The narrative that we “can’t” win in November is getting repeated in all corners of the echo chamber.
Look: we CAN win. We can. We can do it right now. It’s just a matter of getting people to recognize that we can do it.
Greens have been ballot qualified to secure at least 400 electoral college votes in every single presidential election since Ralph Nader’s runs in 1996 and 2000. In 2000, we were on the ballot in 43 states – the year that everybody set their hair on fire and told us we “couldn’t possibly ever” win, and a vote for Nader was just throwing your vote away.
Since 2004, even at our leanest, we’ve still been ballot qualified such that we can clear at least 400 electoral college votes, out of 270 needed to win the presidency.
We can win. The reason we don’t, is because we buy into the lie that says we can’t.
- Nader’s 2000 Campaign:
- Green Party Ballot Access, 2004-16: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_Party_of_the_United_States#Presidential_ballot_access
So, a couple of friends have felt the need to once again tell me how I’m going to destroy things if I vote for Jill Stein.
Here’s the reality you’re just not getting, well-intentioned Democrats – and, heck, even the not-so-well-intentioned.
My vote doesn’t belong to you.
It doesn’t belong to the “best interests of the country,” according to you.
It doesn’t belong to the “best candidate” according to you.
It doesn’t belong to the “lesser evil” candidate, according to you.
It doesn’t belong to the Democratic Party. (It doesn’t belong to the Green party, either, but they’re not attempting to shame me into voting for their guy.)
My vote belongs to me. Not you. Not your party. Not anyone else. Me. Whether you like it or not, whether you accept it or not, my vote doesn’t belong to you. You DO NOT have a say in the matter, even if you think you should. You don’t.
I’m going to vote for candidates that best represent what I think is best for the country. You’re entirely welcome to disagree, amongst yourselves. You can all pat yourselves on the back, secure in your knowledge that you’ve done the right thing, according to you.
But you really can’t see that I’m doing the same thing?
My vote is not a protest against your candidate.
My vote is not a vote for the other guy.
My vote is mine – I will use it in the way I see fit.
Whether you realize it or not, my vote is not open to majority whim. It belongs to me.
And no one else.
I’m starting to rethink the approach that we’re using to respond to Trump’s “make america great again.”
No, America isn’t already great.
Some things need to change; some things need to improve. We aren’t accomplishing anything pretending that everything is just fine.
Every single month, trans people are murdered because they are trans. Because we buy into the stupid bullshit that says hate crimes don’t exist (except in cases where we’re begrudgingly forced to, in cases where racial bias is absolutely undeniable), it will come as a galloping shock to precisely no trans people that none of these crimes are prosecuted as hate crimes.
LGBT people overall are more likely – than any other typically targeted group – to be the victims of violence. This was true even before the shooting in Orlando, and it’s been true for close to a decade, at this point. At this point, we’re far more likely the groups folks most typically think of as the usual targets of hate crimes – Jewish people, or people of color.
We incarcerate more of our population, per capita, than any other country in the world. The clear majority of those are for non-violent drug offenses, and the disproportionate majority of those incarcerated are black. Imagine if we treated more socially acceptable addictions – like prescription drugs, or alcohol – like we do street drugs. If white stockbrokers with a coke problem were landing in prison at the rates we jail black people, racist drug laws would change overnight.
We’ve proven we’re every bit a susceptible to racist and xenophobic fact-free campaigns against “immigrants” – mounted by both Republicans and Democrats – as the racist foaming at the mouth that fueled the Brexit vote. If you think it can’t happen here, you are not paying attention.
We have an entire culture that glorifies guns because we’re idolatrously religious about a constitution that was designed – by its very nature – not to be taken as holy writ.
We have an entire culture that glorifies rape – so long as it’s committed by a well-off white kid, and not a black kid.
Stop telling me the country is already great. It may be great for you, but that’s a luxury not all of us are afforded.
If you really want to counter Trump, MAKE the country great – for everyone. But that isn’t something you can compress into a pithy campaign slogan.