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.
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.