General Question

tinyfaery's avatar

Does Obama really need my vote?

Asked by tinyfaery (35607 points ) September 9th, 2012 from iPhone

So I’m not a liberal, I’m more of a radical and believe in communalism/social democracy/socialism; whatever.

Obama is too far right for me and I am angry at some of the decisions he has made and some of the promises he did not keep.

Somewhere around 2010 I decided I would never vote for Obama again. I switched back to the Green party and as of late thinking I’m more in agreement with the Peace & Freedom party and I’m thinking about voting for Roseanne.

Obama’s speech resonated with me in a few ways, but I just can’t see voting for him again.

I live in the one (or one of few) state that stayed Democrat during the midterm elections; all of our top seats were filled by Democrats. This state is so voting for Obama, right.

Do I, me, one person in California, really need to vote for Obama.

If Romney wins, any of the hope I had left that people are essentially good, honest, caring people will be gone. And forever will I know that the human race is ridiculous, unintelligent, hairless apes that
are a cosmic joke.

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49 Answers

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

We had an election for a House seat last vote decided by a few hundred votes. Out of hundreds of thousands of votes. Still think one doesn’t count?

janbb's avatar

Yes – you cannot count on it not mattering even though I get where you are coming from.

flo's avatar

Yes you never know how people are going to vote until that day. There have been many surprise vote results.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

Since the election is decided by the electoral college, you may be right. However, remember that the 2000 election was decided by only about 500 votes in Florida.

Many things can change between now and November 6. Don’t count yourself out yet.

I do understand where you’re coming from, though. I live in a state that will definitely vote for Obama, since he’s our favorite son. I am personally a radical leftist as yourself, and I wish there was a viable far left alternative to the Democrats. At present, there’s not.

There are also the many races down the ballot where your vote will matter much more. There will be US House of Representatives to vote for, as well as your state House. Sen. Diane Feinstein is up for reelection. There will probably be many local elections to boot. Your voice counts. You matter.

chyna's avatar

Yes. If thousands thought that way, then a party could be easily overthrown that was thought to be a shoe in. Your vote is important.

GracieT's avatar

Just remember that many of the other people who are disenfranchised with Obama may feel the same way and not vote. With all the people who would support Obama not voting, Romney, would be sure to win. You can bet on the fact that the Romney supporters (and all of the Ron Paul supporters) will turn out to vote.

bkcunningham's avatar

No. Absolutely not. You do not need to vote for Obama. Express yourself and vote for Roseanne.

flutherother's avatar

You would think a country that took such pride in being a democracy would have a system that better represented the views of its people. I feel your pain, but it is your vote, use it wisely.

tinyfaery's avatar

@Hawaii Jake Do you know who you are voting for?

Mama_Cakes's avatar

Don’t listen to @bkcunningham. Vote for Obama.

Jeruba's avatar

I think so, yes.

bkcunningham's avatar

Don’t listen to @Mama_Cakes. Vote for Roseanne. ~ Come on. Even the question of should I vote for Obama or Roseanne is beyond words. Really?

mangeons's avatar

Yes. If everyone thought that way and didn’t vote, then where would we be?

jaytkay's avatar

If you enjoyed the Ralph Nader presidency of 2001–2009, then you should absolutely NOT vote for Obama.

If you recognize what actually happened in those years, you will recognize how hard Republicans work to make life worse for the vast majority.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@tinyfaery : I will either vote for Jill Stein or Barack Obama. We are voting for a new US Senator from Hawaii, and that election is too important for me not to vote at all. I will vote for the Democrat in that race. There are still many other races for me to choose from, too.

PhiNotPi's avatar

The more I study some of the mathematics and stuff behind elections, the stranger stuff gets.

Lets take an example of an election being decided by a couple hundred votes in favor of the Republicans, which is not a lot. Let’s say that there are three parties: the Democratic party, the Republican party, and the Green party.

Most of the people who voted for the Green party probably would have picked the Democrats as a second choice. Let’s say the Green party received a few thousand votes, out of a hundred thousand.

In this case, a couple hundred people, in the process of choosing the Green party over the Democrats, effectively handed the election to the Republicans.

So this leaves a choice: Vote for your second-favorite, or vote for a party in which you truly believe but in the process potentially help hand the election over to your least favorite party.

This can be considered a lose-lose situation, and it’s pretty hard to get out of. This situation is real, however, and its consequences are real. It is possible to throw away (some of) your influence in an election by voting for a party you know will probably not win. I’m sorry that this isn’t exactly encouraging, but I believe that this is the truth, and it’s in the math.

josie's avatar

No. He does not.

jerv's avatar

Yes, because you cannot tell what the other voters will do. There is a reason that the big thing around elections is not to make people want to vote for you, but to get them to actually leave their homes and actually do so. If 99% of the people want Obama but think as you do, then Romney can win with only 1% of the vote.

