Politics of the day seem to indicate that the time is ripe for a third party candidate to win a significant portion of the nationwide Presidential election vote: a recent Monmouth University poll shows that in a hypothetical three-way race of Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, and Gary Johnson, the hopeful Libertarian nominee garners 11% of the vote to Hillary’s 42% and Trump’s 34%.
Americans are becoming more and more disillusioned with our two-party election process as a result of the establishment’s lack of respect for voters’ choices.
Let’s first examine the Democratic race. Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, while only trailing Clinton by a relatively small margin in pledged delegates (based on state primary results), receives virtually no support from superdelegates (who have supported Clinton over Sanders by a 16 to 1 margin).
Regardless of your opinion on Senator Sanders’ political positions, the overwhelming establishment support of Clinton in spite of the nearly split primary delegate count (read: the people’s votes) is an indication that the establishment does not respect its base.
In a recent interview after winning several primaries by enormous margins, Senator Sanders asked superdelegates, “If a candidate wins your state by 40 or 50 points, who are you going to give your vote to?” Clinton’s establishment connections run deep, from profiting hundreds of thousands of dollars from Wall Street speeches to the Chair of the Democratic National Committee who served on her 2008 campaign for President.
“A wasted vote is voting for anybody you don’t believe in.”
- Gary Johnson
I personally do not align with Senator Sanders’ proposed economic policies, but I can nonetheless acknowledge his fairly consistent record as a member of Congress over the past quarter century. Thus, I have difficulty comprehending the support for a person with such a weak record in support of social freedoms as Hillary Clinton. The fact is that Clinton opposed a freedom as basic as same-sex marriage as recently as 2008 and only recently flip-flopped positions in order to attract more votes.
The Republican primary is likewise in disarray, and voters are becoming (or will become) disillusioned with their party as well.
Consider first the anti-Trump Republicans: a large portion of the Republican base says they will not vote for Donald Trump, even if he is the eventual nominee. Assuming the national election is between Trump and Hillary, who will this group of Republicans throw their support behind?
Next, let’s consider the pro-Trump Republicans. A possible scenario for the GOP, thanks to John Kasich remaining in the race, is a brokered convention in July. This will almost definitely result in someone other than Trump receiving the nomination, despite Trump holding the greatest number of votes! Will these Trump supporters support the GOP’s new candidate, or sit at home in November?
I predict that Bernie Sanders, despite receiving the votes of roughly half of the Democratic base, will lose the nomination to Hillary Clinton. I am not as confident in predicting that Donald Trump, despite narrowly missing the required delegate count to secure the nomination, will be replaced by Cruz or Kasich to take on Clinton.
Regardless, the establishment of each party respectively will do everything in their power to stop outsiders like Trump or Sanders to be nominated, and the result is that approximately half of each party will be alienated and left without a voice.
This November, we should not be motivated to vote simply to keep the other side out of office but rather to vote for the best possible candidate. I implore all disillusioned voters this November to take a good look at Gary Johnson and the party of minimum government and maximum freedom: the Libertarian Party.