Why Third-Party Votes Are More Important Than We’ve Realized

Media pundits, politicians, and everyday Party People (Democratic and Republican voters), tell us every four years that voting for a third-party candidate is a waste of our votes. I wrote-in Ron Paul in 2012, and this was apparently a waste of my vote, because I apparently helped Obama win his re-election by not voting for Mitt Romney.

If you’re supporting Bernie Sanders instead of Hillary Clinton, you’re wasting your time and only helping Donald Trump by not supporting Clinton, the only ‘real’ candidate who can stop Trump. Apparently.

The media and the political class (and the Party People who eat-up everything they say) tell us that what matters most is stopping the Greater Of Two Evils. You don’t want Trump to be president, do you? So you have to support Hillary Clinton, even if you don’t agree with everything she says and does.

We are hard-pressed to find a media-outlet that does not swing left or right. You can make the argument that CNN and NPR don’t have political leanings, but it doesn’t matter much – media, and the way many people think about politics, are led by Fox News, MSNBC, The Washington Post, The New York Times.

Our political discourse is dominated by the division of a polar-opposition: you are either right or left. If you are right, anything left is antithetical to your beliefs, morals, ideals; towards which ever side you identify with, the other side is antithetical to who you are as a person.

If you do not agree with Trump, you are going to vote for him, because Hillary (or Sanders) represents everything you disagree with. In fact, if you’re a Republican, you’re emotionally resentful of Hillary and Sanders. You have to be, because they represent the negation of everything you are as a person. The same stands if you’re a Democrat, being emotionally resentful of Trump and Cruz – these people are against everything you define yourself by.

If you see yourself as a Democrat, you are always going to vote for Democrats, because the only other option is the antithesis of you as a person. You will always vote for Democrats. Likewise for Republicans. Regardless of who the nominee is, you will support your party’s nominee to prevent the election of a candidate who represents the negation of who you are as a human being.

It doesn’t matter what the Republican Party has done in the past, or what the party says they’ll do in the future; it does not matter who the Republican Party nominates, or what policies they support, you will vote for Republicans.

What reason, then, does the Republican Party or the Democratic Party have to give a shit about your opinions? For what reason should your chosen party support the policies you favor? You have one choice to make: vote your party, or its polar-opposition.

You will never vote for your polar-opposition, no matter what. Your chosen party has your vote locked in. They do not have to care what you think, what policies you support, as long as they pay you lip service and position the ‘other’, the polar-opposite, as an evil you must emotionally resent.

If you vote for a Republican or a Democrat, your vote is worthless, because your vote was cast years ago when you realized it was You And Yours or Them And Theirs; your vote is worthless, because the party you vote for has no reason to support the policies you support (except, of course, while campaigning) – witness Obama pushing the TPP, opening drilling in Alaska, expanding the NDAA, letting the Pentagon give war-machines to police; witness Bush passing No Child Left Behind, Medicare Part D, letting the NSA spy on everyone, creating the Department of Homeland Security; Obama deporting ‘illegal’ families, Bush letting them in.

This will not change, because your chosen party has no reason to change.

This is why voting for third-party candidates matters more than voting for Republicans and Democrats – by voting for third-party candidates, we force the Republican and Democratic Parties to abide by our ideals, morals, and opinions, to win back our votes.

If you emotionally resent Hillary Clinton, but don’t like Trump (or Cruz), don’t give your vote away – vote for the Libertarian Party, or the Constitution Party.

If you emotionally resent Donald Trump, but don’t like Clinton (or Sanders), don’t resign your vote – vote for the Green Party, or the Socialist Party.

We can continue to vote for people we dislike, just to stop people we hate, and continue to watch our chosen Parties defy their promises and lip-service, or we can weather four years of someone we hate to force these two major political parties to pay attention to our opinions, to support the policies we desire.

Third-Party votes count more than any other vote. And the more people vote for third-parties, the more important these votes will become, the more the Republican and Democratic Parties will have to pass policies we actually approve of.

Want to stop the Republicans from taking over the country? Vote for Socialists. Want to stop the Democratic Party from taking over the country? Vote for Libertarians. The people you hate might win elections for a few years, but the politicians who pay lip-service to your opinions will actually have to start following your opinions, and their respective political party will be stronger for it.

In all, there are 37 third-party political platforms. Not all of these participate in national elections, and not all of these are on all ballots in multiple states. Here’s an excellent list at Ballotpedia.org outlining which third-party platforms are in what states.

Take back American Democracy; vote for Third-Party candidates.

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Bullshit American Exceptionalism

America is exceptional, we’re told. We’re the best at everything. We’re supposed to lead the world at everything. The point of America is that we’re supposed to have the best economy, the best technology, the best schools, the best military, the best stock market, the best standard of living.

That’s what America’s about, that’s what the role of government is. Obviously, because those are the things politicians and the media refer to as American Exceptionalism.

America isn’t supposed to be exceptional because of Democracy and Liberty. Forget about those things, will you? The whole world has those. America is only exceptional if we have the best economy and the best military. Health insurance, that’s what we’re really supposed to be great at. We lead the world, yeah of course we do, because we police the world. Availability of student loans, that’s what makes us exceptional. How many pairs of shoes did you buy last year? 5? Yeah, because you’re an American, you’re exceptional, man.

We used to be piss-and-vinegar and defiant, anti-authority cowboys and hippies and beats and congregation members, democratic ideals and a love of serving community. We used to pride ourselves on Liberty.

We all want our children to be educated, we all want medical care, economic stability; roads and electricity and neighbors that aren’t shivering starved. These aren’t mutually-exclusive to Democracy and Liberty – Democracy and Liberty allow us to create these. But by placing these needs above Democracy and Liberty, by changing the meaning of American Exceptionalism, Democracy and Liberty have been degraded and our schools suck, we can’t provide medical care, our roads are crumbling, and we’re always at war.

What happened? When did American Exceptionalism mean valuing goals other than Democracy and Liberty? those two ideals that had made us exceptional in the world?

We’ve allowed politicians and the media to redefine American Exceptionalism. I doubt this was an accident.

“You should be worried about terrorists and college tuition because this is how we make America Exceptional again.”

America isn’t about Liberty and Democracy, it’s about policing the world and making sure everyone makes monthly payments to insurance corporations.