Are Libertarians wasting their votes?

Published 6:23 pm Friday, October 30, 2020

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To the Editor:

People keep telling me I wasted my vote in the 2020 presidential election because I backed the Libertarian Party candidate, Dr. Jo Jorgensen, and her running mate Spike Cohen.

Here’s the crazy part about my choice. Democrats assure me that my single vote will result in the re-election of 45. Republicans complain that I’m personally shooing Biden into the Oval Office.

Are we Libertarians wasting our votes? I think not.

2020 marks the centennial anniversary of Woman’s Suffrage. Dr. Jorgensen is the only female on the ballot in all fifty states for the Presidential Election. Yet she is shamefully ignored by the media at every level.

Dr. Jorgensen was excluded from the national debates, despite making the ballot in all fifty states. The Representatives of the Democrats and Republicans run the Commission on Presidential Debates. Their rules require third party candidates to poll at 15% or greater. However, pollsters fail to include third parties (Libertarian, Constitution, Green) in the polls, ensuring that third parties cannot participate.

To get national attention in future elections, Libertarians strive to achieve just 5% of the popular vote—the threshold at which a party receives major party status. With that designation, parties receive perks like automatic ballot access (instead of petitioning state by state) and FEC funding that enables their candidates to compete better.

The vote-bullying ensues in every election cycle, with people cautioning Libertarians that “this election is too essential” to vote for a minor party. The “too essential” cliché is overused and, quite frankly, becoming a snoozer.

In each recent voting cycle, the Democrat and Republican machines crank out candidates who force Americans to vote for “the lesser of two evils.” Their backers implore Libertarians to “vote for our ideology the next time.”

Here’s the problem with that logic, especially in 2020.

America has not been as divided as we are right now since 1860. The major parties are pushing our country into “tribes,” entreating a dangerous mindset that poisons our society.

Democrats assume that they will grab all the “liberals.” Republicans believe they will capture every “conservative.” Most Americans land somewhere in between those two extremes. So why can’t we have the best of both worlds?

Libertarianism seeks to place Americans of every race, religion, cultural background, and gender on a level playing field where all citizens can enjoy freedom, liberty, and prosperity.

A vote for Dr. Jorgensen is a vote that celebrates shared American values and promotes unity instead of emphasizing differences that pit us against each other.

So, wasted vote or not, I voted for the Jorgensen-Cohen ticket. After all, I don’t wish to waste my vote on one of those old, crumbling mainstream parties.

Deborah Tayloe