No such thing as a wasted vote

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. - Albert Einstein

As we finally move on from the 2020 Presidential Election, I decided to reflect on my posts from four years ago. I wrote three posts following that election:

Since that time, nothing has changed. I could repost those same articles, change the year from 2016 to 2020, and they would be just as applicable today as they were then.

Given that the system has not changed, no one should be surprised at the result. The election did more to divide us than to unite us. If Einstein were alive, I believe he would agree that our process of electing a President has reached new levels of insanity.

I still believe what I stated four years ago – it’s time we had more than two viable candidates to choose from for President. If anything, this year’s election only reinforced and strengthened my belief.

The biggest problem with our electoral system is that it has been reduced to two viable parties. If you don’t agree with the platform or principles of either party, you’re out of luck. I could pontificate on how we ended up with two parties, but that’s not the main issue. The problem is that the two party keeps the same forces, be they people, corporations, or other organized groups in power. With each election that passes, these forces only become more powerful and entrenched. Your choice, my choice, is to either toe the line, or be considered an outcast.

When you fight the system and support a party outside of the Republicans or Democrats, you are mocked. You are told you are out of touch. If you are talking with a Republican, a vote for an alternate party is a vote for Biden. If you are talking with a Democrat, a vote for an alternate party is a vote for Trump. No matter which you talk to, they claim you are wasting your vote.

Well, there are no wasted votes. My decision this election, as it’s been the prior seven presidential elections I’ve participated in, was to vote according to my values. I voted for who I most closely aligned with, and for the second election in a row, it wasn’t one of the two main parties.

You’re welcome to claim my vote was wasted. We’re all entitled to our opinion. But as I said in 2016, I want to encourage other parties to continue fighting the good fight. If more of us would voice our displeasure of the current system through our vote, we could effect change. We could expand our political process to be more inclusive by offering more choice.

It’s going to take time, effort and changes to the system. For starters, it’s going to require opening up debates to all candidates, particularly those who have made the effort to be on the ballot in all 50 states. It’s going to require the media to provide more coverage for candidates outside the two major parties. I wrote in more detail about the changes that need to be made in the posts above. The suggestions are even more applicable today than they were then.

I recognize it’s an uphill battle, but it’s one I hope more people will join. Otherwise, I suspect the 2024 presidential election will be more of the same and expecting a different result. Or as Einstein simply stated – insanity.

You’ll notice I avoided calling parties outside of the two major parties a ‘third party.’ This is another fabrication by the mainstream media that allows them to brand and shun anyone who does not support the two party system. Any candidate who spends the effort to put their name on all 50 ballots deserves better than being considered some ‘third party.’ They are a candidate for president, period. They should be given the same opportunity as any other party during the election process.

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