Why Not to Boycott the Election (and to Vote for Obama)

…”A few weeks back, there was an email suggesting that frustrated voters ‘boycott the election.’ My first thought was that this ‘brilliant’ idea likely originated with Karl Rove.

   Then I was reminded of an ‘Aggie’ story I heard while living in Texas.
An Aggie comes home unexpectedly to find his wife in bed with his best friend. The Aggie goes to his nightstand, pulls out a gun … and puts it to his own head. When the wife and friend start to laugh, he says, ‘What are you two laughing at? You’re next!’

   And that pretty much sums up how I feel about boycotting the election. Sure we have a lame choice – between the sorry-ass Democrats, and the scary-ass Republicans. But by blowing this one off – or even casting a vote for one of the worthy third party candidates – we are shooting ourselves in the head. We are missing an opportunity to make this election mean something other than what the lame-stream media is telling us it means.

   By overwhelmingly re-electing Barack Obama, and restoring a Democratic majority to both Houses of Congress, we can send a powerful message to the world, to our leaders and most importantly, to ourselves.……Finally, here is a stark yet pertinent quote from Proverbs: ‘Where there is no vision, the people perish.’ The Democratic Party ‘leadership’ has no vision. If they did, and if they clearly articulated a pathway to a future where the Golden Rule overrules the rule of gold, this election would be a no contest. So we … those of us awakening to the sane, healthy and coherent vision of a world that works for all … must speak and live that vision forward. This time, we must ‘vote past’ Obama for the world we know is possible. If we are successful, and we show the power of money that all their money couldn’t buy this election, our body politic will have passed a very important test … and we will be ready for true engagement across the red-blue divide.

We do not know at this point the final outcome of the election. But I think one thing seems certain. Come rain or come shine, the upwising will continue. Awakening awareness is unstoppable.”

Read full blog post at Steve Bhaerman’s Notes From The Trail blog

From Paul Wingate

20 Responses to Why Not to Boycott the Election (and to Vote for Obama)

  1. Anonymous says:

    Don't boycott. You can't justify the whining if things don't go your way in the political theater. Even if you resent the Two Party System and think its a false choice, support a Third Party Candidate like Gary Johnson, Jill Stein, Rocky Anderson or Virgil Goode. If you lean Right and think the GOP has lost its way, write-in Dr. Ron Paul.

    Exercise your right in the democratic process and vote. Make these crooks in Washington work for you. Fire them if you think they're doing a lousy job. Oust them from office if you feel Patriot Act II and NDAA are a major violation against your Constitutional Rights. Defenestrate Obama from the White House if you feel you've been duped by his 2008 promises of change.

  2. Dan says:

    People shouldn't boycott the vote, they should boycott the two party system! There are other options out there that the media won't touch. Look up Jill Stein or Gary Johnson

  3. Anonymous says:

    Yes, I agree you must vote for the lesser evil. If the power is with the corporations to fix elections. I believe we need to empower ourselves with corporations of equal clout.
    Like the fair trade movement, a corporation of the people for the people may be able to balance use it's voice/money to offer an alternative.

  4. Anonymous says:

    The fallacy of the "lesser of two evils" is that the lesser can still be evil. It's also a false dichotomy predicated on the Two Party System. There are options which the Media Cartel has deliberately ignored.

  5. Martin says:

    I agree that boycotting is not the way to go. However (there's always a 'however'), unless one lives in a so-called swing state, there's the option of voting one's conscience by registering outside of one or the other of the two major parties and thereby sending a message of sorts. I've voted in every election since I 'came of age' some 50-odd years ago. I've been registered as a republican (long, long ago) and I've been registered as a democrat (not so long ago), but mostly I've been registered with no affiliation at all, which, in my state, disallows voting in the primaries. Most recently I've registered with the Pacific green party (mostly to get the party on the ballot and thereby allow the option for myself and others) and I voted accordingly, except for the offices where there was no one running from the PGP. Did I disenfranchise myself? Perhaps, but no more than was the case already. Did I lose the election for Obama and 'give it away' to Ro-money? No way. Did I help to 'send a message'? Don't know – it's too soon to tell – but I hope so.

  6. Hear hear, Lloyd!
    I agree, and I'm not an American. We have an ultra-conservative government here in Canada and it is beyond scary. Our prime minister learned politics from the likes of George W., but he's so far right, if he were an American, he'd have joined the Tea Party.
    I've told my husband I'm going to move to Australia if the Republicans get in, because they'll join forces with the Canadian feds and life in North America won't be worth living.
    Of course, that might be just another way of shooting myself in the head, but maybe it's just shooting myself in the foot.

  7. Jim Bangs says:

    I agree with you to not pass on the election. I am slightly disappointed by unfulfilled promises of 2008 yet I also am buoyed by progress that was shown in the face of Republican roadblocks. One of the reasons I will vote Obama again is the idea that a second term President can get accomplished for his agenda (Bush excepted) when he can stop running for re-election and the Republicans can take a break from discrediting him on a personal basis because they know he will go away in 2016. To elect Romney just means on November 7th he starts to run for 2016 and the democrats start doing everything they can to block him and any ideas he might propose. This is the problem I see has happened to Washington. Any possible good idea that might be beneficial to the American people is automatically opposed by the other side of the aisle. Sad to live in an American landscape such as this. The hard thing on a personal basis is not to become cynical or just check out. It is in our best interest to stay informed

  8. Have fun pretending that you are actually having some influence on the outcome of the direction of the government. Karl Rove, Darth Cheney and Dubya proved that with enough money, it's possible to not only buy the election but turn you opponent's strengths into weaknesses.

