Libertarian Perspective: For one electionWritten by Kenneth Sharp | | firstname.lastname@example.org
If you now count yourself as an independent or undecided voter, it is likely because the party or candidate you once supported has not upheld their promises or your values. You are not alone. Large numbers of voters are leaving both the Democratic and Republican parties. After the second debate, a CNN poll graphic showed 25 percent of likely voters for Obama and 25 percent for Romney. That left 50 percent undecided. Well, that is unlikely; it would be safer to say that they know what the major parties are offering and reject them both. They are undecided because they can no longer support those they once did, but have not found an alternative. They are not undecided because they are unaware of the issues.
They are undecided precisely because of the issues. Like you, they are unable to put up with the deception, double-dealing and power plays. You may have been a Tea Party conservative or Ron Paul Republican shut out of the Republican National Convention after behind-the-scenes rule changes, or an Occupy, anti-war activist let down by the new platform that abandoned civil liberties at the Democratic National Convention. Perhaps it was the National Defense Authorization Act, the unfathomable debt or continued wars under both parties that soured you.
One or more issues are often the key. There have been many in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning and allied community who feel let down and abandoned by Obama’s stance on same-sex marriage, which he called a state issue. African-Americans as well as those concerned about civil rights know that “states’ rights” often means a back door to legal discrimination. Many conservatives have held back support because they oppose the health care law, Obamacare, and are concerned about Romney’s “repeal and replace” position. The fact that both candidates have Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and other bailout recipients as major donors is troubling to both Occupy and Ron Paul groups.
If you identify with this and have become undecided because of their actions, you will now be bombarded with rhetoric claiming that you must return to the fold or the “other” will get into power. America as you know it and love it will disappear.
To quote the vice president, that is malarkey. They are working on your fears because they know that a person will not make rational, informed decisions if they are afraid. The Democrats and Republicans do not want informed voters. They do not want voters to see that there are a number of other candidates, some of whom do and will support your values. There is a long list of other contenders, but only a few that are viable, that is, that are statistically able to win. In order to make the most informed decision, you should look at Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson. In truth, you should look at Jill Stein, Green Party candidate, Rocky Anderson of the Justice Party and Virgil Goode of the Constitution Party as well as others. Like me, you will find that you will reject most, but in the end it will reinforce an informed decision for one candidate who truly represents you and your values and not a vote out of fear. For you it may be one of the two old parties. For me it was Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson.
Another form of attack on the undecided voter is the tale of the wasted vote. It is another way to invoke your fear. They will tell you they too would consider voting for a minor candidate, but they can’t win. You want to vote for a winner, right? Remember, America as you know it depends on it. It is not true. Also, there is more than one type of victory. If a minor party breaks the 5 percent vote tally, it is eligible for matching federal funds, a voluntary diversion of tax money for campaigns. This would break the monopoly the two major parties have enjoyed in campaign finance. In the end though, if you vote for a candidate you have researched and found to be the one who most holds to your values, it is not a wasted vote. Your candidate may not win. That should never be the determiner. If you only do what you know is right when you know the outcome will be favorable to you, you do not have character or honor. And, frankly, if everyone who felt the need to vote for a third party did, that candidate could well win.
I support Gary Johnson. As he recently said, “Be Libertarian with me for one election … And if, in four years we as a people decide we don’t like peace, prosperity and freedom, we can always vote tyranny back into office, again.”