About 30% of registered US voters are Republicans. Another 30% are members of the Democratic Party. The remaining 40% are who each team has to win over to get their candidates in office.That 40% isn’t made of one political stance. It includes socialists, libertarians, “sovereign citizens”, and more.
I wish my off brand political flavor was popular enough to take on the two major parties. I wish battling kyriarchy was a party platform. I wish voting third party didn’t mean throwing a vote down a well. But that’s the current situation.
Even though “unaffiliated” voters are the most abundant, there’s not a single issue we agree on as a voting bloc. From immigration and minimum wage, to abortion and police brutality, there is no party that represents all of my interests. Even though, numerically, we look like the largest group, simply erecting a third party for us wouldn’t work.
Which third party should it be? The Greens with their anti science position? The libertarians who happily sacrifice the interests of women and minorities to achieve more personal liberty for white men? Some even more conservative party for white men like the Constitution party?
There’s another 40% (or maybe it’s largely the same group) of registered voters who simply don’t show up. That’s the number of voters who stay home during presidential elections. For midterms it’s 60% who could vote but don’t. During odd year elections, turn out is even lower.
If you want to change the world, as I do, if you want better candidates and better terms, you have to show up more than once every four years. You have to vote in those unpopular elections because the people you disagree with most strongly are voting as often as they can. These bathroom bills and TRAP laws don’t come from the President. They come from the states, and from state and local government.
Voting can influence politics. Republicans and the Tea Party have shown us that. They are outperforming liberal, humanist, feminist voters at every other level of government. Vote in this election, by all means, but then make sure you keep voting, whoever is president, in every other election that happens during their term. Vote early and often.