Now that Amash has announced, let’s revisit the ‘wasted vote’ discussion

Is a vote for a third party candidate for president a wasted vote?

I posed this clearly rhetorical question in an article I wrote about a year ago after receiving a lot of pushback from the Trump cult in reaction to my support for what was at the time a rumor that Justin Amash might run for president in 2020.

Now that Amash has officially announced his intention to seek the Libertarian Party nomination for the upcoming election, and following a new round of pushback from the usual suspects (Trump cult, faux conservatives and Republicans — sorry if that sounds repetitious) after my latest expression of support for the congressman, I feel compelled to once again visit the “wasted vote” discussion.

The most obvious lie we hear from the power brokers controlling the Republican/Democrat duopoly and those who accept the binary approach to voting is that a third party vote is a wasted vote because third parties can’t win. I find this claim particularly ironic when it comes from a Republican because the Republican Party was a third party when Abraham Lincoln was elected by beating candidates representing the Democrats and the Whigs.

When that argument fails to gain any traction, both Democrats and Republicans accuse third party candidates of helping the other side — Republicans say third parties help the Democrats, and Democrats say they help Republicans. Such a conclusion has no basis of fact and is usually little more than the sour grapes of the losing side. For example, Republicans blame Ross Perot for George H.W. Bush’s loss to Bill Clinton, and Democrats blame Jill Stein for Hillary’s loss to Trump.

The inconvenient truth for the party establishment is that there is a growing number of Americans who are fed up with the duopoly and are prepared to reject binary politics in 2020. In a November, 2019 Rasmussen poll, a plurality of just under 40 percent of likely voters said they’re likely to vote for someone other than Donald Trump or the Democrat nominee with 22 percent saying they were “Very Likely” to do so.

I reject binary politics as well, and those who embrace it are either the politicians who benefit from it or the sheep who willingly follow wherever the two-party shepherds may lead them.

Those who dismiss third party candidates are political illiterates possessing little to no understanding of the power we wield with the vote. They’ve become lazy and/or indifferent citizens unwilling to do the hard work required of citizenship. Instead of treasuring the power they’ve been given to elect representatives who reflect their values, they sell that power to the highest bidder representing the lesser of two evils.

Noah Webster once said:

“If the citizens neglect their Duty and place unprincipled men in office, the government will soon be corrupted; laws will be made; not for the public good so much for selfish or local purposes; corrupt or incompetent men will be appointed to execute the Laws; the public revenues will be squandered on unworthy men; and the rights of the citizen will be violated or disregarded.”

I’ve said it before, and it bears repeating: placing unprincipled men and women in office is the true definition of a wasted vote.


David Leach is the owner of the Strident Conservative. He holds people of every political stripe accountable and promotes conservative principles over political parties.

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