[Image: Jill Stein postcards and Stein/Baraka buttons on a table.]
About ten years ago, I wrote the following lines on a page of my old web site:
Voting for a Democrat to keep a Republican out of the White House is not an acceptable compromise for me. Participating in the current political system at all is the compromise.
I still feel the same way. With that in mind, I have decided to vote for Jill Stein and Ajamu Baraka of the Green Party at the polls tomorrow.
This is not a decision I made lightly. As I’ve posted before, I have reservations about the Green Party, and lean more toward a true socialist revolution. I still remain politically independent. But I support green values, and I trust the Greens far more than the Democrats—who I have not supported since 1992—to advocate for marginalized people.
Some may ask why I am not voting for Clifton Roberts of the vegan Humane Party, especially as my friend A. Breeze Harper is running as their vice-presidential candidate. The answer is that I don’t have confidence in that party’s readiness to take on the White House right now. I have tremendous respect for Dr. Harper, but she and Roberts haven’t done much campaigning and haven’t responded with the Humane Party’s position on many current events. They also have no ballot access, and only have write-in access in one or two states. My vote is not a protest vote; I expect the presidential and vice-presidential candidates I support to be ready, willing, and able to lead the country if elected, no matter how long of a shot that might be.
While the Green Party does not currently campaign for veganism and animal liberation, I feel that it is possible they could be moved in that direction. I have no such hope for the Democrats, and obviously not for the Republicans; two-party politics will not liberate animals. I am far from a single-issue voter, but I cannot ignore speciesism any more than I can ignore racism, sexism, or cissexism, so the fate of my fellow animals definitely played a significant part in my voting decision.
As I’ve posted numerous times before, I have no patience for anyone who would shame me for not voting for Hillary Clinton. My vote belongs to me and me alone. I don’t want to hear from anyone asking how I will sleep at night if Donald Trump is elected. As a queer black trans atheist, I have plenty of trouble sleeping now, and electing Clinton will not do anything to make me feel more safe or hopeful about our country’s future. Regardless, the only people who should be blamed if Donald Trump wins are the people who actually voted for him.
So I will vote Green tomorrow, not with enthusiasm, but with the hope that enough people will join me to get the party to the 5% threshold they need to qualify for federal matching funds. That impact is significant regardless of who wins the election. And just as importantly, I will be voting on local offices and ballot measures, with the help of my local Green Voter Guide (though I don’t agree with all of their endorsements).
I don’t expect this post to sway anyone, especially as many have already voted anyway. I just want my fellow progressives to stop shaming those of us who refuse to support the two-party system, regardless of which state we live in or who the Republican opponent is. I have the ability and intelligence to make my own decisions about who I want to lead this country, and I not only deserve, but demand to be respected for that.
2 thoughts on “Going with Green in 2016”
Well said, Pax. I voted Green Party, too. I want the Greens to get federal funding in 2020, and I agree that the Humane Party just isn’t ready yet. Green and Humane are the two existing parties that most closely reflect my values (parties of which I’m aware, anyway). I have faced tremendous pressure– not to mention an evening of semi-public embarrassment– over my choice. It’s comforting to know at least one person understands that I’m not protesting or neglecting my responsibility.
I take my responsibility as a voter very seriously, which is why I cannot be talked into voting for someone I truly don’t believe should be President via manipulative employment of words like “responsibility,” “duty” and even “maturity.”
(Amusing, methinks, that folks should claim that those who do not support their preferred candidate lack maturity, as such a statement in and of itself obviously lacks maturity!)
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