We are in the middle of midterm election season and if you’re like me, you were sick of the political ads months ago. I was overseas during the last presidential election and was spared the inundation of ads for political candidates who have approved this message and are supported by super PACs with more money than probably all the P-Mag writers and editors will ever see in a lifetime combined.
However, I do believe in participating in the democratic process, if only to keep the wolves at bay and stop a Republican majority in the Senate. It’s a shitty situation because corporations are people and Citizens United put an ungodly amount of money into the election process. However, I will stand in front of the hordes of hell in my “I am pro-choice” t-shirt and sample ballot to hold them off.
The Florida gubernatorial election is quite frankly, the worst. On the one hand, you have current governor Rick Scott, who won by a narrow majority and has spent the last four years proving that he is incompetent and a crook (because the fact that he defrauded Medicare while CEO of a healthcare company didn’t stop people from voting for him.) He followed the lead of the majority of Republican governors by refusing to expand Medicaid under the ACA, leaving thousands of Floridians in the healthcare gap. He actually looks like Lex Luthor, and I’m not entirely convinced he hasn’t sprung to life from the pages of a Superman comic book to wreak havoc on my beloved state.*
Normally, with an incumbent like this, I would waltz inside my polling place on election day and vote for the Democratic candidate and then anxiously watch election results later in the evening, but the Democratic candidate was once the Republican governor. Yep, Charlie Crist was governor of Florida from 2006-2010. He didn’t seek re-election to run for the US Senate as an Independent. He lost and now has returned to run for governor again, this time as a Democrat.
Quite frankly, Crist wasn’t an awesome governor the first time around, and I’m not exactly excited about having him as governor again. I’m actually pretty pissed at the Democratic party for not finding ANYONE else. Scott is very unpopular, and I think it was a waste to not throw support behind a fresh face who could energize the liberals of the state. Instead, they tried to appeal to the lowest common denominator of moderates and independents. This could very well backfire on them.
So, what is one to do with faced with terrible choices? I see three basic options.
Abstain from Voting
I’m not really a fan of this because, like Dylan Thomas, I think we should “rage against the dying of the light.” Not voting takes you out of the process and the end result could be a Republican controlled Senate with a serious rollback of rights, especially for women. Yes, every candidate may seem the same and equally corrupt, but when you’re a woman campaigning for equal pay and reproductive rights, one party definitely has advantages over the other.
Vote for the Lesser of Two Evils
Current tactic. Is Crist going to be a great governor in his second go around? Probably not, but I’m hopeful that if elected, he’ll expand Medicaid and work to repeal the state ban on gay marriage. The best I can hope for is that he’ll toe the Democratic party line, such as it is.
Vote for the Third Party Candidate…
Which in this case is the candidate from the Libertarian Party.
So tell me, what would you do? I’m open to thoughts, suggestions, and other stories of terrible politicians.
*Native Floridian here. I can make fun of Florida, but you get major side-eye from me if you say that the state needs to sink into the ocean.