It's difficult being a progressive in America. If you're a conservative or moderate Republican, there are an unlimited number of candidates ready and willing to do your bidding. If you're a conservative or moderate Democrat, there's also a vast field of candidates pushing through your agenda. However, if you happen to be a progressive, you'll likely find that both sides hate your guts. If you're lucky, you might squeak out a few wins here and there. You may even make your challenger take on some of your positions. But for the most part, you will spend most of your time being an outsider. Why? Because Republicans and even many Democrats are against diplomacy and social programs designed to help the poor and the working class. They've become cheerleaders for the rich and the corporations. Dems used to refer to conservative voters as "useful idiots" willing to vote against there own interests. But lately, I noticed the same trend among Democrats. Many Dems don't just vote for corporatists and war mongers out of pragmatism because they believe the Republicans are worse. Some of them also support candidates who don't have their best interest at heart, such as socially conservative Dems who favor the corporations and the military industrial complex. Even progressive primary winners have found themselves supporting the establishment. Andrew Gillum won the Democratic primary for governor of Florida and ran on Medicare for All. Now that he's become buddies with big pharma bro Cory Booker, his stance has changed to supporting affordable healthcare. Those of us in the progressive community know that "affordable healthcare" is establishment speak for supporting the health insurance industry. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who defeated Congressman Joe Crowley, is another Democrat who ran on a bold progressive platform. Today, she's encouraging people to support all Democrats, including corrupt Andrew Cuomo of New York. The funny thing about Democrats and Republicans is that they both correctly claim the other side is never held accountable for their actions. Both engage in their own methods of voter suppression, both support needless and devastating wars, both enrich themselves through deals with foreign oligarchs, and both favor the wealthy over everybody else. Most progressives have chosen to reform the Democratic Party from within, but it's become clear just how impossible that is. Even the most well meaning candidates usually end up falling in line behind the establishment out of fear of being ostracized. When people stand up for their beliefs, including voters who vote third party, they're shamed for it. Personally, I find the belief that a Democrat is always the better option self-destructive. I fail to see how a Democrat who guts social programs, deregulates the banks, and engages in needless war is a better option than a Republican who does the same thing. For me, the solution is voting my conscience. If that means voting third party, so be it. That's obviously an unpopular opinion in many places, including this forum. Then again, so few people post here that the viewpoints are quite limited. I feel like much of the fight has been taken out of me. I've seen too many progressives end up capitulating to the Democratic machine, and I'm told that I either approve of or am unconcerned with Trump and the GOP running things. In reality, I think the entire political system has become so corrupted that the outcome is going to be shitty whether Democrats or Republicans are in control of government. The level of corruption, corporate money, and neocon values is just too ingrained in the system. I support the growth of third parties as a counter measure, but to say they have an uphill battle in terms of viability is an understatement. I now fully understand the cynicism comedians like Bill Hicks and George Carlin had regarding politics. Like Carlin, I feel like sitting back and watching it all burn down. I'm tired of being talked down to by corporate war monger puppets, and I'm tired of watching progressives either lose or sell out to the establishment. I think my give a damn's officially busted, and I'm ready to throw in the towel. I may still vote here and there if I feel candidate is genuinely principled and well intentioned. However, I'm no longer going to be as invested as I have been in our political nightmare. I believe Carlin had that detachment to keep from losing his mind. Maybe it has something to do with getting older too. That's when you see how futile it is.