@josie I am rather disappointed to hear you say that. I know which side of the aisle you are on, but I would think that you would support a free and fair election. Or are you actually in support of tyranny so long as it’s a tyranny that shares your ideology? Sounds like you would rather live in Iran where they have such a system already in place.

josie's avatar

@jerv
It is a provocative question asked by somebody who knows the answer before they ask it.
And you know it.
What is this stuff about Iran. If you knew much about me, you would not say that.

tinyfaery's avatar

I’ve voted for several presidents now and I know (99.99) my state will go Obama. It’s the electoral votes that matter, not the popular vote. Even then, Obama will win my state.

I admit that California loves pro-choice Republicans, but Romney will never take CA.

wundayatta's avatar

If your state is a lock for Obama, like, say, California or NY, then the few people who vote Green will not affect the outcome of the election. I think that if you do vote Green, it might say more than a vote for Obama would. It would show to push towards the lefterly end of the spectrum, and I think we could use some of that. Let’s show folks that there is more to the left than Democrats.

ETpro's avatar

I have my disappointments with Obama too. However, on the topic of promises, he did actually try to keep nearly all of them, and Roadblock Republicans using the filibuster an unprecedented number of times and also using parliamentary Senate procedures to prevent any vote stymied much of what he tried to accomplish. The GOP leadership was holding a meeting while Obama was being sworn in, in which they agreed to oppose and obstruct every single thing he tried to do no matter how it hurt America to do it. Their idea was to prevent him for healing the economy and delivering on promises, then blame him for their mayhem.

I wish there were a viable third party, but the Green Party has zero chance of winning any national elective office, and voting for them when they are on the ballot in your state does nothing to change that. To change the system would take organizing a large, nationwide movement. If you’re up for that, do that instead, and cast your vote where it will matter.

Notice that our resident right-wingers are hell-bent-for-leather that you should throw your vote away. That ought to tell you something important.

jerv's avatar

@ETpro Well, it won’t be thrown away if voting laws in CA get changed as they have in other states. There won’t be any Obama votes to throw away!

This is where our voting system fails. You have many people who have this idealistic notion that there will be a candidate that they agree with 100%, Well, the Republicans kind of have that since many of them are entirely willing to subjugate their own feelings and any pretense of logic to toe the party line as spiting their opposition trumps ALL other considerations, but those of us who are not part of any sort of hive mind recognize that not all politicians are perfectly in sync with our own personal ideologies and go for the best chance we have at getting at least some of what we want with as little of what we don’t as possible.

Of course, knowing a bit of Game Theory helps, but you don’t have to study John Nash to know the four possible outcomes here;

1) Vote for Romney – I doubt you hate Obama that much, so I mention it only for the sake of completeness.

2) Vote for a third-party candidate – Maybe a moral victory, but as there are no third-party candidates with wide support, this will not allow your candidate to win, and since most people such as yourself (a disgruntled voter) tend to vote against Republicans, this will only increase the odds of a Romney victory. You don’t have to look too far back into the past to see the dangers of vote-splitting.

3) Abstain – See above. Most Republicans either want Romney in, and/or Obama out so bad that they will show up. If only one side shows up at the voting booth, they win, so abstaining is basically a half-vote for Romney.

4) Vote for Obama – You may have to hold your nose to do so, but he is the only practical choice to keep Romney out of office.

So, which is more important; a small personal moral victory, or the next four years of everybody’s lives?

ETpro's avatar

@jerv Very well said.

Paradox25's avatar

Obama is still more in line with your issues it seems. I can’t condemn you for considering going third party though since I’ve done that myself (voting third party that is).

phaedryx's avatar

If you know your state will go for obama anyway, why not vote for the party you actually like so that they’ll get matching funds?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matching_funds#In_politics

LuckyGuy's avatar

Yes. As fewer people vote, the easier it is for $$$ to buy an election.

jrpowell's avatar

@phaedryx :: That is why I voted for Nader in 2000. I kinda screwed that one up.

Judi's avatar

I live on the festering red zit in the middle of this blue state. We don’t even bother putting anyone up against Kevin McCarthy.
If you want to vote for another party I think the rest of the state will be safe. :-). We just need to get Kern County a little bit purple!

Roby's avatar

He didn’t get mine in 08 and he will not get it in 12’

JLeslie's avatar

I don’t hate Romney like you do, but my parents have done a good job of convincing me I can’t let the Republicans have power in the executive branch. My parents, who my whole time growing up rarely discussed party, but looked at issues and voted for candidates from both parties, now tend to not care what a candidate says, especially at the level of President. They care in the primaries, but once the candidate is chosen, they will vote for him for practical purposes. My dad the former Republican is the most vocal about it, he will not vote for the Republicans at all period, while my mom still does on local levels.

