If you’ve at any point said that you’re voting outside the Republican or Democrat parties, then you’ve probably heard a very tired line.
“You’re wasting your vote!” is something that I’ve received ad nauseum since I made up my mind to leave the Republican party, and vote for the Libertarian candidate, Gary Johnson. It’s a phrase that many people believe they’re logistically right for saying, since a vote that is not for their candidate is obviously a vote for the opposing candidate.
It’s not a very well thought out accusation. By those rules, if I’m not voting for either candidate, then I guess I’m voting for both and it cancels each other out. Either way, that’s not how it works in our Republic. My vote is who it’s for, and no one else.
This is something Gary Johnson recently highlighted while he was at the DNC, talking to Democrats who may be ready to leave the party after the behind the scenes rigging done against Bernie Sanders. Johnson has seen the comments, and heard the arguments, and he has a response.
“I think a wasted vote is a vote for Trump or Clinton,” Johnson said. “The future is small government, the future is no one dying in foreign interventions.”
Johnson is, for all intents and purposes, correct. Millenials tend not to fully identify with the current political binary of Republican or Democrat. While what we’re seeing, in terms of party abandonment, is the result of widely unpopular candidates being chosen as their nominees, it only hastened something that was already happening.
Furthermore, many of those who have left the party have done so on principle. They can’t get behind the proven liar, and expert manipulator, or the proven liar, and expert manipulator. And while many of us, including myself, don’t wholly agree with Johnson on every issue – or especially Weld for that matter – Johnson is at least honest about his intent, and clear about his goals. That can’t be said about Trump or Clinton, who will say what needs to be said at the time to get elected, and whose positions flip-flop with the wind.
Someone telling you that you’re wasting your vote because you can’t get on board with that kind of political fraudulence is absurd. Many of us are willing to bend our principles, but breaking them isn’t what we signed on for with our particular parties.
But most of all, people who tell you that you’re wasting your vote are telling you that your principles, and values, and beliefs aren’t worth much. It’s saying that selling out for a chance at winning something you don’t really believe in is better than sticking to your guns and going down fighting for something better.
Gary Johnson is correct. For those of us who cringe at the mere mention of Trump or Clinton, a vote for them IS a wasted vote.
Vote your conscience.