68% of Americans Want a Third Choice

Tim Bean



Did you know that nearly two-thirds of Americans have said that they would vote for a third party candidate?  Did you know that nearly half of Americans have said that a third party is needed?  Think of those numbers for a minute…

Okay, times up.

Knowing these kinds of numbers you would think that the media would be chomping at the bit to do a little digging and targeting (1) what the apparent lack of satisfaction is with the two stalwart and entrenched political parties, that are the Republican and Democrat Parties; and (2) researching and interviewing third party candidates to satiate the public’s desire for something different.  Sadly the media only dabbles in the pond of the growing number of Americans who are disillusioned with both of the big parties.

Read those percentages again, that is a large swathe of the American public that is essentially being ignored, and as Election Day slides closer (less than a month away) nearly half of American voters are going to enter their respective voting booths and due to a lack of any real or substantive coverage of any candidate that isn’t painted red, or blue, many are going to hold their noses and vote for the candidate that they dislike the least.  That will definitely make many of those voters feel a little dirty, and it should make most Americans feel more than a little sad that our country is going to be governed by someone (regardless of where they land on the color wheel) that the nation essentially doesn’t even like – and when you don’t like someone you tend to not trust them.

Those disenfranchised voters who have gone out on their own to try and find a third party candidate that is more closely aligned with their beliefs are then treated to a barrage of negative feedback by supporters of one big party or the other on how voting for that third party candidate equates to a vote for the other big party candidate.  Other famous arguments against voting third party are, “They can’t win, so you’re wasting your vote,” and “American politics is always a two party system.” Quite honestly those are the stupidest and most illogical reasons in the world, and are fallacious propaganda espoused by the big parties to keep their status quo rolling.

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If every one of those two-thirds of American voters actually voted for a third party candidate who is on enough state ballots to win, then guess what?  That third party candidate would probably win the general election, that’s what, and the big party candidate that they were supposed to use their vote to get out of office, well; they would be out of office too.  If every one of those disillusioned and disenfranchised two-thirds voters actually voted third party and that candidate wins, then guess what?  Their votes weren’t wasted; that’s what.  If all of the irritated two-thirds actually voted third party, and that candidate wins, then guess what?  It would bring about the emergence of a new political paradigm, where at least one, maybe both, of the current entrenched big tent parties would have to restructure and re-envision themselves and their platforms to appeal to more voters, or face political extinction, which would leave the “beloved” two party system in place.

My point here is to show that however improbable it is that a third party candidate can win the Presidency, what with the lack of media coverage, and external pressures to get the disillusioned and disenfranchised to not “waste” their vote, it is not impossible for a third party candidate to actually win.  There are the numbers of voters out there to make it happen, all it requires is that those people have enough conviction in their dissatisfaction with the Red and the Blue parties to actually vote third party.

I have put my support behind former two term governor of New Mexico, and Libertarian Party candidate, Gary Johnson, simply because that party and he most closely aligns to my political ideology; which is socially tolerant, fiscally responsible, and the actual want to reduce the size and scope of the federal government.  So what does all of that mean?  Well, maybe the next series of statements will answer that for you.

  • If you believe the government is trying to do too many things that should be left to individuals and businesses, then you are in agreement with 63% of Americans, and you are libertarian.
  • If you believe that the government should not place favor over any particular set of values at the expense of another’s, then you are in agreement with 55% of Americans, and you are a libertarian.
  • If you believe that marriages/civil unions of Gay and Lesbian couples should be recognized as legally valid, granting the more than 1,000 rights to them as marriages between a man and a woman, then you are in agreement with 51% of Americans, and you are a libertarian.
  • If you believe that Congress should enact a law to conduct an annual audit of the Federal Reserve, then you are in agreement with 70% of Americans, and you are a libertarian.
  • If you think that it is NOT necessary for American citizens to give up some of their constitutionally granted freedoms in order to effectively fight the war on terror, then you are in agreement with 54% of Americans, and you are a libertarian.
  • If you think that marijuana should be decriminalized, or legalized, then you are in agreement with 41% of Americans, and you are a libertarian.
  • If you think that the U.S. should reduce its military commitments abroad, then you are in agreement with 46% of Americans, and you are a libertarian.
  • If you believe that it is more important to protect the constitutional right of gun ownership, than it is to ban guns, then you are in agreement with 49% of Americans, and you are a libertarian.

As you can see the ideals of libertarianism are wide and varied; and given the percentages it is hard to call those ideals radical, as some would propose.  To put it simply a libertarian doesn’t wish to force others to believe as them, rather they accept the beliefs of others and only ask that others beliefs aren’t forced upon them.  As a political party, the Libertarian Party is the only party that would cede power from the government and back to you, the individual; and unless you have zero faith in yourself to act in a respectable and personally responsible way then it is really hard not to identify with much, if not all, of the Libertarian Party’s platform.  If however you feel that you cannot be trusted, and you need a government nanny to keep you in line, well then any of the other political parties are more than happy to help keep tabs on you and keep you in line – as they see what’s fit for you.

Liberty means responsibility.  That is why most men dread it. (George Bernard Shaw)

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