Thursday, September 20, 2012

Yes, I’m Voting Third Party

Yes, I’m Voting Third Party, No I’m Not Wasting My Vote

Yes, I would like to admit that this November, I will be voting third party. However, contrary to what many do or would like to believe, I am not wasting my vote.

When stating that you are going to vote third party, one is usually met with the typical dismissals that “you’re wasting your vote” and “there’s no chance in hell that they will win.” While my party of choice may not win, I realize that there is little difference between either candidate and that both will only make this country worse.

Obama has made a number of policy decisions during his first term that have strengthened the police state, expanded US militarism abroad, and aided the very bankers that have pillaged the country.

Concerning the police state, during his presidency, Obama has created a legal precedent that allows him (and future presidents) to assassinate US citizens as can be seen in the case of Anwar al-Awlaki. While Obama supporters will argue that al-Awlaki was a terrorist, the fact of the matter is that he had never actually committed a terrorist act. ABC News reported that “al-Awlaki was not the trigger-man in any of the 19 terror operations to which he is linked even though he did “[push] the attackers over the violent edge or [personally guided] them through operations.” Even if one may argue that pushing attackers over the edge or guiding them is being an accomplice, it still does not erase the fact that he was, legally speaking, still a US citizen at the time he was killed and that he his Sixth Amendment right was violated as he was not given a fair trial in a court of law.

However, that was only the tip of the iceberg. Last year, Obama signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 which allows for the indefinite detention of US citizens. While the US Supreme Court ruled part of the bill unconstitutional, Obama still ignored the federal ban on indefinite detention. While the a federal judge ruled last week that that part of the NDAA was unconstitutional,  currently, "Judge Raymond Lohier of the Second Circuit granted an emergency stay on Forrest's ruling until September 28, when a three-judge panel will rule on a longer application to stay the ruling." Thus, the question as to whether or not the President has the power to indefinitely detain US citizens is far from over. This year he signed into law HR 347 which, while masqueraded as innocently rewriting a trespass law from 1971, “could be misused as part of a larger move by the Secret Service and others to suppress lawful protest by relegating it to particular locations at a public event.” Thus, under Obama the police state has become all the worse and in this aspect he is worse than even former President Bush.

Militarily, Obama increased the number of US troops in Afghanistan and had a false drawdown in Iraq as while the US military left, US contractors entered the fray. He entered Libya, after ignoring Congress, arguing that because the UN had given the green light, he didn’t need Congress to authorize the invasion of Libya. He also stated that there were no US troops in Libya when that was a complete and total lie. Now, in Syria, Obama is aiding the Syrian rebels, who are mainly composed of Al Qaeda members and foreign fighters whose goal it is to establish an Islamic state.

Economically, Obama has let banks that were involved in the mortgage crisis off the hook. While Obama should be praised for supporting women’s rights and LGBT rights, he has continued the militaristic foreign policy of his predecessor, aided the very banks that played a major role in creating the current financial crisis, and has created a police state on steroids.

Romney is not much better as his foreign policy views differ only slightly from Obama’s. He is actively pushing the US closer to war with Iran and has no problems with being Israel’s lapdog, backing an Israeli attack on Iran. Domestically, Romney supports the rich and corporations even more than Obama does and wants to wage class war on the poor and middle class. Despite his having ‘business’ experience, Romney’s budget plan is an utter joke and goes even farther than Ryan’s budget. He is in favor of keeping the police state apparatus that Bush bought into being and Obama has furthered. Thus, while there are differences between the Obama and Romney, they are quite few and far between.

While many may mock me and others for voting third party, we are not wasting our votes as democracy is about people voting for who they think the best person is to get into office, not who is the slickest PR campaign or who has the richest interest groups backing them. Voting for Obama or Romney and knowing that both of them don’t care about average Americans will only continue pushing the pendulum that is American politics, to either the Republicans or the Democrats, with there being no substantial change in how the system itself works and who it benefits and oppresses.

I don’t know about you, but this November, I’m voting with my conscience. 

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