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I’ve seen the sentiment in comment threads here before, so I wanted to have a bigger discussion.

I’ve always voted Democrat; it was the obvious choice for me because of these various things:

  • abortion
  • general feminist sentiment
  • anti- police brutality
  • general equality sentiment (wrt gender, race, income)
  • raising minimum wage (I have a high income but I think it’s valuable to vote not only in your interest)
  • care for the environment

I live in a super liberal city, with all-democrat controlled govt, and it’s been all-Democrat for decades. Here is what I observe in my city:

  • high crime (I feel unsafe even during the daytime, I’ve been accosted and screamed at by homeless men before, and there’s violent crime as well)
  • high rates of homelessness (some areas near me are so full of tents you simply can’t go through there, I worry about walking my dog and need to be hyper alert for needles everywhere)
  • in my state, abortion is legal so that’s good
  • high rates of police brutality and general racist sentiment from them (individual officers keep getting busted for their awful online posts)
  • infrastructure is quite bad; roads are in poor condition throughout my major city
  • I am not sure on the state of environmental efforts, can’t comment on that
  • minimum wage is much better than national average

————

It’s sort of a mixed bag. Some things I care about are going well, many are not. Now with roe v wade going to the Supreme Court, as well as my perception that nothing particularly helpful has been passed at the national level since we got biden, I am feeling disgruntled. And, with the Democrats being all-in on trans rights stuff, that puts me off further.

But I feel the republicans have essentially NO policies I support. The only reason they aren’t pro-trans is because they want to enforce gender roles, and that’s shitty. Voting for a third party feels like I’m either not voting at all, or worse, I’m giving a vote to the republicans.

I know I’ve seen similar sentiment here before. What can we do to make ourselves heard? Is this just how it’s always been and it’s always gonna be two parties, one that promises nice things but doesn’t do shit, and one that promises terrible things and follows through?

I’ve seen the sentiment in comment threads here before, so I wanted to have a bigger discussion. I’ve always voted Democrat; it was the obvious choice for me because of these various things: - abortion - general feminist sentiment - anti- police brutality - general equality sentiment (wrt gender, race, income) - raising minimum wage (I have a high income but I think it’s valuable to vote not only in your interest) - care for the environment I live in a super liberal city, with all-democrat controlled govt, and it’s been all-Democrat for decades. Here is what I observe in my city: - high crime (I feel unsafe even during the daytime, I’ve been accosted and screamed at by homeless men before, and there’s violent crime as well) - high rates of homelessness (some areas near me are so full of tents you simply can’t go through there, I worry about walking my dog and need to be hyper alert for needles everywhere) - in my state, abortion is legal so that’s good - high rates of police brutality and general racist sentiment from them (individual officers keep getting busted for their awful online posts) - infrastructure is quite bad; roads are in poor condition throughout my major city - I am not sure on the state of environmental efforts, can’t comment on that - minimum wage is much better than national average ———— It’s sort of a mixed bag. Some things I care about are going well, many are not. Now with roe v wade going to the Supreme Court, as well as my perception that nothing particularly helpful has been passed at the national level since we got biden, I am feeling disgruntled. And, with the Democrats being all-in on trans rights stuff, that puts me off further. But I feel the republicans have essentially NO policies I support. The only reason they aren’t pro-trans is because they want to enforce gender roles, and that’s shitty. Voting for a third party feels like I’m either not voting at all, or worse, I’m giving a vote to the republicans. I know I’ve seen similar sentiment here before. What can we do to make ourselves heard? Is this just how it’s always been and it’s always gonna be two parties, one that promises nice things but doesn’t do shit, and one that promises terrible things and follows through?

15 comments

[–] real_feminist 20 points Edited

Voting for a third party feels like I’m either not voting at all, or worse, I’m giving a vote to the republicans.

I think this would be true if you were in a swing state/district/etc. If your state is solidly blue, then your vote doesn't matter anyways and you could use it to be a voice. If your state isn't solidly blue, but your district is then you could vote for Democrats for elections where it's the better of two evils and vote third party for elections that aren't really contested.

I would love to see some RadFems running in solidly blue elections. If we lost (and we probably would), then we wouldn't be sacrificing a seat to Republicans but we would be elevating our message. If we won, then that would be fantastic!

I've said this before and I'll say it again: Kara Dansky, please run for office!!!

Hm that’s a good point I didn’t think of. In local elections I vote for the moderate democrats, but when it’s certain the democrat will win ie in national elections, then voting 3rd party could make some sort of message.

I would just say, be careful of "when it's certain" - there have been a number of surprise results recently, including according to many analysts Brexit and Trump, when people thought it was in the bag for the other result and cast protest votes. I'd feel pretty awful if I assumed my candidate was safe - or completely screwed - and cast a third party vote to make a statement, only to find out it went the other way or was extremely close.

Kara Dansky

I just looked her up, she seems amazing.

Is this a possibility?

I have never heard her mention the possibility. I'm just hoping that she will and, if she's reading this, I want her to know that I think she would be a fantastic candidate!

