Strategic voting for people with little patience to think it through.

The “anybody but Bush” crowd is encouraging the Left to vote for Kerry to get Bush out of office. Some people I’ve talked to don’t seem to understand that this advice only really applies to voters in contested states.

In Illinois, for instance, the state’s electoral votes will be decided by Chicago and Springfield areas because that’s where the largest populations are in the state, and because Cook county (where Chicago is) is remarkably organized in support of the Democratic Party. Furthermore, Illinois does not apportion its electoral votes. If we assume that all 21 of Illinois’ electoral votes will go for Kerry, then voters in most Illinois counties are free to vote for whomever they want.

This means that voters in most Illinois counties can cast a true anti-war vote, not settling for Kerry (who voted for the USA PATRIOT act and the resolution to give the President war-making power, who has committed to adding 40,000 troops in order to continue the US occupation of Iraq).

But some voters I’ve talked to in Champaign county haven’t figured things this far. They buy into the logic of “vote Kerry to get Bush out” and they dwell on the implications no further; they plan to cast a vote for Kerry — essentially throwing their vote away to support policies they either don’t really understand or don’t agree with.

The ABB logic has plenty of problems for voters in contested states, but it holds no water at all in gerrymandered so-called “safe” states. Even if you buy the idea of replacing one pro-corporate war hawk with another, think about your vote and have the courage to vote for the government you want instead of voting against the government you fear.