There are a lot of posts going around FB about how it is essentially immoral to vote for a third party candidate.
Mind you, most of those articles are directed towards the presidential election, but still the statements are broad and sweeping.
And I do understand these statements, for I’ve given friends a hard time for voting for Ralph Nader over Al Gore, and giving us W (something for which WV continues to suffer, as the recession hit us later and harder than the rest of the country, and never mind the lives lost in Iraq).
And so I understand these statements, for this presidential election is terrifying.
But still, it is their right to vote for whom they please, and to vote their conscience. And at least they’re voting, which is something many many people can’t be bothered to do. Which makes even less sense to me. Because when we vote in November, the presidential ticket is just one of the contests, many of which will have as much if not more influence on our day-to-day lives. (1) (2)
Which brings me the article that started off this rant.
The governor’s race in WV.
Billionaire Gubernatorial Candidate Owes $15 Million in Taxes and Fines
His mining companies owe $15 million in six states, including property and minerals taxes, state coal severance and withholding taxes, and federal income, excise and unemployment taxes, as well as mine safety penalties, according to county, state and federal records.
In the past 16 months, while fines and taxes went unpaid, Justice personally contributed nearly $2.9 million in interest-free loans and in-kind contributions to his gubernatorial campaign, according to state campaign finance reports.
I cannot in good conscience vote for either major party candidate.
I simply cannot. I don’t believe that either candidate truly has the good of West Virginians and the future of our state in mind. Not only do their words show a willful ignorance of what the future is going to hold, their past actions show that they haven’t held the good of the state and it’s people as most important.
Say what you will about the late Senator Byrd, but that man did everything–absolutely everything–to help the state. To make our lives better and give us a future. Not by putting his name on every building in the state, but by recognizing that without things other states take for granted, like roads that are capable of handling commercial truck traffic, we had no future.
We cannot base our future upon non-renewable resources.
We simply cannot.
We have so much to offer here, so much beauty and recreation and and so many marvels–marvels and beauty that will be destroyed if we refuse to acknowledge that our future does not and cannot lie with extractive industries.
A politician that refuses to acknowledge that truth cannot have the good of the state in mind, and cannot care about our future generations and what we are leaving them.
And that is why I won’t be voting for either of the major party candidates for governor. Because I love this state, and it doesn’t seem like the candidates even care.
(1) Every time we sit in horrible traffic on the Mileground, we’re sitting there because a decade ago people refused to approve the levy to widen the road. That’s hours and hours of time lost in the intervening years, as the situation got worse, and will be even more difficult and time-consuming and miserable to remedy now.
(2) And then there are the city-wide debates over land use and farming and keeping livestock within city limits. These are issues we are going to deal with the results of going forward for years. Should you have the right to grow your own food? Should you be forced to live next to a chicken coop that is both noisy and poorly cleaned? These decisions will affect our quality of life going forward, and whether you refuse to vote or not, you still have to live with the consequences.