Sunday, November 5, 2017

Why You Should, No Must, Vote 3rd Party for NJ Governor

I’m voting for Seth Kaper-Dale, the Green Party candidate for NJ Governor, this Tuesday. It’s not a secret, it’s all over my social media and I’ve talked about him to anyone who will listen. 

I am a life-long, registered Democrat. So is my father, so was my mother. So where my grandparents. A strong union family, I grew up singing songs like, “Joe Hill” and “Which side are you on?” My father also taught me songs like, “We Shall Overcome” and “If you miss me in the back of the bus,” because, as a union leader, he knew that working class people had more similarities than differences. Prejudice had no place in our home, people were judged on their merits, not the color of their skin or their gender or any other outwardly defining characteristic. 

I grew up thinking that Democrats were the great equalizers of society. We didn’t talk down about Republicans, we just weren’t rich enough to be them. 

Now we’re days away from the election and I’m seeing people put on the Facebook pages, “Not voting is like voting Republican” and the perennial opinion that voting 3rd party steals votes from Democrats. And I’m here to tell you, New Jersey Democrats, you are wrong, wrong, wrong. 

In the last NJ Governor election, almost 65% of eligible voters didn’t vote. 65%. I don’t know their affiliation, I don’t care. That is 65% of voters that you didn’t reach, NJ Democratic Party, and it’s starting to seem like you don’t care if you reach them or not. For an election where we are all apparently sick of Chris Christie and his crowd, Phil Murphy has had pretty low visibility. It almost seems like he assumes he’s going to win. If that doesn’t piss you off, it should. I am tired of seeing Democrat candidates act like they deserve to win by spouting off a few key phrases: jobs, schools, middle class. Who’s middle class anymore, Phil? Most people I know are working 2- 3 jobs and are 1 paycheck away from financial disaster. And the Democrats are preaching to the choir, ignoring the needs of the majority of NJ residents because they know IT WON’T MATTER, THEY DON’T VOTE ANYWAY. 

I refuse to consider my vote for Seth Kaper-Dale a “throwaway” vote. Whoever wins Tuesday, it’s because they got the most votes. Period. If Murphy loses to Guadagno, it’s not because anyone “wasted” their vote, it’s because he Didn’t. Get. Enough. Votes. 

But I’m not certain of Murphy’s win. I’m betting on the guy who is going after that 65%. A guy who is going after those folks who don’t vote, “because it doesn’t matter.” The people who feel disenfranchised, unlistened to, overlooked. If you are a part of that 65%, go out and vote Tuesday. You can vote for Seth Kaper-Dale, who I happen to know and think is awesome, but vote for someone. Because that’s Democracy. It’s not perfect, but it’s what we got. And let the best person win.

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