First off, I am independent and I voted that way this election. I am independent because I have yet to find a party that holds close enough to my political leanings that I feel the need to associate myself with them. I am somewhat of a idealist when it comes to voting. I feel that the only "wasted vote" is the one cast for a candidate you don't really feel is the best. I absolutely hate the whole partisan mindset that the the country has. "Well, I don't like guy A, but I don't want the guy B to win, so I'll vote for guy A." I just want to throttle those people and ask "Don't you realize that it's that sort of mindset that is messing the country up?" If everyone just realized that if every major party member who didn't like their chosen candidate voted for who they honestly and truely believed would be the best president/senator/whatever, the two-party system wouldn't be such a freaking monolithic behemoth. We would see more and more powerful third parties that could actually have an influence on the course of the country.
But no. People just figure that if they don't vote for "their guy" then he'll obviously lose, because no one on the other side is going to break party lines. It's that sort of complacency and willingness to sell out one's beliefs that just... GAAAAR!!!! I don't even know how to articulate the full extent of the frustration that I feel. Why can't people just see that it's in no one's best interest to give up like that.
Whenever someone tells me that it's a choice between A or B, I immediately start thinking of every other possibility that may exist. Even if it's a stupid option, the possibility does exist! So obviously there are more choices than just A and B. Now let's assume that some of the other options aren't stupid, it's just that most people are too lazy to try and look for them. That's what politics is. Most people are just too freeking lazy to search for another candidate that may have a platform closer to their beliefs than one of the major candidates. And those are the people who even bother to study out the candidates at all. Don't even get me started on the people who vote in ignorance. If I weren't so forgiving, I'd say it should be a criminal offense. I mean, seriously, this is for the preaking people who decide our freeking laws! How can you just vote blindly without having the slightest idea of what the people stand for? Go here to see what I mean. I mean, seriously! Holy freeking frak! People on both sides of the fence are voting one way or the other and they have no freeking idea what the frak their candidate stands for! Just... AHHHH!
Okay... Anyway... If I had just one political message for the United States and/or any other country with democratic elections, it would be this: Don't bind yourself to voting a certain way just because you think you should. Actually study the issues. Open your mind and see if the people who think differently than you might have a valid point. And for heaven's sake, don't ever vote for someone just so someone else won't win. It doesn't help anyone. If the other person truely is the worse candidate, then they'll show it in office and get ousted out the next election.
Although I guess that's several messages rolled into one. And it only works in a perfect world where everyone is honest with themselves and each other.
Honestly, I don't care if it's never going to happen or not. I'm going to act as if it's possible and I'm going to work towards making that world real, because if I do, maybe it might. But if I don't, it certainly won't.
P.S. I'm not proofreading this post, so if it's got problems, I'm sorry, but it was written in the heat of the moment, and it's staying that way.
P.P.S. My favorite episode of the Simpsons is the Treehouse of Horror VII, with Citizen Kang. Go out and watch it. Pay especial attention to the end. That's EXACTLY what I'm talking about.