The red thread of fate is an East Asian belief originating from Chinese legend and is also used in Japanese legend. According to this myth, the gods tie an invisible red string around the ankles of those that are destined to meet each other in a certain situation or help each other in a certain way. Often, in Japanese culture, it is thought to be tied around the little finger.
The two people connected by the red thread are destined lovers, regardless of time, place, or circumstance. This magical cord may stretch or tangle, but never break.
Four years ago, I mailed in an absentee ballot while living in Spain. Everyone asked me, in Spanish or extremely rough English, “Obama?” As though there was a choice for whom I could vote. John McCain was crazy. Obama promised sanity. I was a die-hard Hilary Clinton fan, and the primary had made me hesitant of Obama, but after months of hearing about the election, I knew my only option was Obama.
This year was tumultuous. I changed everything, pretty much, in my life. Quit my job, moved across the country from my family and friends to Washington, and began a program in public service/affairs/policy. These changes definitely influence me daily; how I think, how I frame ideas and receive information. I’ve never wavered in my support of president Obama- both in speech and in donations. He is our commander in chief, and he is an absolutely fantastic alternative to Mitt Romney. But what’s troubled me this election-perhaps because I’m finally noticing- is that many people think there are only two choices. I’ve heard guys my age complain about the two party system before, but I never questioned it.
After seeing Jill Stein arrested twice this election season- first before the 2nd presidential debate in which she and other third-party candidates were not allowed to participate, and the second time a week or so ago when she was arrested for delivering supplies to a group of protesters protesting the expansion of the Keystone XL pipeline—i knew this woman was a badass. These events, as well as her positions on climate change, election processes, LGBT rights (she’s been in favor of marriage equality on the national level since 2002), and healthcare made me respect her. And not only do I respect her positions and ideas, I respect her moxie.
Voting for Jill Stein was not a referendum against president Obama. In fact, I grappled with the decision for an extremely long time. Is this rational? She can’t win the election by any regard. Will this make Obama lose? Is this wasting my vote? Will I make Obama lose?
The answer to all of these questions is no.
Yes, this race is difficult and close, especially depending on what news source you read. Am I confident Obama will win Washington? Yes. Am I confident Obama will win the electoral college? Pretty much. The age-old battle of “my vote doesn’t matter” vs “every vote matters!” that has stymied the GOTV process for my age group factors in here. In a sense, my vote for swaying it to Obama may not matter in a state like Washington. But my vote for Jill Stein actually counts more. It gives her a higher percentage of return. It gives her a chance not at winning, but at putting the Green Party on the ballot next time, and the time after. She’s gotten herself and the Green Party on 85% of the ballots this year- more than any other non-self funded (Ross Perot) third party candidate. It makes it more likely that she’ll receive enough votes to earn the Green Party federal election financing; that they’ll participate in the presidential debates next time. That people will notice third parties. That our system can, in fact, change.
My vote is not against Obama- although I know many will argue that a vote for someone else who’s not Obama is a vote for Romney- but I disagree. It’s a vote that says to both men “we can’t play this game anymore.” The game is rigged, and many don’t want to play. How effective is our GOTV strategy if we mobilize people with the hope of change and reform and then present them with only two options? My generation will be in the voting majority soon enough. If a large percentage of them— ~40%— grow up not voting, what sort of participatory democracy will we have? We’ll have a democracy controlled by those who are activists, who care deeply about problems that affect them, and who will advocate for their solutions to those problems. And throughout, a growing percentage of my fellow friends, colleagues and classmates will grow continually more disaffected, unhappy and excluded.
My vote for Jill Stein is a message to the democrats and republicans that this system doesn’t work. I had a conversation with co-workers the other day who said “I voted straight democrat because it’s easier.” This is not uncommon, on either side of the political spectrum. Sometimes identifying with an ideology, even though everything they say and do doesn’t fit with our beliefs, and voting on that is just easier. But is it right? Shouldn’t we as citizens question our parties and our officials, especially when we disagree with them? This year I also voted for a republican (lieutenant governor in Wa) because the democrat was fairly corrupt and is being investigated for ethics violations. But other than that, I voted for many democrats based on research that showed their ideas and records aligned somewhat with my own—and it was easier. I still fall victim to that partisan back-and-forth.
If we cannot hold our elected representatives—and the system in which we choose those representatives— accountable, is our system worth reforming, or discarding?
My vote for Jill Stein is not a vote against Obama. In many ways I view it as a vote for him, and a note that says “you get this one, but next time, it’s changing”
I may be misguided in this belief, but I welcome criticism and dialogue.
I’m gonna stop letting the media influence and frighten me with this election. Of course it’s “tied” now, it’s all about creative journalism intent on harassing our, the viewers, emotions.
But what worries me the most about this election is not how I will be affected by a Mitt Romney presidency, but how those who were voiceless for so long, and who only just recently felt they could use their voices, will be silenced once again. How those LGBT youth— in places that don’t have Pride Centers or welcoming communities or parents who accept them—will be forced back in the closet, forced into permanent self-loathing, as Conservatives, emboldened by their win, will pronounce around the country that being gay is a sin and a Romney presidency affirms this. I worry how those kids will progress in a world that teaches intolerance through creative uses of an ancient, unrelenting text. I worry about communities that have no resources, no social or political capital with which to trade for equality, advocacy or rights, will continue to be marginalized through a failing education system and a polity that cares more about self preservation rather than mutual support.
I will be fine no matter what happens in this election; I’m strong, and I will always fight, good times or bad. I choose to exercise my right to vote in favor of Obama so that the voiceless will have a place in our politics, and our society.
My cute bedside table! Yes, it’s a #vintage suitcase! (Taken with Instagram at Grex apartments)
My new #vintage #pyrex reminds me of @missfelic so I had to get it. :-) (Taken with Instagram)
I bought myself flowers at #Pikes Place Market (Taken with Instagram)