If you live in California, your vote for president doesn't matter. I was talking to a political junkie friend of mine recently who told me that he was going to write Ron Paul in this year. I responded, as I usually do in conversations like this, "Well I don't love McCain, but it's a lesser of two evils vote for me and I don't want to throw my vote away on some third party guy who, while I might like him more, has no shot. Writing in Ron Paul is basically voting for Obama."
This had been a satisfying line of reasoning for me for quite some time, but my friend responded, "Yeah, but we live in California, so it doesn't matter. Our electoral votes are going to Obama one way or the other, and it won't be close."
And he's right. It doesn't matter. This has become a liberating truth: I no longer have to feel constrained to vote Republican, because thankfully, my vote doesn't matter. No more internal turmoil. If only something like this would have been the case when I voted for the Governator over McClintock when Grey Davis got ousted.
I am a supporter of the idea of an electoral college, although I do wish that California's electoral votes could somehow be divided up regionally (including the removal of Bakersfield's voice altogether, because who wants to listen to Bakersfield?) just because the state is so populous and has so much diversity. But in lieu of that, I now have a whole new choice in front of me. And for many of our faithful readers: so do you.
My friend told me that he wants to make a statement, which is why he's writing in Ron Paul even though he's not so sure that Mr. Paul has even asked his supporters to do that. I am considering doing the same, or perhaps voting for Bob Barr, the Libertarian candidate. In any case all of my political interest has taken on a whole new shape.
If you are not in a swing state, are dissatisfied with the two major options, and are quite sure that your lesser of two evils candidate will lose, perhaps you too should consider voting for a third party candidate. If you're going to vote for someone who will lose anyway, why not someone who will lose that you really like? Who knows- maybe a noticeable increase in third party voting will send the two major parties a much-needed message.