“Why vote third party?”

That’s something a friend recently asked me.

When you talk about third-party candidates, that’s the elephant in the room. I hear from a lot of people that they would like to vote Libertarian. They can’t help but think that they would waste their vote if they did, though. Or even worse, that it would result in the “worst” candidate from the two major parties winning.

Given those concerns… why vote third party?

You Have Convictions

There are people out there for whom the election process is a team sport. They’re Team Blue or Team Red, and that’s all they care about. They want their guy to win, and that’s it.

If you’re reading this, though, that’s not you.

Team cheerleaders don’t drive a political party. They’re on the sidelines. The people who are out there making things happen are the ones who have convictions. They’re the ones who stand up. Who speak up. Who campaign and debate and worry about policy.

If you’re someone who cares about the political process, you’re in that category. You have convictions. Things that you are passionate about. You have an idea about what would be good for your town, your state, your country – and a desire to make that happen.

You Have Concerns

Political parties are a way to make that happen. People come together and work together to institute change. Sometimes they’re successful; sometimes not.

Nothing is static, though. Things change, and parties change along with them. Until you reach a point where is seems like what they say and what they do no longer match up.

When that happens, the party leadership will still tell you how important your issues are to them. That they are listening to you! They continue telling you that they are on your side. They warn you about how important it is that you continue to vote for them…

… and yet, nothing ever seems to get done to address your issues.

After a while, you start to wonder. Does the party leadership still have the same convictions? Are they still fighting for the things that made you side with them in the first place?

It’s difficult to admit that the group you felt comfortable in for so long may have changed that much. It’s hard to fight inertia, and easy to make excuses. “Oh, they couldn’t say anything about that issue this election cycle. Just… like last year. Next year, though, for sure!”

You Are Ready For Change

“If nothing changes, nothing changes. If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’re going to keep getting what you’re getting. You want change, make some.”

– Courtney C. Stevens, “The Lies About Truth”

You have convictions. You joined a party because they told you that they were the ones who cared about your issues. You’ve supported them for years, now, and yet, somehow – nothing seems to be any different.

Be honest. You know it. That’s exactly the way it’s going to continue to be.

The parties aren’t going to change… but you can.

And when you change, they will change, too. Change or die.

I’m a Libertarian. That’s the party that aligns with my convictions and my values. They are working hard to change this country for the better.

Your beliefs may be different from mine. You might feel more comfortable in the Green Party. More at home in the Constitutional Party, or some other organization.

Wherever that is… if you truly, honestly want change?

That is where you should be spending your time, spending your energy, and casting your vote.

That is why you should vote third party.

Because if you want to be a voice for change, you need to find a place where you can make it happen.