Voting on the Left

For all the angry progressive Berners and the scared liberal Hillbot voters out there, here’s an alternative!

Are you still mad that Bernie is not the Democratic nominee? Thinking about being one of those Bernie-or-Bust’ers and going to write him in? Hold up for a second, lets think strategically for a second. First and foremost you should have known the DNC would not play nice with an anti-establishment candidate. We all had our hopes up, but it shouldn’t be surprising… Anyways, if you were like me then once Bernie was out of it I immediately started looking for a new candidate, because writing in Bernie really was a waste of a vote. I have settled on Green Party candidate Jill Stein (I voted for her in 2012, might as well do it again).  

Now, I don’t think what I’m about to talk about would work with conservative voters because those fleeing the Republican party are repulsed by Trump and probably would not vote-swap with someone, however this would work well for liberals as they would have voted for Bernie Sanders had he won the nomination.

To be honest, I loathe Hillary Clinton and her hawkish/neoliberal policies (and her vote which sent me to a BS war), as I think those policies are leading us down a path of quite destruction; however, Trump is much worse. Now I know what your thinking, but you said in your last blog “don’t vote against who you are afraid of, vote your principals,” and I still think you should, but perhaps we can come to some sort of compromise. While I see Clinton as having both wrists cut hemorrhaging blood while getting a blood infusion, Trump is jumping off the cliff. I have spent a lot of time wondering if maybe we should just jump off the cliff and start over, which would be very violent and transformative (for better or worse)... As tempting as it seems, I’m not quite ready to take that leap yet... But I’m getting close, which is neither here nor there. Anyways, I have decided to advocate for an alternative that allows me to still feel like I have a little integrity, no matter how dirty it feels.

So here’s the solution… Being connected is much easier today than it was during the 2000 Bush v Gore Presidential election. Now our lives revolve around social media and we are able to instantly talk with friends in all corners of the planet. Perhaps if we were as connected then as we are today the idea of vote swapping would have become much more popular. What is this vote-swapping thing you ask… Well let me explain it, as it is not new, nor exclusive to American politics (many countries do this and it can possibly help grow a more vibrant 3 or 4 party system, which would be more democratic and representative).

Vote swapping is basically where you exchange votes with another person, and in a first-past-the-post system with the Electoral College like the one we have, the weight of a vote changes depending upon what state you live in. So for example, if you live in Texas (a Red/non-swing state) and you are a democrat planning on voting for Hillary, your presidential vote doesn’t count for shit; but if you live in Colorado (a “purple”/swing state) then no matter whom you are voting for, your vote is very important.

So, if you are like me, live in a swing state, and want to vote 3rd party, but you think Trump would turn America into a Mad Max movie, then vote swapping is for you! There have been attempts at creating websites to connect people but this hasn't worked and really this isn’t needed, you just have to get the word out (maybe share this blog 'ahem 'ahem), and can just reach out to your friends in those non-swing states. Remember, it’s important to vote 3rd party because if a third party can get 5% of the overall vote, then they can have public funds in the next election cycle, which is huge! It is literally pumping millions of dollars into 3rd parties. This year it would seem that this could easily happen as polls have Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein doing fairly well for 3rd party candidates.

So, there are a couple things you should do in general:

First, identify your friends and family in non-swing states, and encourage them to vote 3rd party (no matter which way they would regularly vote, conservative or liberal), convince them it is in their best interest, do this without offering the vote swap, who knows it may work. I’ll probably try to talk my dad into voting 3rd party without vote swapping since he lives in Texas…

What to do if you live in a swing state and want to vote 3rd party:

Find one of your friends or family members in a non-swing state that you trust but know is going to vote for Hillary. Promise them you will vote for Hillary if they vote for Jill Stein or Gary Johnson (depending on who you like more, but if you’re a progressive, then it’s unwise to go with the latter, but I have heard many Berner’s state they like him)… And then you both hold your noses and trust that the person you chose doesn’t chicken out and back stab you. If they do, then you didn’t explain the process well enough… But if you both stick to your guns, Poof!!! You have now worked to make 3rd parties stronger and have a chance at public funding.

What to do if you live in a non-swing state and want to vote for Clinton:

Find your Berner friend, who you think is wasting their vote, and promise to vote swap with them. Then make sure to give this advise to the rest of your Hillbot friends in your non-swing state!

Not sure if you live in a swing state? Well I have provided a map of swing states at the top of this blog. As you can see there are 12 swing states. Now we all know sometimes there are states that can sometimes surprise us like Indiana or Michigan, so I would suggest finding your friends and family who are in strong party states where their votes won’t weigh as much.

  • Here is a list of heavy Red states where you should look: Texas, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Wyoming, and Utah.
  • Here is a list of heavy Blue states that you should look: California, Oregon, Washington, Vermont, Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Hawai‘i

If you don’t know someone in one of the 17 solid states, well then ask your friends if they do.

It’s really not that complicated, though I probably made it sound more confusing than it is… At the end of the day, you will feel a little better about it all, maybe not much, but perhaps it will save us from Führer Trump, even if it is what we deserve...