I thought I’d start my election ’08 blogging off with why I’m voting for Nader. True, I’m a little late on the uptake – in more ways than one. Firstly, I’ve been meaning to write this post for some time but haven’t had a chance until now. Secondly, I didn’t vote for Nader in 2000 or 2004 so why, – you might ask – in 2008, would I vote for him?
Up until this election, I have essentially been a single issue voter. That issue, of course, being abortion. (In fact, I refused to vote for my local assembly person because he is anti-abortion. Instead, I wrote in “Ficus” – wink, wink, Micheal Moore.) I got my election guide from Planned Parenthood and voted down the line.
Adam and I have attended two Nader rallies so far this year and he talked about me – well, me as in the prototypical single issue voter. He brought up a good point. If I vote for a politician based on one issue and I disagree with said politician on other issues 49% of the time, have I really voted for someone who represents me? Have I performed my civic duty? In an election where there is a candidate, albeit an unlikely one, who I agree with more than 50% of the time (way more in fact), the answer is a resounding NO. The answer is no because I am against: NAFTA, torte reform, restrictions on abortion, corporate welfare, energy trading, media consolidation, FISA, welfare to “work”; I am for: universal single payer health care, new deal-style regulation of financial markets and utilities, small business, small farming, increased car efficiency standards, public transportation and works … just to name a few.
The second reason I’m voting for Nader and perhaps the most resounding one for me is this: the democrats will never move further to the left (or even just not toward the center!) unless I prove to them that I am willing to not vote for them; prove that they are not entitled to my vote. As Eugene Debs said “It’s better to vote for someone you believe in and lose than to vote for someone you don’t believe in and win.”
Lastly, what have the democrats done for me lately? Let’s see: they voted for the war in iraq, they voted for the Patriot Act, they voted to renew FISA, welfare to “work” happened on clinton’s watch, etc etc. It’s nice to blame Bush and Cheney for all of this – and they deserve A LOT of blame – but they couldn’t have done it without democrat support.
So that’s it. My mind is made up. As you can see, it really has less to do with Obama or even Nader than it does with a deep desire to see our country be great again. That, my friends, is real patriotism.