when will be your last time to vote for the "lesser of two evils"?

When will be your “this is the last fucking time I’m voting for the ‘lesser of two evils’, then I don’t care after that, let this country burn to the ground”? For me, this is basically it. This is last election I’m going for that " lesser of two evils" bullshit. After that I’m done. It’s just pointless. Let’s hear it.

@southsamurai@sh.itjust.works avatar

I dunno, pretty much my entire life it’s been choosing between degrees of evil in one party and degrees of capitalist greed sucking from another. None of the alternative parties have fielded a candidate I could support either, but that’s not the point

The point is that there aren’t two evil parties. There’s one of those, and one other party that’s full of shit, but not evil. Then there’s a bunch that are just useless because we have a first past the post system. Not that any of them are exactly bastions of goodness, even the ones that are closer to my views. They’re all fucking politicians. Never fully trust anyone that wants that kind of power and authority.

But, let’s be clear here. There’s only one party that literally courts neo-nazi votes and works to undo not only legal rights, but human rights.

blightbow, (edited )
blightbow avatar

Vote for useful things and voting reform at the local level.

Vote for whatever keeps the system itself functioning at the federal level. If one party's leaders are in bed with "presidents for life" or the authoritarian governments that were ratfucked to make them presidents for life, you are going to end up with a president for life.

Important to note: If enough states enact voting reform at the local level, you no longer need a constitutional amendment to have voting reform that influences the federal level. If you are looking for real change, this is where it is. It is slow and unsexy, but don't bitch about your federal vote meaning nothing if you're not doing anything with your local elections.

donuts, (edited )
donuts avatar

Uh, never? As an American I can easily recognize that we live in a 2-party political system in which you have 3 real options:

  • Vote for the Democrats
  • Vote for the Republicans
  • Don't vote / Waste your vote

American politics is a game of tug-of-war. You can spend as much time as you want lamenting that the rope isn't exactly where you want it to be right now. But the fact is that one party is pulling the rope to the left and the other party is pulling it to the right. If you want the rope to move right you better join the people on the right, and if you want the rope to move to the left you better join the people on the left. And more to the point, if for whatever reason you don't want to pull (maybe because it seems futile or maybe because you just don't like the people on your team) then where can you expect it to move other than away from where you want it to be?

There is no politician on Earth who perfectly represents my politics, ideals or philosophy. If I wanted someone who perfectly represented exactly what I want I would get politically active and run for office myself. In lieu of that, what else can I hope for but to vote for the people who happen to be pulling in my direction, or at the very least pulling back against the mob of right-wing fascist criminals.

I don't think Biden is perfect, but he's certainly not evil. What's more, I know exactly what we're up against when it comes to Trump and the Republicans (who at best are spineless impotent political cowards, and at worst are fascist activists who want to strip people of rights, further rob the working class, deny climate change in the name of profit, destroy what little democracy we have, and weaponize the government against political enemies).

I've said this before and I'll say it again for all takers, name any politician who you think would be making more progress on important issues (healthcare, climate, education, transportation, lgbtq rights, women's rights, the economy, etc.) than Biden right now and I'll give you at least 3 reasons why they wouldn't. (Hint: the House, the Senate, the courts, state legislatures, inflation, unstable geopolitics, post-pandemic economic change, etc.) Bernie or Warren could be sitting in the Oval Office today, and we still wouldn't have universal healthcare (because of Congress), we still wouldn't have been able to wipe out student debt (because of the courts), we still would have to deal with wars and terrorism overseas (because of aggression from countries like Russia and Iran), and we still would be feeling the effects of inflation (because of decades of low interest rates coupled with pandemic supply chain fuckery).

So yeah, I'm not gonna stop voting for the better candidate of the two, because what the fuck else would any reasonable person do? Pull the rope towards where you want it to go. It's not hard.


Great response!

I too will keep voting for the better choice.

KISSmyOS, (edited )

What if one person pulls to the right and the other actively gives out more and more rope, telling bystanders he’s trying to “work with the other side to find a common middle ground”?

donuts avatar

If you don't pull you're actively giving up more rope than anyone. That's exactly the point.


