If You are Voting for Jill Stein, Here is What I know About You
Sasha Stone

If you’re trying to get people to vote strategically, you should make the argument to vote strategically. That’s what Ralph Nader has been doing. He says *he* is going to vote his own way, but that it’s also legitimate, in swing states, to vote strategically to keep Trump out.

Then he says you will have a moral obligation to oppose Clinton, which is fine with me because most of the strategic voters I’ve met do tend toward that anyway. At least after a few months.

The larger point here — he is explaining himself, but also acknowledging the legitimacy of other kinds of voting tactics. I think he makes a reasonable argument for himself. I don’t agree with it, but it’s comprehensible.

The argument is called “instrumental vs. expressive voting”: should people vote to get the best possible outcome, or should they vote to express their desires?

I don’t think it’s either/or. If you are in a state that’s guaranteed to vote one way or other, due to having so many registered voters in one party, you have the luxury of “expressive voting”, or to vote for anyone you want. Your vote will have minimal impact.

If you are in a state where the vote will be close, then you need to make the decision about whether to vote for the best likely outcome, which is Clinton, or the outcome you want, which may be Stein.

Personally, I’m 100% for instrumental voting. In a safe state, like mine, a vote for Stein is instrumental in helping to build the Green Party, to push the progressive left platform.

In a swing state, again, 100% for instrumental voting, and I’d vote for Clinton, to keep Trump out. It’s just one vote.

In fact, to some extent, my vote is “for sale”, despite the fact that I have a “Jill Stein, Not For Sale” sticker on my car. If someone were to institute policies to build housing, particularly for people of modest means, and help lower housing prices over a few years, I would vote for them, because they’d be saving me a lot of money.

And, though I’m spending time trying to get a Green club off the ground, I may do some phone banking for Clinton. On election day, I am voting for Stein. I see no contradiction in any of this.

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