It’s often said in the United States that votes cast toward third parties are a wasted vote. I disagree — third Parties often put forward some of the most genuine and principled people in our society. During the 2016 election when both major party candidates were unnerving and unpalatable for most Americans, two candidates from two third parties came to light.
Former Governor of New Mexico, Gary Johnson, the candidate for the Libertarian Party took our country by storm. The Democrats were so afraid of him that they spent nearly $30,000,000 (30 million dollars) on attack ads. So much for no threat right? Say what you want about his then running mate, William Weld. It was clear during Johnson’s campaign that he and Weld were not on the same page. While Weld was good at public speaking and fundraising, he did not espouse the ideals of the Libertarian Party the way Johnson did. Bad performance from his running mate aside, Gary Johnson’s 2016 bid for President was the most successful in the party’s history garnering more than 4.5 million votes.
The other candidate that came to light in the 2016 election was Dr. Jill Stein of the Green Party. Whether or not you agree with her politics, she was an excellent candidate and was worth listening to. She offered a fresh perspective on the issues facing the environment and outlandish, but good ideas to solve the environmental problems we face.
Many people often state that if third parties had a chance of victory in an election, they would vote for them. If American voters held that same sentiment during the 1860’s then neither the Republican Party nor the Democratic would have become major parties. The United States would have been left with one party, the Democratic-Republican Party.
Many Americans express reservations for the two party system that the United States is currently entangled in. Those same people continually vote either Republican or Democrat. There was once a time in the United States where there was only one party. If we, the people want to change this we need to consider the minor players or what are considered to be the minor players. Third parties are very powerful. They hold some of the most principled people in our country. We need to break the two party system and it will not be easy. It will take a lot of strength and courage to “waste your vote” on a third party candidate. We must be the change we wish to see.