I’m going to talk about something I never bring up.
I know, right?
I am registered Independent. When it comes to social issues, I am 100% liberal. When it comes to economic issues, I am about 50-50. War, gun control? Liberal. Education? Conservative. It’s tough. If anything, I am a moderate. I have always believed that this country (the U.S.) works best when neither of the two major parties has complete control (and I was just a kid during the Clinton administration, but I thought we were doing pretty well back then).
It’s even more tough coming from a religious family that identifies as liberal, and working for a religious organization that identifies itself as conservative. I’ve worked here for five years. I have never betrayed a hint of my religious leanings, even in the face of people ridiculing what I believe in. Because contrary to popular belief, I am not insane, nor do I wish to bring arguments and black stares upon my head. It makes me angry that I feel I cannot be open about my political ideas here without bringing negativity upon my head. The few times that people have lambasted my father for his open political leanings in front of me, it has infuriated me.
Over the last few weeks, I’ve seen a lot of people bitching about third party voting. Conservatives claim that “A vote for Gary Johnson is a vote for Obama” and that voting Libertarian, Green Party, or anything other than Democratic or Republican is nothing more than “throwing your vote away.” Fox News (God I hate Fox News) had an article recently: Why Gary Johnson Could Cost Obama or Romney a Win in 2012. Johnson himself is going before the public asking you to “waste your vote” on him. If the public is correct (and hell, sometimes it is), we may have a game-changing race on our hands, like Perot in 1996 or Nader in 2000.
I find myself, at 29, agreeing more and more with the Libertarian party and policies. Fiscal conservativism, social liberalism. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still a moderate (still a liberal-leaning moderate), but I find myself listening to Johnson’s speech during the third-party debate and nodding my head in places. I am someone who has disavowed the two-party system. Neither party is working 100% for the people, and I’m starting to wonder, independently, how I feel about that.
I have no hopes or aspirations that Johnson will will; to be honest, I am not even sure that I will vote for him. I have never voted third-party in an election in the 11 years since I was eligible to vote. And even if I did, it doesn’t much make a difference: Connecticut has been a blue state in every presidential election since 1988 (although ironically enough, before that, we were a red state all the way back to the 1968 election). We will be a blue state again. My little vote hardly matters.
As the public keeps saying “it’s just throwing away your vote” to vote third party.
My question is…if it’s “throwing away” a vote, and hardly matters…why are you big politicians…on both sides…so threatened?