I am absolutely all full up on the "lesser of two evils" voting methodology, such that anyone who espouses it in my presence will henceforth be heckled until made to cry. Or beaten with a shovel, depending on my mood.
There is no such thing as a "lesser evil", folks. A pig is a pig is a pig, and no amount of lipstick will make it any less of a pig. The same is true of any odious politician. The very concept that Kerry's total lack of charisma, poorly worded rebuttals to the mischarcterization of his voting record, and his obsequious appeals to the voters, could be forgotten in favor of booting out the maniac currently infesting the White House is just plain ignorant. I know many people preferred him, to President Bush, but the overriding approach seemed to be "not Bush" as opposed to "what a great candidate!".
And that is a fundamental flaw in our system. Among the millions of intelligent people inhabiting this country, we can find two--TWO!!--people capable of being President? Small business owners, corporate chiefs, doctors, lawyers, economists, historians, and myriad other educated persons abound in this country, but we'll never meet them. Instead, we'll be remorselessly flogged by the bought and paid for political class for our money, our votes, and our trust.
We need more of the parties to have access to airtime, to get their message out. We need to tell the media companies, with our purchasing dollar, that their ads will not be seen if EVERY candidate is not allowed to address the people. Remember, the only ones that will be at issue are those that managed to generate enough signatures to get on the ballot. If they had that access, then the American people (or those folks with the wit to look beyond party) would be better informed about their choices. And, yes, I know that no few people in this country prefer to get their data summarized in easily digestible, brief, and factually ambiguous 15 second sound bites. This, however, should not prevent us from finding the candidate that most aligns with our beliefs and voting for them, regardless of gender or political party.
And regardless of who you vote for, you absolutely MUST VOTE!! Those of you who don't are beneath contempt. There is no nobility in not committing, with the one tool at your disposal, to the guidance of this country. Save your whining about "one vote makes no difference", because the fiasco in Florida laid that particular meme to rest. My most virulent response, though, is to anyone who tells me that I wasted my vote when I voted for a Libertarian in the very tight 2000 race. This was a very old and good friend, and I very much wanted to throttle this person with their own intestines. (Graphic, I know, but that just made me crazy.)
I researched the candidates, compared their views with my own, and their goals with my impression of the direction this country needed to go, and then made my choice on my interpetation of the evidence. I voted my conscience, and had not one single regret for having done so. As a result, I was deeply pissed when this person blithely ignored all that to tell me that my conscientious choice was invalid because it deprived this person's preferred candidate of my vote in a close race. As if I was obligated to choose A or B, instead of C. Too bad. Life is about informed choices, and no one is qualified to determine that my choice is a waste of my vote.