In her post-election analysis, the Nation’s Michelle Goldberg argued that although there was not much support for Democratic candidates nationwide, Americans still largely support policies associated with the platform of the Democratic Party. Given the opportunity to decide for themselves through ballot initiatives, voters eased restrictions on marijuana and other facets of the drug war; increased the minimum wage; and lifted restrictions on abortion. Polls show Americans want more wealth distribution, less war aggression. A majority even say Obamacare was either just right or didn’t go far enough.
Why, then, didn’t people also vote for Democrats?
One reason is that the Democrats represent Barack Obama and the status quo, and, boy, do people ever hate the status quo these days. So, while voters might have a slight preference for the Democrats’ platform, they cannot bring themselves to actually vote for Democrats.
Fair enough, voters decided not to vote for Democrats. The Protest Party supports that. What, then did voters decide to do instead? Many simply stayed home, with voter turnout at its lowest since 1942, partly due to the restrictive voting rules put in place since 2010 that disenfranchised millions of potential voters, but also partly due to lack of interest and disguest with their options. For those who did make it to the polls, lacking anything better to do, they simply voted Republican. Of course, voting Republican to protest ineffective government doesn’t make a heckuva lot of sense, but without any other decent “Protest Vote” options, it is understandable. In Nevada, voters are allowed to vote for “None of the Above,” and many of them did. Despite very little strategic value to such a vote, in this year’s Attorney General Contest, “The “None of These Candidates” vote (15,643) is more than three times the margin-of-victory for” the election’s Republican winner.
As Goldberg put it, "Last night, then, was basically a flailing, inchoate protest vote against the status quo."
What would happen if this protest vote were not flailing and inchoate, but shrewd and strategic? What could disgruntled American voters do if they were given a coherent, focused electoral strategy for using their votes, presenting a unified front against the disfunction they see in our government? To find out is the goal of the Protest Party. Will supporters demand an alternative vote? A campaign finance amendment or democracy vouchers? Minor party representation in presidential debates? Something completely different? Help the Protest Party get on the ballot in your state, and you can help decide.