    Neither the candy-ass Demos nor the rapacious Repugs represent my views, so I'm left with no one to vote for, and nothing to support. They're all corporate stooges. Go buy some consumer products and get over it.

  9. Mr. Sharkey, if that's true, how did Obama get elected? Money is very important, but the people still make their won decisions in the end.

    The electorate frequently threatens to splinter the big two parties: Tea Party, Ross Perot, John Anderson, even the Bull Moose Party, but it never seem to happen. We do have the freedom, fortunately, to either follow Lloyd's good advice, or put in our vote for something different. That in itself is a comfort.

    Where's Pat Paulson when you need him?

  10. To answer your question with a question: What makes you think that the promise-breaker-in-chief ~isn't~ a corporate stooge? Ever looked at his portfolio? He's not exactly 99% material.

    As you state, we have the freedom to follow one piece of advice or the other. I, myself refuse any longer to participate in the rigged sham we call elections, it only legitimizes the corrupted process that should have been shaken like a dirty rug a long time ago. I had high hopes that Occupy would bring the revolution to the streets at last, but it fizzled without even putting any candidates forward.

    Let's have representational government with leaders and statesmen instead of damned politicians.

    …Unless Bernie Sanders want to run for prez, then I'll consider reregistering.

  11. BMAC says:

    The electoral college makes your vote for president far less relevant than your vote that will actually impact something. Take prop 30, or instance. I don't think people realize the world of hurt that public schools will be in if does not pass. There are other important issues, like the death penalty, that are on the ballot. If you think it's about the president, you are wrong. It's about going to the polls for whatever gets you there and voting on issues that are very close to home. F***ing VOTE!

    P.S. Love the story about they guy and the gun. Brilliant.

  12. Anna says:

    As someone who is not allowed to vote, but lives in this country anyway, I am disgusted by people who don't vote. Even if you don't like the two-party system, even 5% of the popular vote in a state for a third-party candidate and the party gets funding.

    Plus, voting is not all about the President or even Senators and Represenatives. It's about making your voice heard and also voting on the other ballot issues and local politicians who can more immediately influence your lives. So go and vote, regardless of how corrupt and sad the two-party system in this country has become.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Obama should be fired for signing NDAA. Any President who authorizes this unconstitutional law to violate our Rights should be ousted immediately.

    A vote for him is a vote for a Tyrant. NDAA is Totalitarianism.

    Wake up.

  14. Mr. Sharkey, good point. I guess all that Soros money is the same as any other, it just buys a different influence.

    I have to say that this election cycle we have seen some interesting politics from both the Tea Party and OWS. Both are absolutely new on the scene, and both have stirred things up pretty well, although I agree with one commenter that it's surprising that OWS didn't go any farther than it did (too much disorganization, and not enough focus on a clear set of goals).

    All that, however, is real democracy, at least as I see it, and it does push the big two parties in a certain direction. That has to be healthy, as in many countries that sort of public commentary is simply illegal and will get you arrested or shot.

    We should all be thankful for that. Exercise your vote on Tuesday.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Look at history
    Republicans go apoplectic everytime a dem is elected. Look at Bill Clinton, now Obama, Jimmy Carter, JFK, FDR. When exploiting "the people" gets addressed by dems in office it drives repubs crazy. VOTE, if only to PUSH BACK their attack on the middle class and their disregard for the poor. If the outcome is close…the election will be stolen once again. They'll get another shot at dismantleing every hard won advance made to improve our lives.

  16. daltxguy says:

    I don't live in the US but I am allowed to vote and I have already done so.

    It was not for either of the so-called 'main' parties. Neither represent my views (they both support war and unconditional support for Israel, for example). There are legitimate so called '3rd parties' (the 2 party system is not codified anywhere but it is heavily controlled by the 2 parties themselves to make you think so) who field enough candidates and have a legitimate platform which could actually win the electoral college.

    No, vote for whom you think best represents your view and have a clear conscience. Don't try to game the system.

    The country's direction will be attempted to be set by an elite no matter who you vote for. Real democracy happens in the streets and it scares the shit out of the 'two' parties which is why they control the debates and issues each 'election' cycle. And which is why OWS is still very legitimate, still very much alive and still very powerful and has not disappeared. We would not be talking about the 1% if it was not for OWS. Don't underestimate the influence they have had and are still having.

  17. Anonymous says:

    According to a BBC World Service opinion poll, an average of 50% favours US President Obama in 21 countries (9% for Mr Romney).
    France is the most strongly pro-Obama : 72%.

    Here in France we are following the election with great interest. French TV and radios are scheduling many documentary films and debates about it. Many reports are talking about social inequalities : the victims of subprimes crisis, the students'debt, the long queues of people hoping for medical treatments in free health centers, or people trying to renovate seized houses and to set up urban farming in Detroit. It's often a very dark view of XXIst century's life in United States.
    Another topic is the Mormon religion and in a general way, the very strong presence of religion in electoral meetings, which would be unthinkable in France where secularity is the law.
    The american voting system, also, is a cause for amazement : rule of ''Winner takes all'', poll with one round only, way of financing campaigns… all this seems to jam the democratic mechanism. Our voting system is different but also very imperfect, that's why many people demand proportional representation.
    For many different reasons (foreign policy, economic policy…) we hope Mr Romney won't be elected.

  18. Anonymous says:

    There is a very good chance we will have a new President tonight. Up for grabs right now are Independent Voters in Swing States. By most polls, Romney is winning this category by almost double digits in nearly every State. He's also closed the gender gap to well within the margin of error. And given the pent up frustrations from Republicans, they are very motivated this time around. So I anticipate a very strong Election for the GOP.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Does one imagine, that if the current resident of the former white house is to retain his lair, that he will accuse the previous administration for problems inherited?

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