I wrote this after a piece called "Bad News for Those who Hate 'Liberals'", because the response to that piece was to accuse me of being a "liberal"... or worse, a Democrat. This is from Saturday, October 14, 2006, and it obviously had no effect on the general populous. The links provided in the original were outdated, so I went ahead and updated them.
I've said before that we need to give the so-called "Third parties" another look, but I know without reading any of your responses to that statement that a lot of you won't. Some of you have looked at them before and decided that they were nuts, some of you bought into the ridiculous idea that NOT voting for the Donkey or the Elephant would be the same thing as not voting, and some of you were just too lazy to bother.
Well, let's address these misguided notions, shall we?
First: Those Third Parties are all full of nuts.
Okay, maybe they are. But tell me this: would you rather have a nut willing to try some new ideas, or a crook willing only to sell you out to the highest bidder sitting in that elected office? Honestly, if you are fed up with your traditional party's inability to represent you, what is the harm in giving someone else a shot? Besides, that is exactly what our system of Checks & Balances is for! If you don't like the results, you can get rid of the nut... but you have to give them a chance first.
And hold the phone -- when you say you've "looked at them" before, do you mean that you actually visited their sites, read their platforms, or done anything more than wait for someone on FOX or CNN to make snide references to them in passing? Think about how quickly you are willing to write them off and sell yourself back to the big-money boys. I'm tired of Republicans and Democrats smugly telling us that they are the only two choices, and expecting me to run to them based on the "lesser of two evils" principle.
Second: Voting for them is like throwing away my vote, because they can't win anyway.
WRONG. Voting for a guy you don't like, who will not represent you, and who won't stand up for anything you believe in is throwing away your vote. So is being too lazy to do any research, and showing up at the polls, only to pick "D" or "R" down your whole ticket. So is simply not voting, because "they won't count me anyway". Enough of that bogus, defeatist, LAZY talk!
In 1992, Ross Perot (certified nut, and "Third Party" candidate) took 17% of the Presidential vote. Some post-ballot polls showed that some 15% of those who voted for the two major parties only voted for them because they "didn't think Perot would win". In a three-way race, that could have given him more than 35%... more than 1/3 (allowing for the usual margins of error in polls). But only if people actually cast the vote according to their conscience, and not according to some misguided notion of popularity.
And last: Again, don't be lazy. I'm a very lazy procrastinator, and yet I can come up with a list of links in five minutes to find out what I feel I need to know about the candidates. Here is a handful that you might find useful:
*Write to Your Representative (search engine for finding your U.S. Rep)
*Contact your Senator
*List of Third Party Presidential Candidates
*Tweet Congress - so you can "follow" your representatives
I'd like to point out to you that I am not 100% behind any of these people myself, and I'm not campaigning for anyone (which would be a violation of the 1939 Hatch Act). But I want my friends and readers to be educated about the possibilities. I am educating myself, too. None of the candidates have fulfilled my wildest dreams, but I have emailed a few of them, and will make up my mind based on their answers. There is nothing stopping you from doing the same. Don't be ignorant; don't be complacent.
Don't be Sheep.