Many years ago, I realized that we don’t vote for the best candidate for President, because – to be honest – the best candidate isn’t on the ballot. Instead we vote for the one we hope will fuck things up the least. Now some will whine that voting for the lesser of two evils is why things are so bad. But our election system is rather shitty to begin with, even before it was basically broken. I mean, my choice this November is between someone who will throw gas on the burning dumpster, someone who will at least try to put out the dumpster fire, or some pixy that – according to their supporters – will be able to fix everything in the country with their magic wand, except it’s a two party system and they have zero chance of winning. Given those choices, I’ll be pragmatic and vote for the one who will try to put out the dumpster fire.
Do I think Biden will make a great President? No. Was he my first choice? Fuck no. I was hoping for Warren. Of course, it didn’t really matter. For one, I have no party affiliation, so I can’t vote in the primaries, and two, I live in Pennsylvania and by the time we have our primary the nominee is pretty much already decided. Another aspect of how our system is broken.
Now I’ve seen some posts on Facebook and Twitter about progressives upset about how Biden/The Democratic Party “isn’t doing enough to win their vote.” But put yourself in the shoes of the Democratic Party. They want to bring together more voters. They look to the left and see people saying, “We have these forty-seven demands, and if you don’t accept all forty-seven, THEN WE WILL NOT VOTE FOR YOUR CANDIDATE.” The Party then looks to the right and sees people going, “We just want a President who won’t start World War III over a Twitter feud.” And the Democratic Party goes, “We can do that.” And then progressives are like, “They’re not even trying to win my vote.”
A large part of why things are so shitty and broken, is because there is no viable third choice. And yes, when I was young I did protest the 2000 Election by voting for Nader. (Pennsylvania still went for Gore, so it’s not my fault.) But did that accomplish anything? I’ve recently decided that – even though I want a viable third, fourth, fifth party – I won’t vote for a President unless they are in a party that has at least ten members in the House and one Senator. Because the whole point in trying to elect a third party candidate is so they can do something. But why should Republicans or Democrats follow the lead of a Third Party President? Did they follow the lead of Obama or Trump?
So how can a third party become viable so I’ll consider voting for their Presidential candidate? By a lot of hard work getting their message out and building on successes. First they win some elections at the local level, then the state, and then Members of Congress. It will be a lot of slow, incremental steps.
Now some will say that slow, incremental steps won’t fix the problems we have now and we need big, fast changes. Well, big, fast changes in the political world are usually called revolutions. Before anyone starts cheering, let me remind you that revolutions are often bloody and have unintended consequences. I mean, the French revolted against their King, and a few years later they had an Emperor. The oft discussed Bolshevik Revolution was the second revolution in Russia, that year. And before you say the American Revolution was perfect, was it? I mean, the first government formed after it flopped and had to be replace by one that had some issues that led to a Civil War and the case could be made is the root for many of the problems we have today. (Cough, Electoral College.)