The conventions of the two major parties have ended and they have picked their candidates for the November general election. The choice between them is a stark contrast in style. You get to choose if you want Huey Long in an orange clown suit or Cruella de Vil in a pantsuit. If you don’t like the candidates of the two major parties, you can vote for a third-party. Or can you?
The challenges to third-party candidates are immense. Once a candidate achieves a spot on the ballot, the propaganda from the two-party duopoly begins, they seek to keep their stranglehold on the election process and hence the government itself. Specious charges that a third-party won’t be able to govern because of a lack of party infrastructure or the lack of experience by their presidential candidates are common, but usually, you’re told that you are wasting your vote. Gary Johnson has said:
“When someone tells you your wasting your vote, recognize that they don’t care about you. It’s a selfish statement. They are saying your beliefs aren’t worth being represented. That you should silence your voice so theirs can be louder. Vote your conscience, not someone else’s politics.”
Like the many-headed Greek Hydra, the two-party duopoly rules with an iron fist. The biggest difference is that the Hydra was a myth, but the duopoly is real. The duopoly extends throughout the US, operates in 50 states and the District of Columbia and makes life difficult to all those who seek to challenge it. It’s all done in the name of freedom, so what’s the objection? Anybody reading this article knows that we don’t have direct election of the president, we vote for members of the Electoral College and they cast their vote for president. Who are these electors? The two wings of the duopoly pick the electors and will tell you they are citizens doing their patriotic duty. What they’re not going to say is that they are just some of the many duopoly politicians scattered throughout the country. Men and women whose sole interest is maintaining the status quo by keeping the duopoly in power.
Over the years, many of these politicians have been involved in crafting ballot access restrictions that make it hard, if not impossible to get on the ballot in that particular state. Many states have restrictive ballot access that requires court challenges. The challenges aren’t just by one party. The Green Party, The Libertarian Party, and the Constitution Party have sometimes united to hire lawyers to challenge the ballot access laws of many states. These parties have radically different political views and ways to carry out their policies, yet they unite to challenge state ballot access laws. Could it possibly be the politicians of the duopoly have done their job?
Recently, in Georgia, one of the most restrictive ballot access laws in the nation was struck down by a court order. This wasn’t the first time a trip to court was needed to remove a restrictive ballot access law and it probably won’t be the last. Ralph Nader ran for president four times and was never listed on the Presidential ballots of Georgia, Indiana, North Carolina, or Oklahoma. Pennsylvania’s oppressive law was removed by court order after lawyers fees and many trips to court. States do have a right to protect its citizens from fraud and to avoid confusion on ballots, but these regulatory interests do not include limiting voter access and inhibiting voter choices, but somehow they do, on a regular basis. Strange how that happens! Anyone who questions this is usually ignored or dismissed as a conspiracy theorist. Most people really don’t care what happens after the election is over and the duopoly is counting on that. Some people are genuinely concerned with the lack of a third-party and wonder how to change things, but others just assume the air of condescending arrogance, still more have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo.
Do not accept consensus reality and vote for candidates of the duopoly!
The Green Party is more than thirty years old and places a priority on the environment and social justice. The Jill Stein candidacy is just as valid as that of Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. To me, the biggest difference is a vision for the future, instead of just irresponsible pandering. As Jill Stein has said: “Forget the lesser evil, stand up and fight for the greater good like our lives depend on it – because they do”.