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  • Saturday
  • 25 May 2024

Your Worthless Opinion

Even in these desperate times, voting for a candidate outside the mainstream may not mean voter suicide.

I spoke to Mike last night, a dear friend from my time abroad at Oxford. An insightful man, and a self-proclaimed cynic, his opinions, I am sincere in accepting and, often, I take them into deep consideration. Our conversation, though multi-faceted, turned toward Michael Moore and the Fahrenheit 9/11 hysteria sweeping the nation. He had qualms, calling attention to what he saw as Moore’s “sweeping falsehoods” and he had a great disdain for the use of Moore and his movie as a tool for the Dems to pull a fast one over on the Republicans through the guise of intellectual idiom. I personally didn’t see it that way. I also had a rough time finding those “sweeping falsehoods” in what was factually, a rock solid film. [1]

Nonetheless, his argument came down to this: we don’t need a film to fool us into believing Bush is doing a bad job. We can see that for ourselves.

I may have had trouble seeing the discrepancies Mike cited in the film but, in a lot of ways, the film did not really matter much to me. Truth be told, I went into that movie not liking Bush, not planning to vote for Bush, and vehemently opposed to Bush and his administration—and I came out feeling the exact same way.

Flash forward to the next morning. A post went up on the Connecticut Etiquette message board by another friend of mine, Joshua [a dear friend indeed]. Josh had expressed his opinion: he would vote for Nader, a man who, in 2000, ran with the Green Party and, post-election, was labeled a spoiler with claims that he stole votes from Al Gore [wait, didn’t Gore win the popular vote?] Nader obviously did not win the election nor did he get the percentage he needed to qualify a third party. This disturbed me. All of this really disturbed me. I was thus forced to think back to my Grandmother and how she always told me my vote was sacred. Here, in 2004, ready to vote with his conscience, Josh clearly understands. For this, I applaud him. But where exactly do I find myself?

In the backlash of what appears to be the worst presidency in US history, I find myself ready to compromise: Kerry 2004? Is this to be my new battle cry? Up to this point, I have considered myself to be a sort of rebel. Aligned often with Democrats, I was not afraid to denounce Clinton, not for his exploits in the Oval office, but for his arrogance and atrocities abroad. I was not afraid to put Nader on a pedestal, to try and persuade as many as possible to vote Green in 2000. But now things are different, so I thought. Now, a vote for Kerry, a vote for a man I do not admire or agree with would be okay because he’s the only one who has a chance against Bush. But alas! I just maybe wrong. Now, thanks to the bravery of my friend Josh, I can admit the truth: I am running scared. Yes, scared, so scared to see yet another 4 years of Bush. So scared, I was willing to compromise my integrity, my pride and my conscience—how completely and utterly sad. But I may have found a way around it all.

I live in Bridgeport, Connecticut. I vote in Bridgeport, Connecticut. And, regardless of what you may think of the golden coast, our fancy people and big bank accounts, we almost always vote Democrat. In the last election we voted Gore, committing our big 8 electoral votes to him in the Electoral College. [2]

Prior to this, in both elections, we voted Clinton. And as the polls indicate thus far, we are destined to pick Kerry by over ten percent. [3] [4]

So what does this mean? If I vote for Kerry, in an attempt to defeat Bush, merely because Kerry is not Bush, my vote is for nothing! It doesn’t count! He is going to win my state no matter what I do. Thus, it’d be a worthless vote for a middle-of-the-road, do-nothing candidate that I don’t even like. So why not vote my conscience?

Last election I did it and I don’t regret it. This time, I’ll do it again. I’m not voting for a President, I’m not voting against a Bush or a Republican or anyone really. I am going to vote for a multi-party system and the way to do that is to give the third party my support. I choose to do this through Ralph Nader, the most high profile and admirable (in my humble opinion) of the third party candidates. I commend all of you in this seemingly brutal, intense and frightful election year that similarly display such courage. And I support and encourage all who live in non-swing states to vote Nader as well. GT1=4244" target="_blank">[5]

Bill Wallace

Editor/head writer

Tweed Magazine

Registered Democrat

William Wallace
Thursday, 08 July 2004

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Tweed Magazine content report:
2024-05-25 13:05:28
Senate, music, Conor Oberst, Saddle Creek Records, Kurt Cobain, Robb Nansel, Conor Oberst, Barsuk Records, Metric, Bright Eyes, End report.