Now if you know me you know I'm a hardcore Libertarian and libertarian. Both in philosophy and realpolitik (I am a registered member of the Libertarian Party after all and have helped on a few local campaigns). Obviously my choice for president is Gary Johnson since Ron Paul isn't on the ballot (more on that later). But the point of this blog isn't to try to persuade you to vote for Johnson because of his politics, but rather, to help fix the political system.
So many people I know - Democrats, Republicans, independents, apathetics and everyone in between - complain about the political system and the two party system (or "two party dictatorship" as I call it). Most people want to see reform, but no one wants to actually step up to the plate and make it happen. This isn't surprising - after all - talk is extremely cheap. So I'm calling out EVERYONE that's ever complained about "the way the system works" and challenging them to put their vote towards a good cause that actually WILL help reform the system: simply vote for Gary Johnson or ANY third party PRESIDENTIAL* candidate (hereafter referred to as "Johnson/3rd party").
Think about it: if you live in a hardcore red or blue state where it's absolutely certain that the red or blue candidate will take that state then what do you have to lose in casting your presidential vote for Johnson/3rd party? I live in New York - probably tied with California for the bluest blue state in the union. If you're a Democrat what do you need to vote for Obama for? He's already won. Why not help your fellow man out by voting for Johnson/3rd party?
If you're a Republican living in a blue state and you want to vote for Romney to stick it to Obama, I hate to tell you, but that's a futile vote. Since Romney has no chance of winning New York, California, Illinois, etc. wouldn't your vote be better served helping out the third party?
And of course vice versa is true as well - don't vote for Obama in a red state like Texas.
Now if you have adamant philosophical disagreements with Gary Johnson, Jill Stein, Rocky Anderson, Virgil Goode, et al, that's understandable. This blog isn't meant to convince you at the last minute why any of those people are politically better for president than the candidate of your choice (some of them I vehemently disagree with myself). I'm just trying to show you how you can "be the change you want to see in the world."
Call it a pity vote if you want, I don't care, but the point is your vote would be better served going towards a third party presidential candidate than the two party establishmentarians. Every state has their own ballot access laws obviously, but for the most part a third party receiving 5% of the popular vote is a big deal; 10% is a huge deal; and 15%+ is earth-shattering. If we can get these third parties just 5% of the vote it's likely going to help them out in your state and nationwide as well. We can finally get third parties included in the debates. It can start perpetual motion and lead to long-term change down the road. I'm not an
So if you live in a state where the presidential candidate is already decided why not help reform the system by voting for Johnson/3rd party?
Now if you live in a "swing state" (or "purple state" as I like to call them), by all means vote for Romney or Obama IF you truly believe they are the right person for the job. DON'T vote for one just to stick it to the other. If you're a "revenge voter" then why not vote against the establishment by voting for Johnson/3rd party?
*NOTE: I'm specifically talking about the PRESIDENTIAL ballot because it carries the most weight at the national and state levels as far as leading to ballot access reform. Personally I would recommend voting for third parties across the board from dog catcher to school board members to state assemblymen to congressmen and senators, but that's not intended to be the point of this blog.
THE RON PAUL QUESTION
Now I KNOW what you're thinking: "But Chad, you're a huge Ron Paul fanboy - why aren't you voting for him?" Well that certainly is a tough question, a good one though. And yes I'm a big Ron Paul fan and if he had run as a third party candidate he absolutely would get my vote. But unfortunately he didn't so he won't be on the ballot. I'm sure he might qualify as a "certified write-in candidate" but it's just not the same. A write-in vote for Ron Paul definitely does send a message, however, a vote for Gary Johnson (or even Constitution Party candidate Virgil Goode) is a very close substitute. Ron Paul is retiring from politics after this election so all votes cast for him will be a one-day-only event. A vote for Johnson/3rd party will carry on towards reforming the system. But if you can't bring yourself to vote for Johnson/3rd party because of your political/philosophical beliefs and you're 100% voting your conscience by voting for Ron Paul, then by all means cast a write-in vote for him. I can respect that.
My personal prediction for this election: Romney beats Obama in the POPULAR vote, but Obama beats Romney in the ELECTORAL vote. Subsequently liberals forever shutup about changing the presidential election to a popular vote rather than the Electoral College (sheyeah right).