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Saturday, February 28, 2004

How Should I Vote?

I need help casting my vote this Super Tuesday. Dear readers, please aid me in this decision. I'm quite confused.

First, the media-annointed contenders. John Kerry will almost certainly win the nomination. A vote for him, therefore, is a vote for the Anybody But Bush crowd, who want Democrats to march like Republicans. they pick their man (for it is always a man) and they march in lockstep behind him. A vote for Kerry is a vote for the tactical superiority of the Democratic party. But I'm not sure I can make that vote. If you think of any negative piece of legislation in the last 10 years that was voted on by the Senate, Kerry probably voted for it. NAFTA? Check. Telecommunications Act? Check. Welfore Reform? Better believe it. Defense of Marriage Act? I'm pretty sure. USA PATRIOT ACT? You bet. And, of course, the Iraq War resolution. Who is this man and how does he make his decisions? I don't want another president-by-focus-group. Like I have a choice.

In a tactical sense, for this election, to vote against Kerry means to vote for John Edwards. Edwards is younger, cuter, more southern, and against NAFTA, sometimes. And....and....what else? I may still cast a vote in his direction just to avoid a Kerry landslide. But every time I think this, I read about how happy he was to cast a vote for the war, and unlike Kerry, he isn't pretending he doesn't support the idiocy in Iraq.

If I don't want to vote for the media-annointed serious candidates, then there's the fringe fellows. Kucinich and Sharpton. I don't hear Sharpton talked about much as an option here on campus, which is strange, as he seems as progressive or more so than Kucinich. Sadly, I feel difficulty voting for him, as late last year, he brought in Republican political operative (trickster/thug) Roger Stone to run his campaign. Article here.

This leaves Kucinich. Well, if the primary were being held at Antioch, it seems clear that Kucinich would win. Kucinich is the perfect Antioch candidate! Pro-union, anti-war, anti-globalization, and he's a vegan to boot. Can't lose, can we? Except for when the anti-war Kucinich in Iowa threw his support to war cheerleader John Edwards. Strange behavior indeed.

Either way, a vote for Sharpton or Kucinich or possibly even Edwards is a symbol vote. And if I'm making a symbolic vote, then there's another candidate, technically out of the race, who is a possibility - Howard Dean. Dean's campaign was destroyed by the corporate media. This disgusts me. Dean was not a perfect candidate, his anti-war stance was practical politics more than ethical, he was much more conservative than progressive.....but he was honest. He called for reexaminations of America's relationship with Israel, and was lambasted by the media. Then, even worse, he dared to say that the media conglomerates wielded too much power. Game over for Dr. Dean. He was attacked as being unelectable (polls before the media assassination said otherwise) and went from front-runner to in grave danger after the media ran the point into the ground. The idea that the media wields such power frightens me enough that I may vote in symbolic protest.

But there's an even odder symbolic protest. In Ohio, I have learned that you register your party when you walk in. I can be Republican. Better yet, I can be a Republican and write in any number of alternative candidates to Bush. I can make Karl Rove pee his pants by writing in John Kerry. I can protest by putting in Howard Dean. Any Democratic candidate. John McCain. Arnold Schwartzenegger. Richard Nixon. Tony Blair. Yasir Arafat. Ariel Sharon. Noam Chomsky. Angela Davis. Michael Moore.. Anybody But Bush. And the Republicans will look at the results and see that their people are ready to jump ship. And yes, I could live with myself as a registered Republican.

So, dear readers, help me out. Should I vote conventionally? Should I cast a symbol vote? Should I cast an amusing symbol vote? Why should I vote for Kucinich instead of Sharpton?
- Rowan Kaiser, 7:29 PM
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