What proud member of a democracy gives a damn about "sending a message"?
As a citizen of a democracy, it is my duty to exercise my right to vote, since a right left unused is a right soon rescinded. Sure, I'm unhappy with the system. Sure, my vote alone will not change it. But it makes no difference if the candidate I vote for probably won't win. Anybody who frets about this is a scared sheep afraid of not going along with the crowd, and a source of disgust to me.
God forbid you defend your beliefs with your vote. Your vote - one person's vote - changes nothing. It means nothing. 2,000,000 votes DO mean something. When the people come together and put aside their differences to make a change, it ALWAYS happens, either peacefully or by force. (Fortunately, the US usually takes the former route.)
You have a duty to preserve your natural right to choose your own destiny and to play your role in the society you've chosen to live in. Cowards aren't welcome in a democracy.
Disclaimer: Don't misconstrue this as a criticism of Republican or Democrat party-liners. If you honestly believe that Gore or Bush is the best person to lead your country, you are obligated to vote for him, just the same as I am obligated to vote for mine.
Second disclaimer: Democracy is not defined here as "American government"; it refers to the system of government where the people represent themselves, or elect representatives, to present their interests before a body charged with the administration and enforcement of laws designed to promote the general welfare.