Protest Voting 101Posted: October 7, 2008
Both here and hence pursue me lasting strife,
If once I be a widow, ever I be a wife!
‘Tis deeply sworn. Sweet, leave me here a while,
My spirits grow dull, and fain I would beguile
The tedious day with sleep.
Sleep rock thy brain,
And never come mischance between us twain!
Madam, how like you this play?
The lady doth protest too much, methinks.
Hamlet Act 3, scene 2, 222–230
Puma is a protest movement. Our blogs outline our strategies. Our votes are our tactics. I’m not exactly sure how much clearer I can make this but it appears that we have to repeat these simple facts over and over. If we don’t, no one gets us.
The nature of our protest vote is that is exactly that a PROTEST. This means that our friends who can’t understand why we might vote for a candidate that doesn’t have a chance (McKinney or Nader) or a ticket that we may not agree with on many issues (McCain Palin) don’t understand what a PROTEST vote means. Protests voting means your vote is a protest. It simply doesn’t have to make sense to any one else.
I started thinking about this today due to a post by Masslib on Alegre’s blog and a response by Or what Vahalla said.
The premise of a protest vote is that it’s not issues-related.
What I meant to say, put more succintly 🙂
This also hit me in the face when I saw a response to my own posting “The No NO Sisterhood”. A post by Ben Kilpatrick assumed I voted all women during the democratic run-off in Louisiana just because I was woman who votes for women as a means to discriminate against men.
Just voting for women is the same as just voting for the black guy, or the republican guy, or or or
And it’s about as smart a move as all of those.
My vote was a protest against the treatment of women candidates this year. I did not vote for all women because as a woman, I was voting for ALL women. I voted for all women as a protest. I did not like the way Hillary was treated. I do not like the way Sarah Palin is being treated. I will not stand for Helena Morena being treated similarly either. Already, it is starting. A blog for the local New Orleans business newspaper picked up one quote from my two day postings concerning the second congressional race and all my comments about Ms. Moreno. You can read it here. The only line the blog picked up from me about Helena was that most folks here were calling her the “little white girl in the race” which I view as confusing folks on her mixed white/Latina heritage and belittling her status as a woman by calling her ‘girl’.
I’m still thinking about what kind of protest vote I will make this year when I step in the booth to vote for President. I know I will not vote for Obama. I will not vote for the issues, for once, because I am protesting how he got the nomination, I am protesting how the DNC actively and underhandedly promoted him over a much more qualified and able woman, and how he has been given a HUGE pass by the MSM. I know many of my PUMA friends will vote for McCain Palin, others will just skip the vote, others will still vote for Hillary, and some will vote for third party candidates.
We do not have to explain the ‘logic’ of our vote over and over and over again. It’s not about the issues (like Roe v. Wade), it’s not about the economy, and it’s certainly not about voting party lines. It’s a protest vote. As such, it only has to make sense to us!
I think we need to take some time and rethink why we view our votes as protests this year. This is especially true if you’re thinking of drinking that koolaid and falling prey to the logic of voting on issues at this point. Puma ceases to become a protest movement at that point. It’s effectiveness at supporting reform within the democratic party has no teeth at the point we stop protesting.
There is no such thing for PUMAs as ladies (or gentlemen) protesting too much at this point. Afterall, it is our democracy at stake.
(cross-posted at The Confluence)