Following up on Fixer's post, here's a personal example of just how much your vote can count.
I have not voted in exactly ONE election since 1968, and it was a mistake.
Several years ago in my small town there was a $1M local school bond issue on the ballot. As a general rule, I vote "No" on public indebtedness, because I'm the public and I can incur enough debt on my own, thank you very much.
On election day, Mrs. G and I decided we were tired after work, so we didn't go the polls and vote.
The bond measure passed by ONE vote. Had we done our civic duty, it would have lost by ONE vote. I am reminded of our lapse in citizenship every time I look at my property tax bill, where my part of the payment has been added on.
I'll never miss another election.
One more thing. I know some of our friends and readers are so disgusted by our political system that they have decided to vote for Green, or American Independent, or Peace, Love, Dope party candidates, or whatever.
Please don't. Not this time.
Look, I'm not too happy with the Democrats either, but this particular election is too important to throw your vote away. I'm going to vote a straight Democratic ticket because I'm voting against Repuglicans, and that's the only - I say again, only - way to get rid of them. We have good Democratic candidates in my district and Fixer's, but that's icing on the cake. Right now, I'd vote for a Dem ax murderer over a Repug Mother Theresa.
There is a greater principle in play here than the fact that you are not personally happy with the Democrats. The principle is that this is our country, not Bush's to do with as he pleases. Make no mistake about it, if you throw your vote away by voting for a fringe party, you are voting Republican. Idealism is fine, but the realpolitik here is we have to get as many of these Repug bastards out of office as we possibly can, and we have to do it by enough votes that it will be hard for them to steal the election, or at the very least that it will be blatantly obvious.
You can get back to your idealism later. This is WAR. Hold your nose if you have to, but vote Democrat. If you don't, there may not be any idealism to get back to.