Vote for a third-party option? Why not?

Photo: Anthony Moretti 18July2016

On Nov. 3, Americans might know whether Donald Trump will be returned to the White House for another term or if Joe Biden will become the next president of the United States.

Of course, the answer will be determined once we know which man wins the requisite number of states in order to earn at least 270 Electoral College votes.

In this election year, the “don’t waste your vote” message is echoing across the land. That message implores us to not select a third-party candidate; if enough of us go for a third-party option, the “argument” goes, then the major party candidate we don’t like might win that state and therefore inch closer to that magic 270 number.

Such folly.

No vote is wasted, unless it is not cast.

A vote for a Libertarian Party candidate is not a waste. Likewise, a vote for a Green Party candidate is not a waste. There very well might be other candidates listed on the ballot in your state; and even if there aren’t, you have the write-in option.

Opting for someone who doesn’t have the “R” or “D” letter near his or her name is your right, and you should use it if that is your preference.

Telling people to not vote for a third-party candidate affirms that America’s two major parties must remain in that position and perhaps into perpetuity. Baloney.

Telling people to not vote for a third-party candidate affirms that no other political ideology ought to ascend into the “mainstream.” Baloney.

Telling people to not vote for a third-party candidate affirms that no matter how good or bad the major party candidate is, he or she is the only person worthy of our vote. Baloney.

America’s two major parties are entrenched in power, and far too often they represent the elites, especially the monied elites. It is this class (sarcastically called the 1%) that too often sees benefits the rest of us do not. In addition, the refusal by Democrats and Republicans to see the other side as human or decent has turned our political discourse into nastiness. (And, yes, the president is the undisputed champion of this filth.) While I’m not suggesting the Libertarians or the Greens or some other party would automatically govern differently if they had sufficient numbers in Congress (not to mention the president being one of them), I am saying that telling Americans to not vote for such candidates suggests they ought never have that chance.

Yes, vote before or on Nov. 3. But do not presume you must select a Democrat or a Republican in order to believe you’ve truly voted.

One thought on “Vote for a third-party option? Why not?

  1. You’ve analyzed this entirely in a vacuum. You put too much emphasis on the candidate and the date of the election and ignore the ill effects of the outcome of the election. You prefer to stand on the idea that “it’s the principle of the thing” but fail to see that the principle you’re advocating for will disenfranchise tens of thousands of Americans and strip away the rights and freedoms of millions more.

    People can absolutely vote 3rd party, but they should know that doing so will mean that you have chosen the side of neutrality in the battle of R vs. D, and therefore side with the oppressor.

    Also, they are not sarcastically called the 1%; they are colloquially called the 1%. “Nationwide, it takes an annual income of $538,926 to be among the top 1%.” – USA Today article from 7/1/2020

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