clinton, or Donald Trump, depending on your values, MUST COUNT.
If you are anything like me, every time you’ve voted for the lesser of evils, you’ve thought
“I KNOW there must be a lot of folks JUST LIKE ME, who want to vote differently, and if we could all band together we could probably even swing this election.”
But you can’t be SURE they will vote for the long shot candidate. So you can’t risk voting for the long shot either, or (say it with me) your vote will be wasted and THE WORST OF THE EVILS will be elected because you wasted your vote!
So you’ve voted the safe route.
I got to thinking this week though: what if we DID know how many other people were going to vote for the person they REALLY want to vote for?
Would we feel braver about voting that way ourselves?
If I knew that 100 million people had pledged a write-in vote for Bernie Sanders, for instance, my choices about not voting for Ms. Clinton would be rather less stressful.
Then I thought, with the advances of technology, we CAN kind of know these things. We no longer have to depend on biased media polls. We could band together and stage an information revolution.
We have the technology.
As we’ve talked about before, I’ve only got energy enough for fairly small revolutions at this point, but a small revolution just may be enough to solve THIS problem, at least.
So I have a proposal: I will if you will.
I say we set up a campaign with a pledge to vote for the REAL candidate of our choice. I’m happy to start the thing, but I’m equally happy for anyone else to do so if you have more time/energy/whatever than I have.
If I am going to do it, Bernie Sanders is my first pick, and if he declines, then Jill Stein is probably my next choice, but I am not going to make any final decisions on that until well after the democratic convention.
I imagine if you are very conservative you’ll probably want to do your own version, because my candidate likely won’t be to your taste. And that’s fine.
I do suggest that our odds are best if we have only one main progressive and one main conservative candidate, so we can gain a critical mass of those voters.
But ultimately, I want a system where EVERYONE can vote their conscience without fear; so do what you believe is right.
So, what do you think?
If there were public pledge to vote your real conscience for this one election, in hopes of beginning to change our political system,
you could see how many people had signed on before voting day arrives, would you be wiling to do join?
We are not guaranteed success, of course.
Being true your beliefs, especially in a rigged system, necessarily involves some risk. People may not keep the pledge, even with all of us voting our conscience we may still not have enough votes … lots can go wrong, and we could still end up with a president we deplore.
But at least we will have fought that for real instead of contributing to it. And perhaps 4 years with the worst of evils would be worth it if we change our futures. But it’s a risk, no doubt.
I figure we can give it a shot, and see how things look by, say, mid October, and go from there.
Anybody else in?
If so, leave a note on the blog or on Facebook, and if I see some interest I’ll start the petition or campaign and get us rolling.
If you’ll both sign up on whatever forum we come up with, and also share it through your networks, we may just achieve something!
If anyone has the time / money / energy to do more than that, let me know. I’m happy to hand this over to someone more able to focus on it than I am just now.
UPDATE at http://somegracewiththat.com/i-will-if-you-will-update/ but if anyone wants to move forward with any sort of campaign, please do let me know!