We independents face this same problem with every election: neither candidate reflects our thoughts, views, or aspirations. If you asked me whom I would be happy to vote for, I would say: maybe a Denis Kucinich – Ron Paul formula. You see, I don’t see the divisions across party lines, and there are some issues that are at the core of my beliefs that are not addressed by neither Republican nor Democrat candidates.
And yet, we do vote. I am supporting Barack Obama on this election (which you may have already figured out). I do not agree with many of his positions, for instance his position on the FISA issue and I don’t like 90% of the Democratic Party. So why would I support him you ask. Because I dislike 99% of the Republican Party, which allowed the ultra-right wing of the American society to take over the party destroying the few core values you may have liked on that party.
So, you may say, I am voting for the lesser evil. Yes and no.
No, because I do trust the American people. A triumph of the Democratic Party will encourage a push for progressive change, while a win of the Republican Party will deepen our involvement on the religious wars.
A triumph of the Democratic Party will encourage Unions to strengthen and expand and to help American workers to recover their loss of economic power, while a win of the Republican Party will encourage investment on large, established, dividend-paying companies that have no choice but to create jobs overseas.
Above all, I am voting against the populism of McCain, who would say anything and everything to get a vote. I strongly feel that a vote for McCain is a vote against the growth of American democracy. I feel strongly that a vote for an unprincipled candidate, who runs only against the other candidate, reflects poorly on our democracy and on our health as a nation. I feel encouraged by the poll numbers, and I feel encouraged by the large number of Republicans who endorsed Obama or abstained themselves from endorsing McCain. This shows that democracy still matters in this country.
At this point, I don’t think there is a rational case to make to convince any hard-core McCain supporter to change sides. They may have short-term economic interests at hand that they feel are more important than the future of the country. They may be voting for the Joe the Plumber, argument, which is a complete fallacy. Or they may be voting out of fear.
If I am right on my hopes for American democracy, McCain will have less than 40% of the votes. If I am wrong, and a McCain-Palin formula takes over our government, we will suffer two more years of terrible incompetence (I don’t think that a McCain-Palin formula would be able to survive more than 2 years before being impeached out of office).
History shows that when we vote out of fear, or when we vote based on populist promises, disaster follows. Be it ancient Rome, Germany in the 20s, or the 2004 US election.
As it is, I am going out canvassing with my family. Let’s hope the vast Democratic majority turns out on Election Day, and let’s make it a reality.
Franklin @ November 2, 2008