|Because this worked so well in 2000.|
And well you might ask! But since the question is on the table, let me go ahead and answer it: those who refuse to vote for the lesser of two evils get the greater. Not only that, they tend inflict it on the rest of us.
Let me tell you a little story. This little story happened in the sleepy little state of Florida, way back in 2000. It was Presidential election season, and lots of progressives--just like you!--weren't happy with their choices. They didn't like how Al Gore wasn't left-wing enough, or charismatic enough, or cool enough. "There's no difference between him and George Bush!" they cried.
And so when they went to the polls on election day, all these little Progressives--a hundred thousand of them!--didn't want to vote for Gore! And they certainly didn't want to vote for Bush! So they voted for Ralph Nader--all hundred thousand of them!
And then Bush won the election by 500 votes, and went on to become the single worst President in living memory, doubling the debt, trashing and deregulating the economy, raping civil liberties, instituting torture, and invading two countries--in the latter of which extremely conservative estimates put the death toll at 110,000.
Like so many stories, this one has a moral, and you'd think that my fellow progressives would have learned it, but in case any haven't, let me spell it out for you: a vote against Barack Obama is a vote for George Bush III and the Douchebag Dudebro. My family is going to get health insurance through Obamacare; Romney's party has already voted against it multiple times. If my family loses healthcare because you folks are sore about not getting the public option, I'm going to be upset. You don't like Obama's militant stance on Iran? If he loses office because of your pique, then we're having Gulf War III. You think Obama hasn't done enough to rein in the banks and Wall Street? By all means, turn up your nose at him--I'm sure Uncle Moneybags will do a much better job. Obama is not sufficiently pro-women? Disdain to help him defeat the party of Akin.
Would I like a real, hardcore progressive in office? You bet I would. It would be a frabjuous day indeed if the two parties were the Democrats and the Progressives. But in the real world, real, hardcore progressives can't even win the Democratic primary, let alone the general. And in the real world, the two parties are the Democrats and the Republicans. Either Mitt Romney or Barack Obama will be our President for the next four years. You don't like it? Reality has a marvelous way of not giving a shit.
So get your ass to the voting booth and vote for the lesser of those two evils, because denying that reality will doom us to the greater.