IMO there’s no one to vote for in Presidential elections who pulls the rope to the left.
There’s one guy pulling it to the right and another one who wants to use the rope to strangle the referee.

frauddogg, (edited )
@frauddogg@lemmygrad.ml avatar

I don’t think Biden is perfect, but he’s certainly not evil.

Your man is a genocider. He’s automatically a no-go; try again, settler.

donuts avatar

I think you're confusing Biden for Hamas or Netanyahu, both of which have advocated for genocide of the other.

Biden's stance on Israel has been no different than Bernie's. And that's probably because the situation in the Levant is more nuanced than you understand.

@frauddogg@lemmygrad.ml avatar

And that’s probably because the situation in the Levant is more nuanced than you understand.

How I know you’re a settler unfit for dialogue on this topic. It’s not ‘nuanced’; it’s been a genocide since 1948-- and the only people with an investment in portraying it any other way are colonizers. Biden has sent the colonizers material aid, has sent them money and care packages, hasn’t disavowed them, and has made no real inroads to a ceasefire. He is complicit. So are you for trying to cape for it.

blightbow avatar

Realistically, the US Government is going to continue supporting Israel no matter what happens until the US has meaningful voting reform. Israel is an entrenched interest due to the amount of money changing hands in Washington. (defense contracts, etc.) This is not helped by the social stigma of the average American not differentiating between Israel as a political entity and Jewish people as a demographic. It's one of those "broken by design" social constructs.

The logical fallacy that I largely see in play is the assumption that the Republicans would have handled this any differently. While I agree that Biden's stance is noteworthy, as a reminder that the parties are more alike than they are different on certain topics, it doesn't change the landscape of the two leading presidential candidates. One of them is in bed with Putin and appears to have a vested interest in entrenching himself as a leader who can never lose an election. (i.e. an aspiring president for life) The other candidate is still flawed, but doesn't represent an existential threat to the political institution itself.

I'd much rather have an option other than Trump or Biden, but until more states enact voting reform at a local level we're stuck with a choice of which decrepit old man is least likely to be disruptive to the entire system of government. The Republican party needs to continue its losing streak until it decides the populist authoritarian movement is a failed strategy.

@frauddogg@lemmygrad.ml avatar

“buh buh buh you gotta pick one genocidal bastard settler or the other you can’t just abstain” trick watch me. If the maintenance of any state, the one in which I live, or an ally of it mandates that I support a genocidal settler bastard, then I believe that state deserves to die. I don’t believe in “maintaining the losing streak”-- in fact, I’m convinced it’s a matter of one hand washing the other. The GOP deadlocks so the DNC can shrug, go “eto, bleh; guess we can’t change anything” and the can gets kicked down the road for another four years. Fuck outta here.

blightbow avatar

"buh buh buh the government deserves to die and everyone living in the country must suffer because my feelings are hurt"

Yeah, I know you have a lot more to say than that, but the caustic and reductionist debating angle cuts in both directions. A very merry fuck you as well, sir.

@frauddogg@lemmygrad.ml avatar

If you want my support, maybe don’t support genocidal settler-colonials. You don’t get to reframe the grievance when you and yours have always been the ones in wrong. It’s especially funny to me that you argue your point in support of somehow cajoling me to return to propping up the settler-colonial empire, when from my perspective, the death of the settler-colonial empire is likely the only way the rest of the people of this earth get to survive the impending climate disaster we continue to court.

tl;dr I am most emphatically not on your side, and never will be, regardless of whether or not I get to escape this hellscape before what has been sewn gets reaped.

donuts avatar

BTW: If you regret that we live within a political reality where we have limited choices and the risks of wasting your vote are high, then you should join the movement to implement more democratic voting systems like Ranked-Choice (aka Instant Runoff) or STAR, as well as reforms to political dark money.

Even still, many of these changes are more likely to happen at a state/local level before anything can happen federally. But that's just one more good reason to be interested and involved in regional politics also.

