It's been repeated countless times in this here blog, but if the stupid "Mumia sweatshirt" schtick still merits play, then this does too: in the 2000 electoral debacle, twelve times as many registered Democrats in Florida voted for George W. Bush as voted for Ralph Nader. Hokay? The Thanksralphers and DFH-punchers can ignore that all they want -- and they clearly want, since it's been twelve years and I'll be damned if I've ever seen any Dem animosity toward those party-jumpers -- but like gravity and evolution, this is a true fact whether or not people believe it or act on it.
I've come to believe that the folks who continue to indulge in meaningless Nader-baiting have simply made an easier strategic decision for themselves. It's easier to titty-twist the minuscule number of "purists" who supposedly insist on absolute ideological rigidity, than to take a serious look at the much greater number of people who, for whatever reasons, jump over to the other major party.
Or the even larger number of people who look at a corrupt system run by and for the wealthy and connected, understand intuitively that neither party gives a red-hot monkey-fuck about them, and stays home. It's all well and good to insist that even if one is getting by and not in need of assistance, they should at least vote with compassion for those less fortunate, who are in need of this or that government assistance. But uh, if one is looking at, say, literally spending the rest of their natural life paying interest on $200 textbooks because the higher education system is a fucking racket, that person may have different priorities in the voting booth besides ensuring that the alcoholic vagrant shitting on the downtown sidewalk has adequate health care.
There is certainly a difference between the two parties, operationally and policy-wise. These differences have become larger and more apparent due to the polarizing nature of the teabaggers, and their effect on the Republican party. As much of a disappointment as Obama has been to lefties and progressives, I don't think anyone would argue the point that his strategies and outcomes would have been vastly different with a better Congress and Supreme Court. Still probably would have been dickless incrementalism, because that is all our owners will permit, but the intransigence and idiotic obstructionism of the 'baggers has certainly worsened an already bad situation.
But the real problem here is the idea that anyone's vote is "owed" to a political party, as opposed to the party having to make its case for earning your vote. It's dangerous and undemocratic, it has led to the current situation, where the parties are owned and operated by corporate interests, and simply take your vote for granted, promising everything and delivering jack shit.
Hey, whatever floats people's boats, I guess. I could just live without the smug, sneering, condescending attitude that permeates these sorts things, expending far more energy and effort lecturing a tiny portion of voters on their sincere (if perhaps somewhat misguided or impractical) principles, than on the vastly greater numbers who jump over to the other side without a care in the world.
It's important for everyone to keep in mind that politicians, good or bad, are reflective of their constituencies. Somebody keeps voting -- on purpose, even -- for dipshits like Louie Gohmert and Jim Inhofe. Those people are the goddamned problem, not the handful of supposed purity trolls.