The Disgruntled Voter

And so we have come to a time for choosing.  In what is rarely a commonplace occurrence among the nations of the Earth, America has prided itself in the peaceful transfer of authority.  Every four years, the duty of selecting our next Commander-in-Chief falls on the shoulders of none other than We the People.

We all know the story when it comes to Barack Obama. He promised to cut the deficit in half, keep unemployment below 8%, and to heal the partisan divide of the nation.  Instead, we’ve had record deficits, unemployment that has yet to drop below 8%, and arguably the most bitter political climate in our nation’s history. After four years, Obama hasn’t done nearly enough to get re-elected against even a decent candidate.  Thankfully for him, he’s running against Mitt Romney.

Mitt is truly a candidate for everyone and no one at the same time. No matter what views you hold, Mitt has held those same views and opposed those views at one point or another in his political career. He was at one point for gay marriage, a woman’s right to choose to have an abortion, new gun control legislation, amnesty for illegal immigrants, and of course the healthcare mandate, which he was the architect of in Massachusetts.  He’s against all those things now, apparently. Perhaps the most telling quote from Romney came in his now infamous 1994 Senate debate against Ted Kennedy, where he said about the Reagan-Bush economic policies, “I was an independent during the time of Reagan-Bush. I’m not trying to return to Reagan-Bush.”

This campaign has been a cat fight so far. On one end, President Obama has been reverting to scare tactics and left-wing lunacy to rally his base and get the support of women and seniors. On the other hand, Romney has been running a generic Republican campaign and has presented no real plan to move the country forward. Since Obama’s presidency has been a dismal failure and Romney’s accomplishments as Governor of Massachusetts can hardly be classified as conservative, neither side can run on their record. This has lead to childish bickering about non-issues such as Mitt Romney’s tax returns, Mitt Romney’s horse, and what or what not Mitt Romney may have tied to the roof of his car.

Independent-minded Americans clearly aren’t satisfied with the choice they’ve been presented. Neither side in this campaign has directly addressed how they’d fix the economy and reduce the deficit. Instead of telling the American people what they’d do in the next four years, both Obama and Romney have resorted to attacking each other. Sure, it’s entertaining at times, but in the end it only polarizes the nation even further and distracts us from real issues.

So what does the disgruntled voter do? There are a number of third party candidates who will be on the New York ballot such as Gary Johnson, Jill Stein, and Virgil Goode, but many feel they don’t want to waste their vote on someone who won’t win. Others will stay home, but most Americans would agree that’s a pretty weak way to protest. The vast majority of the electorate will pick from the lesser of two evils and vote for either Obama or Romney. Will this mentality hurt the system in the long term? Perhaps, but for better or worse it looks like the two-party monopoly is here to stay.

If you’re a New York State resident, you can register to vote by printing out the PDF and following the instructions on the top of the first page.  You must mail or deliver the form 25 days before Election Day (Tuesday, November 6) in order to vote.

Keep in mind when registering that in order to vote in a party’s primary in New York, you must be registered with that party.  For example, a registered Libertarian would not be able to vote in a Republican primary.

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