- don't settle for the lesser of two evils anymore.
-Vote!!. Don't buy the message that the way to fight the system is to not vote. That's exactly what the Two parties and the MSM want-- for people to stay home. Just vote for anybody but the two main parties. We need more Bernie Sanders.
Now, Rob is a knowledgeable writer, and his article also contained a lot of wisdom and some good, practical advice. But he, and a lot of the Progressive writers I come across on OEN make me want to beat my head against the wall.
The folks in the Tea Party are upset about the thrust of the Republican party, and have championed -- and elected -- candidates who reflect their views, but are too far out of the mainstream to win any national elections.
You Progressives are also frustrated that you can't field a candidate who will promise and try to deliver to you all that your left-leaning heart desires. (And who also couldn't get elected.)
Clinton didn't do it. Obama didn't do it. You're understandably tired of voting for "the lesser of evils" who doesn't come close to filling your wish-list. So now, you want to pick up your marbles and go home -- or as Rob suggested, go out and vote for anybody but the Democrat or Republican.
This article isn't about me, but I feel I need to give you enough background to see where I'm coming from.
I wasn't politically active in my early years, but have been an Independent for as long as I can remember. I'm a former businessman who tended to vote mostly for Republicans. In 2000, I was a heavy supporter of John McCain. But that was the year that George W. Bush, Karl Rove, etc. convinced me that the Republican party had changed for the worse. I became an Independent who then leaned Democratic, and who now sees no redeeming qualities in the current Republican party officials or candidates. I vote almost exclusively for Democrats, which included Gore, Kerry, and Obama for president).
They don't give me everything I want in a candidate. Just like you, I want more attention to the rank-and-file American citizen, and less playing the political game in Washington. But I am a pragmatist, and yes, I vote for the lesser of evils because it's in my best interest.
It would be in your best interests too.
As much as you -- and Tea Baggers -- want ideological purity and less playing the political game, this country is run by politicians who feel they must play the political game, and whose actions as politicians greatly affect your lives in many ways. That's true whether you vote of not.
I hate to harken back to 2000, but that election should be very instructive. Gore effectively lost, and forgetting hanging chads and a Supreme decision, it was partly due to those well-meaning Progressives who believed Ralph Nader's claim that there wasn't "a dime's worth of difference" between Bush and Gore.
Yes, they both were corrupted by the political system, and gave neither the arch-conservatives nor the ultra-liberals what they ideally wanted. But there was a hell of lot more than a dime's worth of difference. With Bush, we got wars that should never have started, with vast costs in dollars and human treasure that is ongoing today. With Bush, we also got John Roberts and Samuel Alito on the Supreme Court.
If you can't conceive of how different our world would be for Liberals and Independents if Gore had made those appointments, then you really don't have a brain that I can reason with.
I'm not saying that you should abandon your Progressive agenda of trying to change the system. I'm not saying you shouldn't try to elect more Progressive-minded candidates. But I am imploring you to be realistic in assessing the chances for election of the person you cast your vote for. Reality tells you that, regardless of your vote for any other candidate, either Mitt Romney or Barack Obama will be the United States president in 2013. I ask you to ask yourself: would you really prefer that the Republican candidate assume the presidency instead of Obama? Do you really prefer that Romney rather than Obama nominate the next justice to the U.S. Supreme Court?
I freely admit that Obama has not been a perfect president, especially when compared to the Progressive agenda. But I do think that, with all that he had to contend with, he's been a good president, and I really believe he'll be a better president in his next term (if he gets one). Would you really rather have had McCain, and would your wishes really be better served by Romney for the next four years?
I think it's time you Progressives take your thumbs out of your mouths (and your heads out of that other place) and face the reality that there aren't enough Bernie Sanders to go around right now. Realize that choosing the better of evils is the best thing you can do for your cause until you can radically change the system in, say, 2020.