Many of you have been excited and disappointed throughout the primaries. It’s no secret Dr Stein’s momentum is growing and many of us are considering voting for what we want and Jill clearly embodies that for many of us. A lot has been said that makes a whole lot of sense. Articles like Vote For Jill Because She Can Win do well to address the establishment message folks have heard for so long it gets mistaken for some substitute for common sense.
Something should be said about “winning” so lets consider that a minute. I’ve often said over the years that progressives never ‘win’ giving away their votes to the establishment parties. Candidates winning is not the same as advancing progressive politics (you winning). It’s a terrible gamble voters have made again and again for far too long that’s brought American voters Hillary and Trump this round as outrageous ‘political options’. Progressives haven’t been ‘winning’ for a long time and it’s important we understand that. Any concessions we may get as a ‘consolation prize’ for ‘giving away’ our votes continues to be on a precipitous decline because we have less leverage than ever as progressives.
More and more people understand we cannot continue to not advance an alternative to the establishment parties and instead continue to give our energies away to establishment candidates we deplore. People have had enough of getting the politics they deplore from the candidates they deplore. The electorate has been resisting in many ways. We know people just stop voting. However, people are also registering independent and now that’s about 1/3rd of registered voters (aka: independent voters are rivaling the numbers the Democrats and Republicans can claim).
We’re in the “fear” phase of the campaign now and have left the “hope” phase many of us experienced in the primaries. Voter turnout, as it has been in prior elections, will determine the outcome of this election. Both establishment parties have been hemorrhaging supporters for years. Elections where they are fairly evenly matched get determined by who ‘turns out’.
What comes of this is a focus on independent voters and get out the vote (GOTV) efforts. Efforts like this lead to ‘containing’ voters into supporting these establishment party candidates anyway. It’s been working (aka: “sheep-dogging” in the primaries) but not like it used to. A popular unscrupulous narrative you have to deal with suggests not voting for one establishment candidate is a vote for the other establishment candidate. Suggestions like that demonstrate an entitlement mentality to your vote (aka: ‘taking away’ from ‘their candidate’ that vote you cast for who you wanted to vote for). Of course, no party owns your vote nor does any candidate. If a candidate doesn’t earn your vote, you are free to cast it to a candidate more of your liking and you should. A vote for Jill Stein, for many of us, is reclaiming our votes. We’re voting for what we want rather than against what we don’t want.
“Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” – Frederick Douglass
How do we start getting what we want? For one, we start voting for it and help organize the rational alternative to the bankrupt visions of the establishment parties. We have to organize at the ballot box and in our own communities. For me, voting for Jill is where my moral compass leads me. If you’re on the fence, check out her Power to the People Plan. We have to be wiling to build the future if there’s to be any future.