THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 687, September 9, 2012
"The parasites who think they own us are beginning to be afraid"
Special to L. Neil Smith's The Libertarian Enterprise
I want to be a terrorist.
Not a terrorist terrorist. Not the kind that blows up buildings or kills people. I mean I want to be a terror.
I want to make things difficult and really annoying for the people who want to run my country.
In November, I'm going to be asked to vote for president. You want my opinion? I mean my true opinion? I would just as soon have the presidency abolished as vote for another person to hold it. Since that's not gonna happen by this November, I need to figure out what I'm going to do.
The way I figure, people like meand by that I mean American citizens who dislike both President Obama and his opponent, Mitt Romneyhave three options to consider in this election. The first and most obvious of these options is to vote for the guy we dislike less. You hear people make comments to this effect all the time:
"You don't like Mitt Romney, do you?"
"I like him better than Barack Obama."
This is a foolish way to vote, and I'll tell you right now: I'm ruling it out. The parties count on this kind of thinking. They count on you being willing to choose them because you dislike them less than their opponents.
The second option for people like me is to stay home altogether. If you dislike the Democrats, dislike the Republicans, you simply stay home and don't vote for either. This option certainly has its merits. For one thing, it saves you on gas. Why drive to the polls when you feel uninspired? For another, by not voting whatsoever, you can safely say, no matter the outcome, that no one can blame you for being a part of it.
The problem is, I'm looking to make things annoying, and I don't think staying home annoys the major parties. It doesn't matter if you stay home. It would only matter if literally every person in the country did.
Personally, I would love to see this. I would love to see every person in the country stay home. I would love to see a situation in which they couldn't name a president because zero people turned out on Election Day. This would be exactly the kind of chaos that I could sit back and enjoy with a beer. But since it would only take one person in a country of 300 million to blow it for everyone, this kind of thing would be hard to coordinate. Therefore, I cannot get behind it.
Which brings me to Option 3: the option to vote Third Party. This is the only option that makes sense to me, because it's the only one that strikes real fear in the hearts of the major parties.
In Pennsylvania, for instance, there is an effort afoot to keep Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson off the ballot. Similar efforts are afoot across the country, not just against Johnson but other third party candidates. The major parties don't want your vote going to any other party but themselves. They would rather go back and forth beating and losing to each other than run the risk of a viable third option entering the fray.
That's why, in Pennsylvania, the major parties only needed 2,000 petition signatures to get on this year's ballot, while third party candidates needed better than 20,000. It's also why, if a major party successfully challenges a third party's petition signatures, the third party has to pay the major party's legal fees.
These kinds of arrangements are what make up your country, and if you've ever needed proof that the two major parties are working together to one another's benefit, there it is.
That's why, to me, the only thing that makes sense this November is to find a third party you can get behind. It's the only thing that will properly annoy and terrorize and agitate. It's the only thing that will shake things up. It's the only way to make sure your voice and displeasure are heard in this electionthe only way to send a message that things will need to change.
If you're satisfied with the way things are in this country, by all means, perpetuate the system. By all means vote for Obama or Romney. Or stay home and let them win anyway. I'm an open-minded guy; I will not begrudge you.
But for me, the time for change has come. For me, the time to break up the two-party cartel is now. For me, the time to tell these peoplewho are working together, who have always worked togetherthat they are not our only choices is this November 6.
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