Friday, October 26, 2012

Guest Post: Charles Philip Smith

My friend Steven Specht posted an article on that I'd like to share here. I'm working on a post about third-party politics (I know not one of my usual topics), but I'd like to share this first.

Two Sides of the Same Worn Out Coin
Our system of election is broken.

How many times have Americans been so disgusted with both major candidates that they vote for what they believe is “the lesser of two evils” or not vote at all, yet they will refuse to vote for a third party?

I truly believe that if they looked into the policies of third party candidates, (there are 10 on the 2012 Florida ballot) they would find at least one that they believed in more than the standard two.

Here is the part that doesn’t make sense to me. Americans will complain on end about how either the Democrats or Republicans are ruining their country; often they will not even agree with their own party. Yet, I have heard all my life how voting for a third party candidate is equivalent to throwing your vote away or even how “it will takes votes from candidate X when we really need to beat candidate Y’.

I am not trying to push a candidate or party. (At this time I believe I know who I will vote for. It is not one of the two major candidates, but this is a personal choice and not the purpose of why I am writing this.) It is my hope that sometime in the future we will start voting as a nation for the person and not the party. My belief is that this begins with third parties and being well informed on the issues important to us.

However, I have not seen any indication that Americans could now or ever do this in the climate we have created. There is such an undercurrent of division, especially in the media, that actively polarizes Americans into the two major political parties. The implication being that it is ‘us’ against ‘them’. Most people don’t realize that there are shades of grey to their beliefs and very few absolutes in this world. I could almost guarantee that most average Americans believe in elements of the major two parties, but not in everything that they stand for.

What I am proposing is that we as a nation do our research. If you do not have enthusiasm for a candidate, there is no reason you should not find someone you can believe in. We live in a free country but have been systematically convinced that there is no other options to us when it comes to one of the most fundamental tenets of what it is to be an American—the right to vote–the right to vote for someone we do believe in.

This requires effort on the individual. It is the only option we have to us to start balancing the rampant partisan corruption on both sides that seems to be determined to bring America to ruin for the sake of reelection and not the betterment of the citizens.

Don’t fool yourself into thinking you are voting for change when you vote for one of the two major parties. The only recourse you have is to change your vote to a third party. The only way to have honest politicians is for them to have enough competition for them to be fearful of not being elected on their own merits. Without this our country will never find balance and it will be stuck with either side of a worn out coin.
-Charles Philip Smith