Reminder #1: There are other races on the ballot besides President. And if you want to affect real change in this country, that means getting rid of the people who are currently in office and who are maintaining the status quo. If you live here in Cook County, you might be able to vote Green as many as nine times, from President to Circuit Court Clerk to State Representative. Look down ballot, and make a vote for change, and in some cases, you may even help us elect Greens to partisan office for the first time here in Illinois.
Reminder #2: Greens can win races on Election Day. Look: when I ran for State Representative the last two times, I knew that it would have taken a miracle to have won, because I was running against the most popular politician in the county. But the deck isn't stacked like that against every Green candidate. We will almost certainly win a State Representative seat in Arkansas this year, we've got candidates polling neck and neck in Minnesota and Maine, and here in Illinois, we have at least three candidates who I feel have legitimate shots at winning their races.
Reminder #3: A vote for Obama is a vote for war, a vote for the bailout, a vote for nuclear power, a vote against universal health care, and a vote for maintaining most of the status quo. I know a lot of you are going to vote for Obama, and I understand why. But don't be deluded into thinking that you're voting for something other than what you're actually voting for. Yes, an Obama victory will be a powerful symbol of the progress America has made in the last 40 years. No, an Obama victory will not achieve tremendous policy strides. He wants to throw more troops into Afghanistan, he strong-armed other Democrats into voting for the bailout, he's come out in favor of nuclear power for no sane reason whatsoever, he's not in favor of actual universal health care... the list goes on and on. If you actually want to see peace, if you want to see no bailout, if you want to see a serious push for renewable energy, if you want to see actual universal health care, then vote for Cynthia McKinney. Vote your hopes, not your fears. And if you can't get over those fears, then consider that a) Obama is going to throttle McCain anyway, and b) for almost all of you reading this, in your state, the race isn't even close, and we're still saddled with the Electoral College, so you have nothing to worry about.
Reminder #4: Whatever happens Tuesday, Tuesday is not the end-all be-all; it's only the beginning. The next election cycle here in Illinois has already begun, with municipal primaries in February and many thousands of people elected in April. Don't tune out after Tuesday. Run for office yourself (if you live out of Chicago; there's nothing to run for here because the city is a virtual dictatorship.) I'm serious about that. If you live in downstate Illinois and want to run for library board, I'll help walk you through the steps. Chances are, if you're reading this, you'd do a better job than whoever the incumbents are for whatever office you're thinking about. If you want to really make a difference, then don't vote for someone else, run for office yourself, you know?
Reminder #5: Keep it real. You've always got to keep it real.