Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Making my vote count

Here's a letter to the editor of the Santa Barbara News-Press that I emailed today. I'll update this blog if/when it's published.

Update: It was published on October 28, 2012.

During the summer of 2008, I worked diligently for Obama's election, traveling with other Californians to swing-state Nevada to canvass residential neighborhoods, knocking on doors, waving signs on street corners, all in the intense desert heat. It was a powerful experience to feel part of the "change" that Obama proclaimed. But now, after his term as President, I no longer support him: I'm voting for Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate.

True, it's an easy choice for me, resident of a non-swing-state that will award Obama its electors notwithstanding my vote for Dr. Stein. But my ballot isn't symbolic. I'm voting for President as if it were a true choice--a democratic act, not just the political one of choosing the "lesser of two evils," which is the most I can say for Obama. I'm voting for what I believe in, including an end to American militarism and to corporate control of our political system; the advancement of economic fairness; the restoration of civil liberties; in short, the same principles I supported four years ago--the same "change" that Obama abandoned from the moment of his inauguration.

I admit I'm also voting against Obama out of spite, to express my belief that he bears the label, "worst President ever"--not, however, for reasons cited by Right-wing pundits but because he has, both for this writer and for future generations of like-principled voters, despoiled the concepts of "hope" and "change," leaving an electorate that has lost faith in effective democracy.