Voting green is not going to get you the candidate you want. If there was an independent like Michael Bloomberg I might say go for it (not that I am saying you would actually vote for Bloomberg, just using him as an example) because I think he would have a reasonable shot at actually winning, but Roseanne Barr doesn’t.

However, in your state, Obama is pretty much a lock, so I guess a Roseanne vote is better than a no vote, because at least you get your “voice” heard. Not voting at all just looks like apathy when they count up the votes, it is not interpreted as citizens not having candidates they like. I don’t think you are apathetic, just dissappointed and frustrated.

My vote doesn’t count at all in my state. It will for sure go for Romney. This is why I hate the electoral college. In the end it will just be a big red rectanglurish mark on the map. Even states that are 49/51 wind up all one color like everyone there voted the same way.

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

I wonder how Bradley Manning feels about you voting for Obama?
And btw, your vote does NOT count anyway. But don’t worry, we’ ll just keep pretending this problem doesn’t exist.

phaedryx's avatar

@johnpowell where did you vote from in 2000? Florida?

tedd's avatar

Well in all honesty, if you’re in California he can probably get by without your vote. So I wouldn’t feel too bad about not voting for him in your case, especially since he doesn’t really espouse your political views, but rather is the closer of two candidates far away from them.

If you were in a swing state though, where the vote would be more important, it would come down to how firmly you believe in either standing up for your ideals no matter what, or voting for the best case scenario given the circumstances.

glacial's avatar

The fact that the more conservative members among us are telling you not to vote should answer your question… if they think it matters whether you vote or not, then your vote is worth something. :P

RocketGuy's avatar

Perhaps your goal should be to vote such that you ensure the most unpleasant candidate does not win. Environmental advocacy came to a standstill for 8 years when the vote was split by Nader (as @jaytkay hinted)

tinyfaery's avatar

Everyone blames Nadar. Sorry, but the disenfranchisement committed in 2000, especially, probably has more to do with the fact that Gore did not win. Gore won CA and I still voted for Nadar.

As far as the assholes on the right are concerned. I won’t take their advice on anything. I mostly ignore them and pretend they don’t exist and not just on fluther.

JLeslie's avatar

@tinyfaery Funny, in FL we didn’t talk about Nader as much as we talked about Bucchanan. Even Buchanan jokes he helped Bush win, when his biggest fear was he would split off part of the Republican party possibly costing Bush the election. Many believe people who meant to vote for Gore voted for Buchanan since the chit was so unclear. They couldn’t imagine so many votes would go to him in some of the districts, it had to be wrong in many people’s opinion.

jerv's avatar

@tinyfaery If all it took was being disenfranchised, we wouldn’t have a two-party system so solidly in place. In fact, the way the last few years have been, we wouldn’t have any system at all. I’m disenfranchised too, but I know math, so I’m voting Obama. It’s not that I like everything he does, or that he is the best fit to my ideology, but simply because I know the math. If I were a naive idealist, I’d cast a half-vote for the Far Right and go third-party, but I’m too wise to do so.

RocketGuy's avatar

I don’t make enough $$ to profit from Romney.

GracieT's avatar

I don’t think we truly live in a democracy. I also think I’m splitting hairs, but I had to say that!

janbb's avatar

I don’t think people are using the word “disenfranchised” correctly. It means having had one’s right to vote taken away.

bkcunningham's avatar

@tinyfaery, your last comment made me laugh. It reminded me of @randyonlynicepeopleanswerthisquestion and it made me lol. Sorry if that isn’t nice. But it is true.

snowberry's avatar

Considering that it’s not about voting, but about fixing elections, and buying votes, I see little point in voting, but I will anyway. Add that to the fact that even if the majority of Americans are for a certain president, the electoral college can and usually does pull the results in the opposite direction. Takes the “fun” (if there ever was one) out of voting.

glacial's avatar

@snowberry “the electoral college can and usually does pull the results in the opposite direction”

I don’t think that is accurate – it has happened, but very infrequently, no?

snowberry's avatar

It has happened. Who knows how often in the course of history?. But if the electoral college hadn’t been there, the will of the people would have prevailed.

janbb's avatar

@snowberry Well, I think that is a fact that can be checked since one can look up the popular votes cast and the electoral votes cast for each election. Check it out before making rash statements.

tinyfaery's avatar

Update: I am still voting for Roseanne Barr.

glacial's avatar

@snowberry According to Wikipedia (see entry for Electoral College), it has never occurred that the outcome of a presidential election was changed by faithless electors in the electoral college.

Apparently, the most notorious case of faithless electors was in 1836, when 23 Virginia electors conspired to vote against the wishes of their state (they were pledged to vote for the Democratic candidate, Van Buren, and his running mate, and they refused to vote for the running mate – so it was the VP that was the controversy). Even at that, they were still one vote short of changing the outcome.

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