This election has been one of the most polarizing in recent history. Rife with insults, name-calling, and scandal trading, it has gone much deeper, creating schisms within the Republican and Democratic parties themselves. On the Left, there are great swaths of former Bernie Sanders supporters, and of Democrats in general, who cannot conscience a vote for Hillary Clinton, one of the most corrupt politicians in history. On the Right, many disaffected Conservatives have stuck to their guns in vowing not to vote for Donald Trump, believing him to be, at best, a newcomer to conservative values who is a bit wishy-washy or, at worst, a DNC plant, determined to hand the election to Clinton.I’ve written about this before: here, here, and here.
As a result of all this tumult, America has a large number of voters, Democratic, Republican, and unaffiliated, who cannot, in good conscience, support either of the major party candidates. The question now becomes, what can they do? How can these people make a difference? Is it enough to simply abstain from voting and hope that their absence will create a severe enough drop in voter turnout that the country will sit up and take notice? I doubt it. While I refuse to criticize anyone for not voting (that is their right, and it’s their vote to do with as they choose), or for voting for a small party candidate like Darrell Castle, Jill Stein, Evan McMullin, or Tom Hoefling, I believe that there is a deeper problem here, and that there is a strategy that could actually make a long-term difference.
THE ROOT ISSUE
The deeper problem in American politics is the two-party system itself. The political spectrum is dominated by the RNC and the DNC in such a way that the American people are led to believe that political options are black-or-white in a world of grey. From a position outside these two parties, it is clear that they are two sides of the same authoritarian coin, intent on forcing their agendas on the nation. Sure, the particulars may vary, but the politics of coercion and corruption are very similar. Here is a very good explanation of this by former congressman and presidential candidate Ron Paul.
“The two-party system needs to come to an end if
the American people are to really have a voice.”
I have come to believe, as do many others, that the two-party system needs to come to an end if the American people are to really have a voice. Think about it this way: in
business, we learn that it is beneficial to have several perspectives at the table when making decisions. This is one of the reasons that diversity is such a great predictor of organizational success. In philosophical discussions, we realize that there are often more than two ways of looking at a question, and that varied, nuanced perspectives can bring out layers of an issue that would be missed by only investigating two opposing views. The list goes on and on. In order to have a government that truly represents the people, that governs by the consent of, and at the pleasure of, the governed, and that is best poised to make good decisions and investigate issues thoroughly, the two-party monopoly that gave us Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump needs to end.
As the title of this article gives away, I believe the best strategy for those dissatisfied with the situation we are in is to vote for Gary Johnson. Before some of you stop reading, let me be clear.
- Everyone has a right to vote or not vote according to the dictates of their conscience.
- I am a (recently) registered Libertarian due in part to my belief in small government, personal responsibility, and voluntaryism.
- I do not think that Johnson is a perfect representation of my values or those of Libertarianism.
- The values I hold about most fiscal and social issues are what most would call very conservative.
When I talk to people about voting Johnson, I generally get 2 objections. I’ll do my best to address those here.
First, people say that they don’t agree with Johnson (because he is pro-choice, or because of his comments on religious liberty issues, or some other reason). I can completely understand. I disagree with Johnson on many of these same issues. That being said, he is still a far cry better than Trump or Clinton, whose extremisms are frightening. No, I am not promoting the “lesser of three evils” fallacy. I’m simply saying that Johnson is more temperate on many of the issues that have alienated typically-GOP voters from Trump and typically-Democratic voters from Clinton.
Second, people object that they believe he can’t win. While this is a debatable question, and I’ve heard good arguments on both sides, that is not really the issue here.
The strategy I am proposing is the coming together of voters of various political stripes in order to make a bold statement to America – the two-party system needs to end. Though we may disagree on many of the issues, and on our political philosophies, there is strength in numbers and, if we leverage that, we can make a real difference. We have the opportunity to make this the last election cycle dominated by two power-hungry, often corrupt political parties, and to change the discussion for the good of ourselves, our children, and our country.
This is why I am encouraging all Americans, regardless of political affiliation, who are dissatisfied with Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, to vote Gary Johnson this November.
God bless America!