Voting

I usually vote, but not always, and I don’t care if you don’t. Non-cooperation is as valid a form of protest as any. When I do vote, I tend to leave a lot of races blank. In 2014, I voted on ballot measures but didn’t check off a single candidate.

I don’t believe I’ve ever voted for a Republican. I occasionally vote for a Democrat, usually out of fear that the Republican is even worse, but I almost always regret it immediately. It’s like giving in to blackmail- you do what you gotta do, but you’re never proud of it.

I have voted for a raft of third party candidates, with no discernible effect. You’d think they’d be a little tired of being a safety valve for discontented voters by now. Unless I see someone come along with a new approach to third party politics, I’m out of that game.

I worked for Nader in 2000, however, and had an awful time. If you buy me some drinks, maybe I’ll rant at you about why that campaign failed. If you’re a Dem who still thinks Nader stole my vote from you, then grow up. I don’t owe you shit. Maybe you should have run a real candidate, or put up a fight when it counted. But that’s not what we expect from the Dems, is it?

Because I live in Portland, I ought to mention a few things. I voted for fluoridating the water and against labeling GMOs. I’m a little startled (but not that startled) that so many people who call themselves “progressive” seem to think progress flows backwards. I also voted for legalizing weed, but you knew that.

I will probably vote in 2016. I usually do. It’s too early to make any promises, but I’m pretty likely to leave the presidential race blank again. We’ll probably have popular incumbents for House and Senate, so no sense worrying about those. In Portland we’ll be voting for mayor, most likely a choice between a pro-business liberal and a pro-business liberal. I imagine there might be another local race or two that requires my attention, and of course, there will be the ballot measures. It’s a safe bet I’ll vote for or against a few of those.