RIT’s International Socialist Organization defends voting your conscience

They’re voting Jill Stein

With a table full of literature ranging from topics of Black Lives Matter to the Communist Manifesto, two RIT students and representative of the International Socialist Organization (ISO) sat in a quiet SAU ready to drop some knowledge on anyone who was willing to listen.

When hearing the word Socialism, one might immediately think of dear ol’ Bernie Sanders or maybe a perfect system. Yet, when explaining ISO, the major idea defended was the ability for resources to be provided for all, but the unwillingness to do so because of economic greed. For example, there’s a likelihood to give free housing to the homeless, but that wouldn’t be in the best interest for our economic scavengers looking to make a buck on everything.

In addition to the range of books offered on their table, the ISO was also selling the copies of their newspaper Socialist Worker for a mere $1.00.

From the looks of the literature, it seemed the organization was not siding with either of the major candidates vying for our vote today. Out of curiosity, I asked what the political stance was of the two students seated at the table. Almost in unison, the reply was Jill Stein.

But what about third party voting?

The ISO is founded on principles that support the decisions of an oppressed people. With the current election climate as it is, a major argument would be that of third party voting. Major political contender, Bernie Sanders even urged for those not to vote their conscious. The students at the table did not agree.

As the election stands, they argue that those who vote third party should not be held accountable by the poor campaign efforts of the Democratic and Republican parties. If they were unable to sway enough votes their way, it is the reality of the situation. It should not be the fault of those who do not vote.

But would you rather have someone as awful as Trump leading our country?

The very obvious answer to that is no. But they would not be comfortable with Hillary leading the country either. One student used Hillary’s messy history as the justification for this. He just could not wrap his head around the idea of voting for someone who supported unjust legislation in the past. He added that even if Hillary were¬†elected, there would¬†still be a ton of work to do. The work isn’t going to come from the president, but from the people.

Great Man theory

In every major change that has occurred in history, there was a “great man” at the forefront. When thinking of the Civil Rights movement, the great man of this time would undeniably be Martin Luther King, Jr. ISO explained that while King did have a monumental impact on the movement, the focus on him solely neglects the work of all the other people involved in the movement. In terms of the election, we are hailing Hillary as the “great man” but neglecting that change will come from bottom up. Very simply, the people will make the change, not her.

Join RIT’s International Socialist Organization at their next meeting held on Monday, November 21st at 12pm on the Infinity Quad where they will march in solidarity with Standing Rock.

Rochester Institute of Technology