I really lean more toward Christian Anarchism than anything else ideologically speaking, but because of practicality I plan to vote for the Libertarian ticket this time ’round.
I suppose because of my tendency to “like” third party candidates posts on social networks I’ve been seeing stuff about Lincoln being a third party candidate. It’s a marketing thing – “was their vote wasted?!”. Wellll, marketing is just lying most of the time, and that is the case here mostly too. He kinda-sorta was, but not really in a meaningful sense. The Whigs were imploding well before that election over the slavery issue, so in that presidential election it was more that a new dominant second party was completing the replacement of a previously entrenched one.
A take away though is that political parties can and do die!
My read is that the Libertarian party is poised to begin replacing the Republican party. It seems to be one important part of the Republican side – fiscally conservative, and a big draw of the Democratic side – socially liberal. It also excludes a number of things, crony capitalism(R), moralizing(R), surveillance(D+R) and nanny(D) state, and warmongering/world policing(R+D).
This, among other reasons, makes it ignorant and shortsighted to think your vote can only count or matter if it is for the potential winner. A significant percentage (which is far less than a winning percentage) to one third party or to all of them combined might be all it takes to trigger an exodus of otherwise leaning Democrats and Republicans. If not that, it stands that it would still probably change the conversation next time round. Even a chance at that matters some at least.
With the recent presidential debate dominating the news I can’t help but wonder how different it could all be. Gary Johnson was within a few percentage points or less of being included in the debates according to current rules! That is so close! His inclusion would have changed the whole thing, and thus all the ensuing conversation, so dramatically – And I have to assume for the better since I can’t imagine it being a lot worse. A few more people in the poll sample, I mean I am guessing, but probably not more than a dozen or two at most, and he is in. Still the myth persists that a third party vote is a wasted one?