We live in a political dystopia— where it is far more important for a candidate to have a “D” or an “R” next to his name than to have good ideas— where “democracy” is managed by the Democrats and the Republicans, two crooked institutions overseen by elites peddling neoliberalism, imperialism and ecocidal unfettered growth as the answer to our woes. The Citizens United decision and the Democratic Party’s superdelegates are symptomatic of the systemic dysfunction of our political process.
The owners of this country, corporate oligarchs and their lobbyists, have hijacked our election system, dictating policy by lining the campaign pockets of elected officials like James Langevin. That is why, when choosing to run for the 2nd District, I could not, with clear conscience, run as a member of the Democratic Party, an institution that sold itself (and the American public) long ago to perpetual war and corporate greed.
Our election system, concentrated in the hands of two major parties, undermines democracy by silencing opposition with ideas such as “spoiler effect.” The system tells you that you cannot vote for a third party not because they have bad ideas, but because you must preserve the two party duopoly. Meanwhile, people rarely have the opportunity to vote for somebody; rather, their choice is usually about whom to vote against. Our system is so loathsome and corrupt that to vote one’s conscience is immoral.
Today, we are told not to vote for third parties and independents because of the threat of Trump. Four months ago, we were told not to support Bernie Sanders because Clinton was supposedly the only candidate that would be able to stand against Trump. Four years from now, ever closer to irreversible climate change and biological holocaust, we will again be told we have to vote against evil so that lesser evil will prevail. This cannot continue. We must break the “lesser evilism” paradigm which reduces the democratic process to a choice between corruption and incompetence.
If elected, I will adamantly support reforms such as Instant Runoff Voting and publicly funded elections that allow third party candidates to participate fairly in the political process, eliminating the so-called “spoiler effect.” If you truly believe, as a majority of Americans do (according to Gallup), that we need a third party to represent our interests, you must act— you must throw away the Democratic Party’s insipid rhetoric about the “spoiler effect” and vote for the candidates you believe in, the candidates that will truly change the system rather than follow it.
Jeff Johnson is challenging James Langevin as an independent candidate for Representative in Rhode Island’s 2nd Congressional District.
40 Table Rock Road
South Kingstown, RI, 02879