Friday, June 24, 2016

Voting Third Party Matters

The biggest objection I come across to voting for a Third Party is the “wasted vote” argument — the idea that if you vote for someone who will not win, then the vote does not count.

Voting is not Football, the objective is not to back the winning team.

Join any third party and simply suggest that another person consider voting for a third party candidate and you will hear, ad nauseum, “I don’t want to waste my vote.”

A Third Party Vote is NOT a "Wasted Vote"

An unprincipled vote is the only wasted vote.

Why do we vote? It’s a chance to tell the country — and perhaps even the world — about your vision of government and society.

But how do most of us vote? Do those who believe Gary Johnson or Bernie Sanders is the best candidate, most in tune with our own feelings, actually vote for them? No. The majority do not. Instead, most of us vote the “lesser of two evils” — a defensive vote, rather than an offensive one.

The lesser of two evils is still evil.

So what happens after you cast the defensive vote? Well, then you have sold out your personal beliefs. You have become a political prostitute. You aren’t standing up for what you believe in by voting “the lesser of two evils.”

I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of being a political hooker. If you think the Republican or the Democrat really does best mirror your beliefs, by all means, vote for that candidate. But if you don’t, and you still vote for them, you’re helping to preserve the status quo you probably despise.

Remember, You Never Decide the Winner

On statewide races (larger than city council races), there is a single important point to remember: You as an individual will never cast the deciding ballot! Therefore, there is no reason to vote for the lesser evil.

I hear the wasted vote argument most in precisely the races where it applies least. For instance, the Presidency of the United States.

A Presidential race will never be decided by one vote. And if by some mathematical chance it got that close, it would be decided politically by Congress. (I know, a dirty word in the presidential races these days.)

So What’s the Point of Voting?

We as individuals don’t vote to select the winner.

As a practical matter, we vote to tell everyone else which choice best represents the direction which we want the country to go. When you vote, you gain a certain power that a non-voter doesn’t have; the power to change America.

Hence voting lesser evil sends the wrong message; it’s sending a message of compromise. In effect, a defensive vote says “I will settle for a less evil America, not the best America possible.”

I urge you not to settle.

Remember, if you do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten. In other words, if you want things to change, then create change.

The history of third parties in America is that they serve as the vanguard for new ideas. It is these ideas that make the world go round. If a Third Party begins to draw votes, one or both of the two big parties steal their ideas.

Socialists Can Teach Us Something

The most successful third party in the 20th Century was the Socialist Party. While never winning any significant elections, their small but growing vote totals were a threat to the Democrats. Thus the Democrats, and then later the Republicans, adopted piecemeal every major tenet of the 1916 Socialist Party platform.

Libertarians are the opposite of the Socialists, but they find their success instructive. The radical ideas about liberty that began in 1971 are now being seriously debated or, in some cases, implemented by the other parties. An increasing number of Libertarian votes is indeed noted by the politicians as well as the media.

So rather than waste your vote on Democrats or Republicans, cast a meaningful ballot that clearly says what you believe.

Libertarians Are the Future

Despite the fact that the Libertarian Party continues to run more candidates in better-funded campaigns each election cycle, it is common to hear: “I really like Libertarian candidates, but I don't want to waste my vote.”

After watching both Democrats and Republicans make promises that frequently become lies, two conclusions should become evident: (1) The lesser of two evils is still evil, and (2) the only way to waste your vote is not to use it for a candidate that sends the message you want to send to America. In all honesty, It doesn't matter which evil you vote for if evil still wins.

In the year 2000, the Libertarian Party ran over 1,500 candidates for public office. 247 of those candidates were running for seats in the US House of Representatives. If each Libertarian US House candidate won, Libertarians could technically have taken control of the house with a majority.

Today, in 2016, there are 145 Libertarians holding elected offices nationwide: 41 partisan offices, and 104 nonpartisan offices. Gary Johnson is currently polling 9-11% depending on which poll you're following. At 15% he has to be allowed into the debates.

If you have principles, then vote for your local Libertarian candidate.

Vote JohnsonWeld in 2016's presidential race. You won't regret it. Even if they don't win, you'll be helping make history. You will be helping open the door for future third party candidates. You will be helping make America a better place to live.

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