Every four years, Liberty offers a forum in which the claims of the Democratic, the Libertarian, and the Republican presidential nominees are presented, along with a case for not voting at all. It’s a testament to the continuing diversity of thought in the libertarian movement, as well as the difficulty and urgency of finding a place in contemporary politics where individual liberty can flourish.
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Most people say they vote “for the candidate, not the party.” But numbers don’t lie. Over 90% of us never vote for anybody who’s not a Democratic or Republican Party member at statewide or federal levels. Not ever.
There are still many of us who remember a time before primary elections, when ballot access and political party laws were a lot fairer, there were more options on the ballot, reelection rates were half what they are now, and political corruption wasn’t so comically obvious and tragically destructive.
But unless you were around for the previous civil war, none of us remembers a time when the two major parties didn’t hold such a two-headed monopoly on national politics. It’s high time to review what that lack of competition has wrought.
The left and right wings of authoritarianism each say the other is a catastrophe, and after the first “presidential” debate, it’s embarrassingly obvious they’re both correct. It’s not just adolescent name-calling. Over 230 years ago that innumerable American politicians, wonks and economists warned us of the dangers of paper money, central banks and their inherently dangerous and corrupting monetary alchemy. It’s going on a hundred years ago that Fiorello LaGuardia warned us about the need to police the police during the first prohibition against booze. General and President Eisenhower warned us almost 60 years ago about not only the military industrial complex, but also the danger of subsidized research, and “that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.” Over 50 years ago we found that our CIA was funding student radicals; and over 40 years ago, the CIA was caught paying our news media to lie. In recent years we learned that our government lies about spying on everybody, and about the justification and feeble progress of our endless wars. If Russiagate teaches us anything, it’s that lies and subversion are Standard Operating Procedure at every level, and on both sides, of our bureaucratic state.
None of us remembers a time when the two major parties didn’t hold such a two-headed monopoly on national politics. It’s high time to review what that lack of competition has wrought.
So today, militant groups such as Proud Boys and Antifa have risen up as proxy armies for the anticonstitutional two-headed monster of tribal fear and loathing we call the “Two Party System.” Yet we’re told that this election is too important to vote in any way except the way that got us so far off the rails.
I’m calling that BS. Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me. We the People have been fooled every election day for our whole lives. We have said too many things with our mouths that we’ve upended with our votes.
There is a candidate for president of the United States on the ballot in all 50 states who alone presents at least the option of addressing every particular of the aforementioned corruption. So I’m voting for Jo Jorgensen, nominee of the Libertarian Party.
I’m not doing that simply because voting for alternative candidates would bust through a corrupt facade and open our government to long overdue options. I’m doing it because Jorgensen represents a genuine compromise among combatants. The Democratic and Republican parties have for too long used the Bill of Rights as a tug-of-war rope instead of a unifying compromise. They each use their favorite freedoms to yank away the others’ rights. Their spasms of partisan spite have created amazing cognitive dissonance. Democrats want massive government, but not the police who enforce it. Republicans want guns to fight oppressive government . . . while they idolize and arm the militarized police and the global military they’d have to fight. Maybe you’ve seen the two opposing yard signs — “Had Enough? Vote Democratic!” “Had Enough? Vote Republican!”
Even a quick glance at the rate of government expansion in debt, spending, pages added to the federal code books, or any consideration of foreign entanglements, abuse, and corruption of power, shows that Democratic and Republican party administrations are almost indistinguishable.
Unfortunately, there is a tragic misunderstanding about the purpose of elections and the power of our votes. Elections are not for hiring politicians. For millennia and everywhere, politicians have been doing that just fine by themselves, whenever people let them. Our founders, even knowing that half of us are below average and most of the others are badly misinformed, bequeathed us, at great cost, the ability to freely and safely choose our own government. But they meant elections as a flush lever, not as a scrupulous hiring process, and certainly not as a poker chip in a game of odds.
We the People have been fooled every election day for our whole lives.
Forget the “wasted vote” canard. From any evidence or ideologically-based perspective, it’s Democratic and Republican voters who have a lot of explaining to do. It is they who’ve been throwing their votes away. The only sane vote now is against that whole corrupt, deceitful system, and for alternatives.
Fortunately, Jorgensen supports the entire constitutional rule of law design of equality under law, and government on a leash, as the best means to achieve peace, prosperity, and security by bringing liberty and justice for all (at long last). And remember, you can’t have your freedoms without letting others have theirs, too.
I understand that that we’re more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right ourselves by abolishing the forms to which we are accustomed. The opening of the Declaration of Independence says that. But as it also says, when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same two parties, evinces a design to reduce us under absolute despotism, it is our right, it is our duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for our future security.
Our vote is the power of peaceful revolution.
God knows we need one of those right now.