My state is a red state with blue urban pockets. But our city's democrat mayor who was like "lol our city is rejoining the paris climate agreement!" got busted for cheating on his wife. Excuse me how does one city "rejoin" the paris agreement without having legislation at state level to back you up? You're using our tax dollars to go on a holiday with sweet thing. We don't even do much manufacturing in the city limits to have to care about the climate accord... so I get it. Local gov dems talk the talk but fail to walk any actual walk. All we get is like, more of those ugly condos built instead of any infrastructure improvement. Our storm sewer is falling apart guys. Come on. Then in the city council during blm they actually increased the police budget through a loophole and detained the protesters. ... the dems...

Anyway I always vote third party. Luckily i live in a state with open primary so I can vote in the primary of my choice without having to affiliate with either set on paper. Feels good to be able to vote in democratic primaries and not have to act like you compulsively slurp blue juice. If you live in a closed primary state see if there are people campaigning to open them up.

Re: your local government, the adage goes something like, trash pickup isn’t Republican or Democratic. It’s not uncommon for Democratic local governments to get involved in national-level issues (divesting from an industry or country, going hard on gender ideology) while totally neglecting the bread and butter of public administration.

As for being politically homeless, I have a hard time trusting anyone who would consider voting Republican because of gender identity. It’s one thing to publish a GC article in The Federalist, another to vote for the clown party.

[–] FernLady [OP] 1 points Edited

I feel that saying. And I agree, the democrats are ineffective and too lax on some things in my opinion, but the republicans have actively harmful ideology AND are good at walking the walk. I in no case would vote republican, but voting democrat frustrates me at best

I don't believe that voting third party is a wasted vote. If enough people vote third party, those parties qualify for federal funding and automatic ballot inclusion in subsequent years. My state is blue no matter who, so the only vote I can submit that potentially does anything is a third party vote.

That’s a good point! I could definitely do third party in those elections that will always go blue

I feel politically homeless. When I registered to vote at 18, I did so as a Democrat. I have never been a liberal, but I'm a centrist and a moderate on most issues and figured the Democrats were the better choice. I also knew I was going to be a minority in my state because it leans very conservative. But the Republican agenda particularly on abortion is not one I wanted to support. If woman don't have abortion and birth control rights, they cannot participate as equal members of society. I understand the religious argument, but I have never shared it.

As far as other issues go, it's a mix. I would say I'm not as liberal as many here. I would like to see more focus on crime and justice. Rehabilitation is great when it works, but some people don't deserve a second chance. Putting known violent criminals back on the streets time and time again is not acceptable. I'm not in favor of drug culture or legalizing drugs. I'm not against welfare for those who need it, but it should be a stepping stone, not a permanent way of life. Society needs to focus more on strong, traditional education. Not everyone needs to go to college. For those who can't or won't, they should be trained in a trade.

The only reason they aren’t pro-trans is because they want to enforce gender roles, and that’s shitty.

I see this sentiment a lot, but I think it's more complicated than that. There are definitely Republicans invested in traditional gender roles, like the religious right, but there are also Republicans who don't give a shit plus there are gender nonconforming Republicans. I can't think of anything the Republicans have promoted legally that would enforce certain gender roles in society. Unless I'm missing something obvious. I think a lot of them are against the TRA stuff for some of the same reasons we are. I believe it would be a mistake to think that many of them are not genuinely concerned about medicalized abuse of children or the loss of women's safety in prisons. Republican dads don't want boys in their daughters' locker rooms or competing against them in sports for the same reasons.

Are we in the same city?

I feel the same. I don't think I could ever vote republican. I actually feel they are pure evil now. The issue is our democrats are progressive either, they would be conservative in any other country, that's why there is no actual effective change to homelessness, etc.

We need a candidate is a thing...

But also, we do have to organize and be better at writing possibly sympathetic politicians. Maybe older women or women who didn't grow up in America.

It’s possible :D

Yes, in any other country our democrats would be the conservatives, which is an additional point of frustration. I wish there was a group here I could join that fights for more woman-friendly policies + what I mentioned in my post. I’d definitely join. But seems like all the liberal activist groups are on one side re the trans stuff. I just couldn’t put up with that honestly

The only reason they aren’t pro-trans is because they want to enforce gender roles

I'm sure this is true, but I think also they are pro-family and the trans movement is anti-family, plus they are pro-free speech and the TRAs are against it.

At any rate, I think a two-party system can be a big problem, and party politics can be a big problem (because then you get platforms that glue together policies you love and policies you hate and then how do you vote?), but I think the really big problem is no one really knowing how to solve a lot of problems. For example, infrastructure is a problem because of car-centric development (which is a money pit) not because of left or right, and people on all parts of the political spectrum are coming together to push back on that. Poverty is another situation where neither left and right get it right, and people are more interested in ideological tribalism than innovative thinking. Ditto mental health, crime, etc.

I think it makes more sense to get really well informed about specific issues that concern you, talk to the candidates and see whether they're open to new thinking on them, then vote for those candidates that get where you're coming from on those issues. I think candidates that are willing to learn from evidence are the ones to go with.

(Note: In Canada, but same problems here, with no one to vote for at all on some issues even with all the political parties we have up here.)

I agree with a lot of what you’re saying. And I guess I do support family values (not in the racist/homophobic/bad way but in the sense that family is important) and freedom of speech. I agree that clearly the democrats solutions are not working well, but they’re at least attempting to solve the problems (in some of these cases).

That’s some good advice. Can’t be making a difference if I’m not well versed on the topic. But I can’t help but feel like no matter what calls I make, no one would care