From a few days ago, Bruce Dixon of Black Agenda Report on the idea of what constitutes a wasted vote in American politics:
This imposition of false and meaningless choices is how, in these United States, our voices are suppressed, our votes wasted and made irrelevant, with the black vote rendered most irrelevant of all.I find it hilarious that people who insist I need to vote for Democrats, because the Republicans are so much worse, consider themselves to be adults, or the responsible people. I have no such illusions about myself, but simply voting out of fear isn't an adult choice, nor do I think it particularly responsible. No candidate, and no party, is going to meet all my expectations. I am even happy to compromise a little if at least some of what I want can be passed done by a candidate or party who can win, even though someone else might do more.
This is how the game is played. This is how the legal and symbolic authority of millions of our wasted votes is hijacked every election cycle, making possible wars we do not endorse, ratifying policies we never wanted, and pretending to believe promises we know, or should know will never be kept. This is what Eugene Debs referred to a century ago, when he declared he would rather cast a meaningful vote for what did want, and not get it, than a fake and hollow one for what he didn't want, and get that.
And so, a hundred years later, the game is still the game. If we want our votes to have any meaning, it's time to reject the fake choices between the two corporate parties. It's time to wise up, to grow up and like adults, to take a view longer than dessert, or the next two or three elections.
How To Waste Your Vote In 2012
However, I also believe that Eugene Debs is right. I think Ralph Nader was right when he said that when you choose the lesser of two evils, what you end up with is evil. That's what our choice was in 2008, and for the only time in my life, I voted for someone for President, Barack Obama, who I believed was unqualified for the post. Even at the time, I knew the man was a liar and unlikely to do much of anything that many voters thought they were sending him there to do.
I won't make that mistake again.
That's why I will vote for whoever best represents my attitudes about government policy, whether those people are from major parties or not. If none of the choices represent what I want in an elected official, I won't vote in that race. Simple as that. No more choosing evil. We have evil already. If the political parties want to succeed, they're going to have to do better.
When enough progressives vote that way, they will do better.
Politics is a market, and like all markets, it responds to what pays the bills. Being out of office doesn't pay the bills, regardless of what you want to accomplish.
You are welcome to disagree, but if you think that makes you the adult one, then you are also welcome to kiss my furry ass.
(h/t Joyce Arnold)