Some hard admissions here:
I voted for Nader. (Twice.) I voted for Kucinich.
And in my state’s primary this year, I voted for Bernie Sanders.
Every time I vote my values people give me grief for it.
Because what they CALL “Progressive” is actually their code for “Radical”.
Let’s face it: single-payer/public healthcare, affordable education, state-subsidized childcare and a true living wage ARE radical, especially to anyone who continues to profit (financially, socially or otherwise) from The Way Things Are.
This country has been bought and sold a thousand times over and very little is left that I can call truly mine. Sadly, it has been this way since before I was old enough to vote. And in the greater scheme of things, as long as “Progressive” means things stay the same for those who’ve already got job security and a good quality of life, my vote won’t mean diddly-squat.
I can waste my vote supporting a status quo I don’t believe in, or I can waste it expressing my values. In our current system, neither option will effect meaningful change. In fact, working within our current system will not effect meaningful change because the system is set up to fail the majority and keep a small minority in power.
In either case, and very likely for the rest of my days, my vote will only serve the purpose of camouflage, to keep people thinking that I am toeing some unseen but very real line while revolution burns in my heart.