Voting Third Party Is a Vote for Tyranny
An important election was already lost. How many more will be thrown away?
A recent Gallup poll found that 62% of Americans, an all-time high, support the idea that a third party is needed.
Of course, this poll, taken late in January, is meaningless. First, voters already have numerous “third”-party options (Libertarian, Constitution, Green, Communist, etc.). Second, voters had an opportunity less than four months ago to vote third party, and the results were, shall we say, underwhelming.
The Libertarian Party, celebrating the 50th anniversary of its founding this year, is the most viable of all third parties. Yet its presidential candidate, Jo Jorgenson, received just 1.2% of the vote, less than half of what 2016 LP candidate Gary Johnson received.
On its website, the Libertarian Party boasts not a single victory for a statewide office. The party’s best performance was winning a state House seat in Wyoming’s 39th district. Other than that, nationwide, LP candidates won less than two dozen seats on city councils, community advisory councils, and boards of commission.
Today there is a schism within the Republican Party over whether the party will fully embrace Trumpism or be taken back over by more traditional “establishment” Republicans like Mitch McConnell and Mitt Romney (if you can even put those two in the same category). Angry at a tiny handful of mostly blue-state Republicans voting to impeach President Donald Trump over his comments at a rally on January 6, many Trump supporters have called for the formation of a new “MAGA” or “Patriot” Party.
Yet President Trump has already dismissed the idea of forming a third party (even disavowing a new MAGA Patriot Party that filed with the FEC in late January). Still, there’s strong discontent within the base of the Republican Party at a handful of top party leaders who have been openly critical of Trump, who held an 82% approval rating among Republicans in January.
With his promise to stay engaged in the party, President Trump seems to have once again answered the question posed by the beloved Ronaldus Magnus; namely, “Is it a third party that we need, or is it a new and revitalized second party?”
The price for answering that question incorrectly is disastrously high.
In November, Georgia’s senior U.S. Senator David Perdue missed an outright victory by just 0.3%. If just one-quarter of Libertarian candidate Shane Hazel’s votes had gone to Perdue, Perdue would have been reelected, and Democrats would not now control the U.S. Senate. With complete control of the House, Senate, and White House, the Democrats are now in position to shove through a plethora of radical leftist, anti-Liberty, Big Government agenda items.
And therein lies the problem. Third-party contenders can’t be victors, but they can be spoilers. And the spoiler almost always hands the victory to the leftist Democrat, who will vote for, or enact, a slew of policies Libertarians claim to oppose.
Edward Ring, senior fellow of the Center for American Greatness, perfectly captures the problem with the Libertarian Party’s spoiler role in a must-read article. The party that claims to be the “Party of Principle” in practice undermines the very principles it espouses.
Ring points out that most Americans, on the Left and the Right, agree with a large part of the Libertarian Party’s platform, from opposition to government funding of private charities and foreign military engagements on the Left, to opposition to higher taxes and more regulations on the Right.
After summarizing a number of LP positions, and before dissecting them point by point, Ring notes that standing on principle is “the luxury libertarians have that governing parties do not have.” Indeed, he says, “It’s all theoretical. … In every one of these cases, there is a monstrous gap between writing a principled bullet point, and operating in the real world.”
For example, the LP opposes “nation-building” and favors the “principle of nonaggression” in foreign affairs (and generally). Yet Communist China is threatening its neighbors militarily and economically, so what is America’s proper response?
The LP also famously supports legalization of drugs. But drugs don’t just include marijuana; there are also highly addictive drugs like fentanyl, heroin, and methamphetamines that have destroyed the lives of individuals. How do you deal with the growing number of homeless drug addicts? The increased crime rates?
Ring’s analysis is fairly comprehensive and asks some very astute questions that Libertarians should answer if they want to be taken seriously and trusted with the reins of power. It’s easy to support legalization of drugs and the principle of nonviolence in theory, but it becomes more difficult when some meth-addled junkie has a gun pointed at your wife’s head demanding money.
As for the allegation that there is no difference between Republicans and Democrats “when it comes to protecting individual liberty and economic freedom,” Ring says this is “a preposterous delusion. It isn’t even close.” Republicans may fall short of the Libertarian ideal, and often disappoint their own voters, but the Democrat Party is actively working to undermine the Constitution and destroy individual Liberty.
As Ring concludes, “This is an existential battle. Siphoning off voters from the side that’s fighting the hardest to preserve individual liberty and economic freedom is not principled. It is nihilism.” Whether voting Libertarian or creating a new Patriot Party, the result is the same — more power to Democrats.
Voting third party is not principled. It is a fool’s errand that gives power to the enemies of Liberty.
Don’t be a fool.
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