PupBiru avatar

also afaik (i’m not american but yknow; can’t escape the intricacies of US politics) changes at the state/local level can often effect federal elections directly… aren’t there some places that do ranked choice voting federally?


Voting a third party is not throwing your vote away. It’s actually often the best way to make your vote matter.

Third parties in the US tend to run on smaller platforms pushing their key issues. Typically, these issues attract voters on one side of the spectrum more than the others: in other words, some third parties attract liberal voters while others attract conservative voters. This means that they compete with one of the major parties more strongly than the other for votes.

Votes for a major party typically do not have a huge effect on the presidential race unless you’re in a swing state. For example, the last time my state voted Republican was 35 years ago, and since then a Democrat has one by more than 10 percentage points. A million Biden voters could have switched their votes to a third party last election and he would have still won my state.

But a million votes for a third party would have been noticed by the Democrats, especially if similar numbers were posted across the US. The Democrats would have had to figure out why they were losing votes, and amend their platform in the future to win those lost voters back.

For example, major work reforms in the early 20th Century (including ending child labor, the 8 hour workday, and the 40 hour workweek) and the focus on the federal budget in the last 30 years have both been due to third parties pushing their pet issues into prominence and forcing the major parties into taking stances on them. A vote for a third party is a warning sign to the major parties that they need to amend their platforms in the future to avoid losing more votes, and that pushes change way faster than blindly voting a single party’s status quo.

donuts avatar

Voting a third party is not throwing your vote away. It’s actually often the best way to make your vote matter.

I strongly disagree with this.

Elections are simply a case of math. If you abstain from voting, write in some random name, or otherwise vote for a candidate who is statistically incapable of winning, then there are only still only two outcomes for your vote:

  • In the best case scenario, like you're describing, your vote has no effect on the outcome and your 2nd place candidate happens to win anyway.
  • In the worst case scenario, however, vote splitting leads to the well-documented phenomenon known as the spoiler effect. In which case the 3rd most popular candidate, who may not represent anything close to the will of the democratic plurality, will win.

Personally I always plan around the worst case scenario when making important decisions, and so I don't believe in the concept of the "protest vote". Especially since so little concrete information can be derived from "reading the tea leaves" of 3rd party votes. (A big part of your premise revolves around the idea that someone out there will somehow get whatever message you're trying to send by voting for a 3rd party candidate. And that's obviously a very indirect and abstract form of protest even in the best case scenario. )

Also I think it's a strech to attribute easily 20th century work reforms to 3rd parties as they exist today considering two points: (1) there was a radical shift in political power, generally towards progressivism, at that time and (2) it can be argued that many of these reforms could be attributed more to labor unions in general than any one political party.

Vote how you want, or not at all, but we can't escape math in the end. Statistically speaking, a protest vote is at best a benign waste of a vote and at worst the cause of undemocratic election outcomes via the spoiler effect. So I'll continue to recommend against it, and recommend for more democratic voting systems that are less prone to manipulation and spoilage.


The simple math is that a +/- 500,000 votes for Joe Biden in 2020, who got 81,283,501 total, would have barely noticeable. However, +/- 500,000 votes for Jo Jorgenson, who got 1,865,535, or Howie Hawkins, who got 407,068, would have been much more noteworthy.

Your vote simply has a bigger impact when you’re voting for a smaller candidate.

And yes, third parties do pressure major parties to alter their platforms, and this is well documented. The clearest example is Ross Perot getting 19% of the vote in 1992 and pushing his pet issue (the federal budget) into every election since then, still persisting today over 30 years later.

Gargleblaster, (edited )
Gargleblaster avatar

During the Iraq War, Kurt Vonnegut was asked about the anti-war protests.. His response was that, during Vietnam, he was part of anti-war protests firing on all cylinders and laser-focused and going to stop that war. He said it was ultimately about as effective as climbing to the top of a ladder and tossing a pie on the ground. This time will be no different.

