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Protest Voting

(Part 1 of "They're Looking In the Wrong Place")

During the next few months, you will undoubtedly (and very loudly) hear one specific sentence: "You should not vote for a third-party candidate because this election is too important for a 'protest' vote!" And I know that they will say this because they are don't seem to know a lot of words anymore, and because it's given them a lot of successful traction since the turn of the century. Quite obviously, anyone shouting this sentence wants you to vote for whichever candidate they are supporting, but they are more afraid that the candidate they are NOT supporting will get elected.

"Delusions of grandeur, visions of splendor …"

To be clear, a 'protest vote' is defined as "a vote cast in an election to demonstrate the voter's dissatisfaction with the choice of candidates or refusal of the current political system." So, is voting for an alternate party candidate a 'protest vote'? What exactly are we protesting with our 'protest vote'?

  • We are protesting the idea that either of the Old Parties (and their ideological platforms) actually represent the whole of "We, the People of the United States", our views, and our ideals (because neither of them even come close).
  • We are protesting the idea that our choice of candidates - specifically, presidential candidates - MUST be limited to two people, both of whom a majority of the population believes is unfit for the office.

"Eyes wide open, heart undefended, innocence untarnished."

If you want to get more specific:

  • We are protesting the idea that we MUST vote for one of the two Old Party candidates rather than another candidate with whom we might actually agree. ("Those candidates have no chance at winning, so you MUST choose between the two candidates that DO have a chance at winning.")
  • We are protesting the bully tactics used by insecure Old Party adherents to get onto their bandwagon even if we don't agree with their candidate ("You MUST vote for my candidate, otherwise their candidate will win and we will all go to hell in a handbasket.")
  • We are protesting that our votes, as an entire population, actually SHOULD reflect our real voices and values rather than the voices and values of a relatively few people on the increasingly extreme ends of the political spectrum.

"Cinderella Man, hang on to your plans. Try as they might, they cannot steal your dreams."

You see, I think that they SHOULD be afraid because we disagree with the assessment that this is not the time for a protest vote; this is EXACTLY time for a protest vote because there ARE candidates out there who represent the ideals and views that we think are important, not just for ourselves, but for our families, our children, and our grandchildren. THAT is what representative government is supposed to be about.

Committee to Elect Darren Hamilton
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