Stein or Supreme: What kind of voter am I?

Scream On
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  October 31, 2012


The more I think about which voter category I fit into, and who I'll support for president next week, the more I realize that I'm one of those contemptible undecideds who remains lost in the political wilderness — no less annoying or anomalous than a progressive venture capitalist or a bipolar peacenik with a bulkhead full of firearms. There's just no way to box me up: I've never been a hockey mom or played soccer, and I think football is dumber than Catholicism.

My unique constituent status goes even deeper. I think that small businesses are great unless they sell exotic frozen yogurt, and I detest the ruthless profiteering of Big Pharma, though I've remorselessly abused its products for years. As for my background and heritage — I'm an Italian Bostonian from Korean Queens who's embarrassed by Caucasian corniness and loves soul food. Race isn't my big issue, though; I despise Glenn Beck and Tyler Perry equally, adore Chris Rock and Jerry Seinfeld, and loathe both Mitt Romney and Barack Obama.

With all that said, my choice in this upcoming election is clear: I'm either throwing all my weight behind Green Party nominee Jill Stein or perennial fringe candidate Vermin Supreme. Sure, the latter wears an Incredible Hulk fist strapped to his crotch and a rubber boot on his head. But like Stein, he's clearly a better option than either major-party warmonger.

Despite his lefty facade, I have ample reason to snub Obama, the foremost being that my chief domestic concern is the erosion of civil liberties. The president's signing of the most recent National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) was especially troubling; in spite of several constitutional amendments, the act empowers authorities to detain US citizens indefinitely and for dangerously vague reasons.

At the same time, I couldn't possibly back the red team. My rationale is fairly obvious: Mitt's record as a chronic bullshitter and jobs destroyer, not to mention my own self-respect. But there are more reasons that I find both him and Obama to be unsuitable to save America — for starters, their mutual complicity with mass incarceration and their both being bankrolled by the Wall Street crooks who created this mess.

Which returns me to the question that I always ask myself: What kind of voter am I? On firearms, I'm a pacifist who acknowledges that too many gun laws harass responsible sportsmen. On the economy, I have tremendous personal debt and universally deplore candidates who pocket contributions from industries that they regulate. I also believe in maintaining a strong social safety net, but at the same time, I'm repulsed by the establishment left's general reluctance to reconfigure ineffective welfare bureaucracies.

It would make sense for me to write-in "Supreme" next week, as a protest against the two-party machine (plus, his plan for a pony-based economy has real merit). But I'm not the type to throw my vote away. So after months of deliberation, I've decided that the Green Party best represents my interests. Their platform is in sync with my views on issues from health care and workers' rights to bank bailouts. Stein also recently racked up two bad-ass protest arrests, including one outside a debate that she — along with all other third-party hopefuls — was unfairly excluded from. Her bottom-up recovery plan dismisses the silly notion that only private industry can create jobs.

Most importantly, though, Stein stands for the change I'd like to see in this world. And unlike the majority of Americans, I have this wild notion that my vote belongs to whomever I think is the best candidate.

GREEN VS. SUPREME: On election night, follow the candidates on Twitter @VerminSupreme and @JillStein2012

Related: Romney’s Shadow Years, The Obama imperative, The Obama imperative, More more >
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