A final word about third parties in 2016

I operate under no illusions – this election will be won either by the Republican or Democrat candidate.  There is slim chance that a third party will disturb the overall result to throw it into the house of representatives.   Even if such a thing did happen, we can expect the house of representatives to give us the same dismal result that the people and the electoral college will give us.

I would be endlessly happy with a third party triumph, or even a significant rocking of the boat.  It’s not possible; but for me, from the start of the general election, it’s been less about the candidates and more about ballot access.  But what if this was not a consideration?

I have thought about how I might vote if Oklahoma was a state of consequence in the final result in the election.  If it were a swing state, where my vote would have some slight effect on the final outcome, would I give in and vote for a “lesser of two evils?”

I wouldn’t, because simply, that isn’t how this republic is supposed to operate.

It is up to us to find the best man for the job.  We do not take this as seriously as we ought to.  Voting for an unpopular candidate does not mean that my vote is wasted or spent in vain; no, it would be given to the cause I sincerely believe in: peace and freedom.  Third party supporters do not concern themselves with practicalities or expediency, but ideals.

When politics lost ideals in favor of practicality and expediency, it lost its dignity and legitimacy.  Instead of the better man, we pick the smoother more attractive one, the one with the best assurances, the better talker.  What have we to show for it?

We hear every so often that this is the end of democracy, or that it may end with the arrival of a certain result.  But it is nothing but democracy that could have allowed this to happen, or more particularly, the apathy and carelessness of the masses, all of which gives us a failure of democracy.

Everything that happened here, happened because we allowed it to.

On the right: we should not really think that Trump blundered his way into the nomination.  It has the external appearance that he did, but do you not think a wealthy man such as Trump came upon his fortune and reputation by mere blundering?  No; he is a smart man, and everything he did here was carefully calculated.  It was a hack of sorts: he said the right things, to appeal to a great mass of voters that has, for years, been ignored by conventional right wing candidates.  He got this part of the electorate excited, and it catapulted him to the victory; obliging more moderate right wingers to vote for him in a general election, thus implying that they are okay with this.

And thus it will continue, because nobody is willing to stand up to this new status quo on the ballot.

On the left: there is a tendency to say, especially now, that things are “rigged” when we don’t like the result, and then if we do like the result, it suddenly isn’t “rigged.”  But it was clear that the Democrat machinery,  which really should be unbiased,  favored Clinton from the start of this business.  Whether or not it was truly “rigged” remains to be seen, but there is some interesting (while not completely convincing) evidence to support this idea.  Either way, when the left wing, much of which supported Sanders, are implying their approval of this when they continue to lend their support to this corrupt political organization and it’s candidate.

Again, nobody is willing to stand up to this new status quo on the ballot.

This doesn’t just apply to the presidential circus.  We hear the same fallacies offered to anyone who thinks of voting for a third party at elections at any level of politics.

These fallacies are passed around without any attempt at reason or ideological harmony, all with the same object: to convince or guilt you into supporting their choice, as if yours is illegitimate.

It is a sad thing indeed that they must rely upon tearing down your candidate, instead of standing on the virtues of theirs.  Again, another bad result of democracy.

“It is a wasted vote,” “It will lead to the victory of Mr. X or Mrs. Y,” “Mr. Z has no chance,” “Vote for someone who can win.” etc.

All of these, and other bad arguments, are based upon these false premises:

  1.  That there are only two legitimate candidates;
  2. That by virtue of belonging to the conventional political organizations, they are entitled to my vote;
  3. That a vote with-held from one will lead to the election of another;
  4. and that because most everyone else chooses to support someone else, it makes my supporting of a certain candidate silly.

When there are three candidates in the ballot, then there are three legitimate candidates.  If there are four on the ballot, there are four legitimate candidates, and so on.  In the case of the presidential election, when there is a candidate on the ballot in all states, then that must mean they are a legitimate candidate.  Popularity does not imply legitimacy.

As anxiously as we await the final result of this election, we are also anxiously waiting to see what sort of effect the third party vote will have on the outcome.  We know this much:  it will be more significant than in previous years.

But one more thing: if your candidate does not win, do not even think of blaming a third party for this occurrence.  Blame the insufficiency of your own candidate.





2 thoughts on “A final word about third parties in 2016”

  1. Very well said. It’s rare to see posts or articles this close to the election that are truly about the election and not just writers slashing people who they disagree with, so I admire that you were able to focus on your topic and highlight the issues with the election itself.

    I guess we’ll just have to see what happens tomorrow. But I agree, this is going to be a big election for the third party candidates.

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