I’m wasting my vote! Actually, this may be one of the few years in which that isn’t true. Not that voting for who you really believe in is ever a waste (despite what some may try to tell you), but that this year, it may actually help bring a change. I was going to vote for Bernie Sanders as a write in, but then I learned about the Libertarian Party and “the five percent threshold.” I highly recommend looking it up and learning about it yourself, but the essential information is this: if any party gains a mere five percent of the popular vote, then next season they are given all the political privileges of a major party, including media coverage and the right to debate. That’s a big deal, except that nobody’s been able to get more than four percent since 1996 (and that didn’t really take off much beyond that). But this year, Gary Johnson is staring double digits in the face – %15 in the Midwest – and may earn a spot for the Libertarian Party next season, thereby opening the door for breaking the two party system. More and more people are refusing to buy the “lesser of two evils” lie and realizing that they can be heard by voting third party. This is particularly eye opening when you realize that most people are independent voters (31% D, 29% R, 38% I,). So why is it that people keep telling you that “a vote for Third Party Guy is a vote for opposing candidate x!”? Or I suppose a better question may be, “Why should I believe them?” Personally, I refuse to be scared into voting for one person simply for the sake of voting against the other.
Every election also rakes in quite a few “protest votes,” with Mickey Mouse being a rather popular candidate. Now here’s an opportunity to cast a protest vote that will possibly change things, and will certainly be heard. I say let’s break the system together! (Voting Jill Stein may also be a good option for that. Don’t dig Gary Johnson? Then I recommend checking Jill Stein out. Truly desire to vote major party? That’s cool too. Because I want everyone to vote for whomever they truly believe to be right!)
But why the Libertarian Party? Aren’t Gary Johnson and Bernie Sanders about as opposite as they come?! Not really. For one thing, most of Bernie Sanders’ policies were significantly more middle than the media made them out to be. For an example of that, I recommend checking out his ideas on gun control (hint: he was not planning on taking anyone’s guns from them. At all.). But the biggest link between them for me is how they approach the American War Machine. I’m tired of war. I believed Mr. Sanders to have been the only major candidate who would have potentially avoided war and(/or at least) saved face in front of the other countries. The libertarians’ attitude of keeping our noses out of everyone’s business is therefore rather appealing to me. And since I no longer have Mr. Sanders’ diplomacy to vote for, I prefer the Libertarian hands off approach in general. They take it a bit farther than I prefer, but if we’re going to go too far in any direction, then I think I prefer vigilante justice over a police state. Don’t quote me on that; it’s a shaky belief.
But what about the electoral college? They’re just going to vote in whomever they want anyway. That’s true. But I say we should at least give them something to think about! Let them know that we’re not OK with status quo.
But what about the fact that ALL presidents are owned by the same people and are just puppets, thereby negating any point in voting at all? Well, that may very well be true. All I have to combat that is my shared sentiment of Gwen DiMarco of Galaxy Quest, “I have ONE job on this ship, and it’s STUPID, but I’m gonna do it!”