This last round of primary elections across the country was surprisingly disturbing to me. It wasn’t who won and who lost that caused me discomfort. I am not #DemEnter personally, I think a takeover from within is the wrong strategy. But, that doesn’t mean I don’t support my allies as they take on an increasingly authoritarian Democratic machine. If they are successful, then so am I because we seek the same goal.
My preferred strategy is to press from the outside. If I choose to vote in an election it is largely for the Green party. Historically, the Green policy positions have most aligned with what I think we should do to improve the quality of life for all citizens. That said, I try not to identify with any political party too closely. Even if it comes from a genuine place, identifying too strongly with a political party engages my ego.
I was tested on this very issue over the last couple of days. When I tuned in to see how the Dem takeover worked out this round, I didn’t find the expected neoliberals hashing it out with the Progressive insurgents. What I found instead was vitriol for the Green party being spewed all over the internet. Hate, shamming, and gas lighting were everywhere I looked! As a Green voter, I found myself feeling unexpectedly under siege. Ego, had me feeling somewhat personally attacked and maligned and I clapped back on a few twitter threads as a result.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with clapping back. But, I have learned that doing so is largely a temporary pleasure which fades fast and never changes the conditions of oppression. I want to try and use my energy more wisely than that.
Make no mistake, duopoly voters blaming and attacking Green and 3rd party voters is nothing new to me. I voted for Ralph Nader in 2000, after all. What is new, and to be honest somewhat terrifying, is the nature of the arguments and claims people are making, many of which are outright totalitarian or authoritarian. I’m used to seeing this type of behavior from some on the right but I have never seen it used so boldly by the supposedly left-leaning Democrats.
When both main parties embrace oppressive ideologies and tyrannical tactics it is unbelievably dangerous to this country. Voters, myself included, are left feeling like there are authoritarians to the “right” of us, authoritarians to the “left” of us, and here we are stuck in the Non-authoritarian “middle.”
A more accurate description of political reality would be that both Democrats and Republicans are to the right of most voters, and both parties are so desperate to keep the duopoly gravy train running that they have grown increasingly authoritarian to accomplish their shared goal. This is how countries turn into oppressive dictatorships my friends, and we must turn away from this path immediately.
Dear Green Party
The Democratic Party Supports 90% of What You Support
The Republican Party Supports 0% of What You Support
A Protest vote Will Take Away votes from The Party That Supports 90% of What You Support and Help The Party That Supports 0% of What You Support
— PoliticsVideoChannel (@politvidchannel) August 8, 2018
Lying about how the Democrats and Greens share policy positions is classic gaslighting. We would have long ago had a green new deal if that were the case. We would have long ago had rank choice voting, universal healthcare, living wages, and an end to imperialism and wars of aggression if that were true. But, none of those things is any closer today despite multiple occasions of Democratic majority power in our government. The proof, as the saying goes, is in the pudding.
The absurd idea that Greens are automatically a spoiler vote/protest vote suggests the Green party candidates have no right to run in elections. As if they ruin the democratic process with their presence. It also implies that all votes are already owned or obligated to either R or D, which removes all pretext for consent to governance and thus undermines the government’s very existence. Both of these ideas are fundamentally authoritarian and anti-freedom, and we should condemn them.
To suggest that the Green Party and by extension their members are Russian, Russian agents, Communists, Red’s, or traitors is to imply that only duopoly voting is American. That somehow the Democrats and Republicans own our electoral process and disobedience to those private corporations is a betrayal to the Nation and by default supportive of Russia. This is not only totalitarian but it is xenophobic. It is irrational to hate Russia just because it is Russia, and happens to be a competing nation-state with its own interests. If you hate Russia for engaging in geopolitical strategy for its own benefit then you must hate America for doing the same thing (which we most certainly do).
But, any attempts at a rational discussion on this issue often results in accusations which dehumanize you. This is an old strategy, updated for our digital age. The idea that one supports Russia by default if they don’t have an irrational hatred for Trump is predicated on the premis that any vote not automatically given to Democrats proves support for Republican policy, Trump, and by extension Russia. This is an unhinged, biased, and logically unsound conclusion. We should reject it outright. This level of blatant othering suppresses individual freedom and liberty, and it does not bode well for a future under Democratic rule.
To assume that any voter who considers themselves on the political left of the spectrum is obligated to strategize, support, prop up, or show up for Democrats is engaging in authoritarianism. People not in the Democrat Party are not contractually or morally obligated to interact with that party in any way. Their actions cannot be viewed through a lens which presupposes allegiance to Democrats or estrangement from Republicans.If the success of your political strategy relies upon the support of people not in your party, and you do nothing to try and win them over, then that is a self-inflicted wound. Click To Tweet
Far too many of my fellow citizens have lost all knowledge of what Democracy, freedom, and self-determination even mean, and they have forgotten how vital these elements are to a free and just society. No amount of logic, debate, or undermining of their points seems to change their conviction, their ego’s where too attached to the narratives which shifted coupability to others.
I cannot battle someone’s belief system, I can only be logical and unequivocal in opposing their authoritarian claims. So, that is exactly what I shall do.
No one in this country is obligated to vote. Not voting is the ultimate declaration of no confidence in our system; we each have the right to dissent to the governance of our system, if we don’t then we are slaves to it. No one in this country owes their vote to the Democratic Party candidates just as they do not owe their vote to the Republican Party candidates. No one owes their vote to any party, or person, or private entity period.
Votes are to be earned by those seeking to represent the electorate. Elections are a contest between individuals. Competitions are not valid if any competitors are excluded, only when challenged by the best will we find the most worthy recipient of our consent to be governed. Cheating to win does not deliver the best person for the job. Eliminating your competition so they don’t have a chance to beat you is cheating. Cheating is dishonorable and we should not reward it.
Voting is an act of self-determination above all else. It is a contractual relationship where voters choose a vassal to carry out their will in managing the country. To vote for a candidate is to agree to impart your Natural authority to them, and therefore it is not an action that other people can force you to take.
To demand I vote for any particular candidate, or to vote at all if I have withdrawn my consent is to enslave me. My dissent to your candidate or your party (or to the system as a whole) is the essence of individual freedom. It is morally wrong to shame anyone for self-determining any aspect of their lives, including who they vote for.
Personally, I have no intention of being enslaved and I certainly won’t allow my own consent to be manufactured either. No amount of shaming, gas lighting, insults, or finger-wagging will change my mind. It will be the Democrat’s inability to critique themselves which will be their undoing. And I for one, will continue to vote my conscious as their party burns up in the flames of its own hubris. #LetItBurn
“Dictators are not in the business of allowing elections that could remove them from their thrones.” ― Gene Sharp,