So I don't know what you're hoping to gain. The 'Ima take my ball and go home' approach didn't work out so well in 2016. Threatening not to vote isn't going to phase anyone in a country where more than half the population doesn't vote anyway. Maybe instead of threats you should work with other people trying to help the people you want elected get elected.


Not voting is voting for the greater of 2 evils.

@DPRK_Chopra@hexbear.net avatar

I already left the country and vote absentee for the worse candidate because you all deserve it.

(Jk, I don’t vote.)


😂 You almost got me. I’ll stop voting, too, in the near the future if this shit continues

@DPRK_Chopra@hexbear.net avatar

It is precisely because you won’t stop voting that this shit continues.


Very true. Both parties are just used to their base voting no matter what.


Once ranked choice voting becomes the standard.


It should have been in the 80’s. If those lesser evil folk bit the bullet and refused to vote for whatever shitty candidate they had at that point them maybe the Democratic party wouldn’t feel so comfortable shoveling Biden down our throats. It is 100% the fault of past Democratic party voters that we’re in this situation and it could have been avoided.

In a purely 4-year cycle, it is better to vote for a Dem because they’ll be slightly better. But since we repeated that 10x already, the Dem has gotten to be so horrific that it isn’t worth it anymore. It’s like trying to decide how much grain to use to feed a village and how much to plant for the next season. In the short term, it’s better to feed the people and reduce the amount planted next year. But we did that so much that now there’s no more food.

Boomers fucked Millennials and Gen Z with climate change. Gen X and Millennials fucked over Gen Z over with lesser evil voting.

Bizarroland avatar

Gen x and millennials fucked over gen Z over with lesser evil voting

Yes, but that is because we were lied to by boomers. We were told that if we do good and if we work hard then good things will happen. So we've done the best we absolutely can but the boomers refuse to die and let go of the reins to let the New breed take over.

It's maddening


Given the opportunity to vote in its current form, I’ll keep voting no matter how evil the lesser of two evils is. By definition it’s better than the alternative

frauddogg, (edited )
@frauddogg@lemmygrad.ml avatar

Two cycles ago. Motherfuck Amerika, motherfuck the electors putting their thumbs on the scales to invalidate millions of votes nationwide, and motherfuck everyone who justifies propping it up too. I’m not cosiging genocidal colonizers; if that means the country falls, then the country deserved it. Die nameless.


Never. That is a position for the naive.

@cupcakezealot@lemmy.blahaj.zone avatar

when the greater evil doesn’t want me dead just for existing and isn’t trying to destroy democracy

@frauddogg@lemmygrad.ml avatar

The lesser evil wants you dead too, Biden has been upkeeping the 1033 Program since his installation


Until it actually boils over or we get rid of first past the post (and you’ll need MASSIVE protests to do the latter.)

Fuck accelerationists. They’re either dumbfucks who think their Apocalypse Badass Man fantasies will come true (and contrary to popular belief this person absolutely exists on the left,) or yuppies who know they have an easy out in the form of either a work visa in somewhere like Canada or leeching from a developing country working remotely and not contributing to where they live at all (and so many of these yuppies are self-proclaimed collectivists.) The rest of us are getting out of here in a casket or a refugee boat if it boils over. So how about we take at least a modicum of effort to take care of our society. Voting is the bare minimum.


Before I choosing not to vote, I would vote for someone I think deserves the vote most even if the chances of them winning are practically 0.

Teon avatar

It's ok, you can stop voting, actually everyone should stop voting, that way there will be no "lesser of two evils", it will just be the WORST evil taking over.
And you won't even be allowed to have the free speech rights to get on the internet and bitch about it, because that's how dictatorships in fascist countries work.
Maybe if Americans knew how good other countries have it, they might stand up and fight for a better nation and DEMAND changes in the laws that govern our elected officials, instead of constantly voting for idiots whose only agenda after getting elected is to destroy America and make it a fucked up theocracy.
You get the country you participate in.
[steps off soap box, turns off spotlight and leaves the building]


Never. Just vote. Be a grain of sand on the scales that keeps things from going to absolute shit. It costs you almost nothing, just a tiny amount of time.

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