Evan Falchuk cares about the same issues I care about. He talks sense about them. I agree with nearly all of his positions. He confronts hard issues head-on rather than avoiding them. He’s smart and well-spoken. He’s running for governor of Massachusetts. He’s going to lose; he knows he’s going to lose; I’m happily voting for him anyway; and my vote will be better spent on him than on either of the mainstream candidates.
I disagree with Charlie Baker on nearly every issue. There’s no question that Baker as governor would support policies with which I disagree. However, our Legislature is overwhelmingly Democratic and has in the past served as an effective check on a conservative governor. Pragmatically, Baker as governor would do some damage, but not a lot.
On the flip side, I don’t like Martha Coakley’s positions on many issues, or for that matter her overall philosophy of government. I’m hardly along in that sentiment among left-leaning voters; when The Boston Globe endorses the Republican candidate for governor, you know the Democrat is in trouble! Or, as my friend Seth Gordon recently put it, “There’s no middle ground with Martha Coakley. Either you hate her, or you can just barely tolerate her.”
So, if I don’t like Baker or Coakley, what am I to do?
The fact of the matter is that there is a candidate and party in this election that is advocating for policies and positions with which I agree, in a rational, intelligent style which engages with the populace rather than trying to pull one over on it. I’m speaking of Evan Falchuk and his United Independent Party.
“But there’s no way Falchuk will win the election! He’s polling in the single digits!” Yes, that’s true. I know that, and Falchuk knows that, and that’s not the point.
There are two main reasons why a vote for Falchuk is a vote for a better tomorrow for Massachusetts:
- Independent candidates who garner support change the political narrative. They force the mainstream candidates to confront issues they would rather ignore, and to differentiate themselves from each other when they would rather not. An independent candidate or independent party that attracts support forces the other candidates’ to move their positions toward those of the independent. If you agree with the UIP’s positions, you can only view this as a good thing.
- As my friend Dan Dunn recently put it, “The system is deeply stacked against independents and third parties. The only thing that Ds and Rs agree on is that the door should be closed to any interlopers. The signature laws, the ballot access laws, the automatic-access for the two major parties, etc. are all absolutely terrible. (I’m not even getting into things like straight-ticket voting which is thankfully not an option in Mass)…. [Falchuk] is fighting a real problem. I hope he blows it all up.”
Our “two-party system” in Massachusetts can hardly be called that. Our Legislature is overwhelmingly Democratic and guaranteed to stay that way for the foreseeable future. Our Democratic and Republican candidates for statewide office struggle mightily to differentiate themselves, and though there are real differences, there are also many areas in which they just aren’t different enough.
A huge percentage of voters in Massachusetts are unenrolled. We are a pretty independent-minded voting populace. And yet, when it comes time to vote, the left-leaning independents who don’t like the Democratic candidate invariably cry, “Boo hoo! It’s not fair! I have to vote for the Democratic candidate I don’t like because the Republican would be worse!” If just a small percentage of those unenrolled voters were to buck up and vote for a real independent, it would make a huge difference. The political landscape in Massachusetts would change overnight. In losing the battle, Falchuk and the UIP will be well on the way to winning the war. And that is why I am voting for Evan Falchuk and the UIP.