We're headed into a messy election season again. Granted, saying that about a US Election in my lifetime generally makes calling it messy a bit redundant, but I'm including it for emphasis. And once again I'm seeing people talking about voting third party. I am so fucking exhausted by this. Now, let me be clear — my exhaustion rests with my fellow white people. POC have by and large carried our less shitty outcomes in our elections since they've been given access to vote in US elections, despite the continued blatant efforts at voter suppression, and the continued gross negligence and outright abuse at the hands of our government. I am not going to quibble about how they choose to vote once they overcome those barriers just to get at the fucking ballot. But I am so fucking tired of white people taking their security for fucking granted to the point where they'll make downright fucking dangerous choices at the polls, because they know by and large the people that matter to them will be fine no matter how bad it gets. Here is the fucking problem, fellow white people, we can't just let the POC keep saving us from ourselves in the process of trying to protect what they have.

So, let's talk about it a minute, shall we? Here's what we're looking at for this election season — in one corner with have President Biden, an old white dude with some problematic shit in his past and his present, in the other we have Donald fucking Trump who literally attempted to overthrow our government and ignore our election system, and currently we don't know if our broken "Justice" system will actually hold him accountable in time to keep his fake tanned ass off the ballot, let alone hold him accountable at all. Like, between the two, it should be obvious which one to vote for, right?

But what about voting third party‽ I hear you cry. Can we just fucking not? Here is the problem with voting third party: unless you manage to coordinate enough people across enough states to capture enough of the electoral college to clench victory, you are just going to be a spoiler. That is a literal impossibility here. Even in the best of situations, building up the support necessary to back a party that isn't one of our current primary two takes time, a lot of fucking time. We're not talking months — we're talking years, if not fucking decades. You are not going to get enough support for a third party candidate in enough time to not only get them on the ballot in enough states to take the electoral college, but to also get enough votes to actually win in November. You are fighting two literal broken ass systems here at the same time—First Past the Post voting, and our racist as fuck Electoral College system—and fighting any battle on two fronts at the same time is something no one wants to do if they can help it.

I get it, I hear you, it really fucking sucks choosing between one dude who's been both one of the most progressive presidents we've had (the bar is low here, but Biden has done some actual good things) and is also fucking enabling war crimes in Gaza right now, and a dude who literally attempted to ignore the will of the voters in order to illegally remain in office. I am yelling at Biden and my congress critters about Gaza regularly, in hopes that maybe sense will prevail eventually. Too many lives have been lost already, and even more will be lost while we all keep yelling for this ceasefire, but if you really think putting Trump into the Whitehouse again will save any lives, we need to have a talk about your grasp on reality. Really.

But who the fuck do you think could possibly run on a third party ticket and get enough of the population behind them to get enough electoral college votes? I won't wait for an answer because there isn't one. Also, while we're on the subject, can I just drop a personal fuck you to Jill Stein? She's done enough to poison the well for most of us you might try to talk into voting third party, and the fact that she's running again this year after having been a spoiler vote that helped get Trump into office last time? Bitch can go jump into the sun. Really. I am so fucking done with her.

Let me just leave you with some advice here: third party this year is not an option, unless you want to hand the Whitehouse to a fucking fascist piece of shit because we can not depend on our so called Justice system to do its damn job in a way that benefits the whole country. Maybe they'll surprise us, but I'm sure not holding my damn breath and you shouldn't either.

If you want to ever be able to vote third party at the Federal level, we need to address a couple things first.

  1. We need to deal with the fucking Electoral College. There's no way, no how, a third party vote stands a chance of taking a Presidential election as long as it stands the way it does. To totally remove it would require a constitutional amendment, and given that the smaller lower population states enjoy a benefit from it because of the way it works, we aren't going to get the damn support for that. The one thing that has me hopeful, but still faces a huge challenge, is the National Popular Vote Project — what it does is gets states to pass legislation that kicks in if enough states with enough electoral votes all pass it where the states will give their electoral votes to whoever the national popular vote winner is despite the specific outcome of just their own state's vote is. While not a perfect solution, because it still leaves us beholden to first past the post nonsense, it would prevent situations like what gave Trump the Whitehouse for his first term.
  2. We need to do something about this First Past the Post bullshit causing spoiler votes at all. As long as people have to choose between who they actually want to vote for vs who actually stands a chance at winning, we are never going to give third party candidates a chance outside of local elections. Ranked Choice or Instant Runoff voting (whichever you want to call it) can help with this. If I don't have to choose between voting for Third Party Candidate I agree with on a lot of things, and One of the Big Two who I disagree with least but actually stands a chance at winning, then Third Party Candidate stands a chance of getting somewhere, because I can place them first, and put the less shitty Big Two in second place. Look at that, I can support someone better, but I also know my vote isn't just thrown out if they can't muster enough support to actually win it. It'll be easier to get support for Third Parties in a situation about that, and the great news about that? Since each state is allowed to hold their election process how they like, getting your voting process changed to Ranked Choice is a state level issue, and we can do it piece meal a state at a time!

So, really, please recognize that we have other long term battles we need to fight if you want to be able to vote third party for President. I've just outlined the two we need to work on. Check to see if your state supports National Popular Vote and Ranked Choice voting. And yell at Biden and your Congress critters to pull their heads out of their asses about Gaza if we want to have a chance in hell of avoiding another Trump term.

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