There has been an ongoing debate at FDL about whether it is better to vote the lesser-evil route (which, I note, is still evil) or vote 3rd party. The arguments are familiar to everyone, I’m sure. I made my choice two years ago to vote 3rd party as a matter of conscience. I will admit that it was not an easy matter to break free of the D vs. R mindset. It was a bit scary at first but ultimately, what a feeling of freedom! I no longer have to settle or vote against. I get to vote for someone and for particular policies! And, best of all, I’m not sending the message that I approve of the dramatic erosion of civil liberties, of the use of drones, the war on drugs, the war on women, the war on entitlements, etc. But I’m not an eloquent writer and when I came across this combination interview-discussion between John Cusak and Jonathan Turley, I found a passage which summed up how I feel. I wanted to share it with you all. I know some people here won’t consider 3rd party as an option and they consider my choice to be anything from stupid to selfish to reckless. This won’t change their minds. But if you are wrestling with how to vote, maybe it will help you decide.
Jonathan Turley, constitutional law expert (my bold):
The Republican and Democratic parties have accomplished an amazing feat with the red state/blue state paradigm. They’ve convinced everyone that regardless of how bad they are, the other guy is worse. So even with 11 percent of the public supporting Congress most incumbents will be returned to Congress. They have so structured and defined the question that people no longer look at the actual principles and instead vote on this false dichotomy.
Now, belief in human rights law and civil liberties leads one to the uncomfortable conclusion that President Obama has violated his oath to uphold the Constitution. But that’s not the primary question for voters. It is less about him than it is them. They have an obligation to cast their vote in a principled fashion. It is, in my opinion, no excuse to vote for someone who has violated core constitutional rights and civil liberties simply because you believe the other side is no better. You cannot pretend that your vote does not constitute at least a tacit approval of the policies of the candidate.