I am a Pennsylvania voter and I voted 3rd-party in a swing state. I’ll have you know that I didn’t make this decision lightly. I waffled. I contemplated, vacillated, oscillated, fluctuated. I weighed my options. I imagined a cage fight between Romney, Obama, Jill Stein, and Rocky Anderson.
In one corner we have, weighing in at a sprightly 170 lbs, the Stormin’ Mormon, MITT ROMNEY!!!!! (ahhhh, ahhh, cheers from Big Oil, climate change deniers, crazy coo-coo Christian folk, pro-lifers, death penalty supporters, gay-bashers, racists, misogynists, sexists, other ‘ists’, ahhhh!!!)
In the other corner, the calm, cool, collected BARACK OBAMA-RAMA!!!!!! (ahhhh, ahhhh, cheers from Wall-Street, big banks, private contractors, Israeli war-lords, all those companies that make our drones, ahhhh, ahhhh!!!)
In the third corner, just released from the clinker for protesting yet another soon-to-be environmental disaster, it is the Silver Fox, JABBIN’ JILL STEIN!!!!! (ahhhhh ahhh, cheers from Mother Earth, hippies, idealist young-folk, feminists, LGBT fellas and ladies, environmental activists, civil rights activists, ahhh, ahhh!!!)
Finally, in the fourth corner, the good ole’ boy, ROSS, THE ROCK, ROCKY ANDERSON!!! (ahhh, ahhh, cheers from civil rights activists, more idealist young-folk, more feminists, some hippies, more of those LGBT fellas and ladies, ahhh ahhh!!!)
So, let the cage match begin!!!!
And it is Romney off with a bang as he nails Obama square in the nose on his jobs record and the nation’s unemployment. But wait, Obama counters back with a slam in the gut as Romney flip-flops back-and-fourth between supporting a women’s right to choose and being a pro-life tea bagger. Romney tries to jab back as he rails against Obamacare, but forgets to duck-and-cover as Obama reminds him that Obamacare was based off of Romney’s healthcare plan in the first place!
In the other corner, we have Stein and Anderson chatting over fair-trade organic tea about the need for more sustainable forms of energy both in a sociopolitical sense and for environmental sustainability. But wait! It looks like Stein is going to nail Anderson in the jaw….but, oh, she is just offering him a scone made from local ingredients!
But back to the action! Romney winds up and tries to nail Obama a good one for the way he handled the bailouts after the 2008 economic collapse, but then remembers that since they are both paid by the same banks, he would have likely done the same thing! Obama looks to respond by tackling Mitt! They are both rolling around on the floor over foreign policy and decide mutually, that while they entirely agree on the U.S. wars and drone attacks in Pakistan, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Guatemala, blah, blah, blah, they will continue to fight anyway, because well, that’s just good TV!
Aaaannnd, Stein and Anderson are still talking. Oh, wait, now they’re planting trees and feeding the poor. It looks like Anderson may be squaring up to make a little jab at Stein, but, oh, no, they are just hugging…
Well, clearly, Stein and Anderson it is then, right? But wait, I thought to myself over and over and over, how could I concede to the possibility of a Romney win? Even though Obama’s record on foreign policy, his signing of the National Defense Authorization Act, his surge of troops in Afghanistan, are abhorrent, can I not expect worse from a Republican win? Can I not expect a further stripping of our rights at home in such areas of rights for the LGBT community or for a woman’s right to choose?
This indecision continued for weeks. I daydreamed more absurd scenarios. Contemplated the trajectory of my life and its greater meaning and how this one vote could affect my self-worth. Considered which vote would give me the greater guilt. My mind reeled. A vote for Obama is a vote for a continuation of the same plutocracy. It is a vote for the status quo. However, it is also a vote against Mitt Romney and tea party America. It is a vote that at least may help to defend my pro-choice, pro-equality beliefs. A vote for Stein or Anderson is, let’s face it, a vote for Romney, ultimately. However, it is also a vote that speaks volumes. It is a vote that says that I will not be complicit in the destruction of our civil rights, in our dirty foreign wars, in the dirty, corporate blood money that supports our two-party system.
And after many dizzy, sleepless nights of this indecision. I realized that while I am terrified of a Romney White-House, I am also sickened the decisions in the White-House over the past four years. I also decided, selfishly, that I will get the most sleep at night if I stick to my most sacred beliefs and stand up to Goliath in however small a way. So, I cast my vote for Ross C. “Rocky” Anderson of the Justice Party and would have just as quickly voted for Jill Stein of the Green Party as well. So tonight, while the country wallows in their depression at having once again elected someone they are, at most, luke-warm about, I can sleep (somewhat) soundly at knowing that I cast my vote for someone that I actually support whole-heartedly. I cast my vote for change.
Alyssa Röhricht blogs at Crash Culture: Political Train Wrecks for Political Junkies