Politics & Media
Sep 18, 2023, 06:28AM

Living in Massachusetts, My Presidential Vote Means Nothing

The American Solidarity Party is an appealing alternative.

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When I think about how our electoral system works and the partisan composition of the country, the more tempting it becomes to vote third-party in some of these elections. I live in Massachusetts. My vote is meaningless in a presidential election. In 2020, I voted for Donald Trump over Joe Biden, and he lost Massachusetts by more than 1.2 million votes.

I don't regret voting for Trump, despite not liking his election fraud nonsense. However, if he's the nominee against Biden next year, I’d want him to win—or any other hypothetical Republican presidential candidate. But under the electoral college voting system, my vote matters less than those of residents of Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Arizona, North Carolina, Iowa, New Hampshire, Ohio, Florida, Minnesota, and Georgia, among other states. So why should I vote for people with whom I disagree on many topics if it doesn't matter? I plan to vote in the Republican presidential primary on Super Tuesday because that's an election where Bay State right-wingers could potentially have some power. I’ll do so despite having voted in the September 2022 statewide Democratic primary because, for all of the statewide offices, that was the general election.

Since my vote for president in November 2024 won’t matter, the American Solidarity Party looks like an appealing choice. The party has no shot and will receive fewer votes than the Libertarian and Green parties. However, I like the idea of a socially conservative party that, in many ways, mirrors Catholic Social Teaching and supports a more robust social safety net, the consistent life ethic, pro-family policies, and opposes war.

If I cast my vote for them and encourage other people in Massachusetts to do the same, it won’t impact the outcome of the 2024 presidential election. If people vote for a party like this, they may get to vote for something they want rather than the lesser of two evils. Just because I've voted Republican in the past and will continue to do so in many races, that doesn’t mean I want corporate tax cuts, to kill the child allowance, and to send more money to Ukraine, but that might be what a GOP vote gets these days while their party complains that abortion is too sensitive of a topic to address.

I vote in November elections because of referenda and the occasional competitive down-ballot race. My primary focus will likely be preserving our state's standardized test high school graduation requirement, auditing the state legislature, and legalizing medicinal shrooms—not stopping Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren.

If a little party has a noble approach and good ideas, why not help elevate them—even if it’s only one vote? The one vote that won't make a difference in an election means more to them than it does one of the two major parties. Third parties don't need majorities to win elections or even pluralities. They need their ideas to win, not necessarily their candidates. Their candidates are a vessel to share those ideas with the public, even when they have no path to victory.


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