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I Will Not Vote for a Major Party

November 1, 2012

by Brian Backman

In 1976, a few days after my 18th birthday, I registered Republican. I always voted Republican for president until Ross Perot came around in 1992. I voted Republican again until 2008, this time for Ron Paul, as I had no use in either Obama or McCain. I firmly believed a popular slogan at the time:

“Either way we’re screwed”.

This election- I plan to vote for Gary Johnson.

I’ve always liked the Republican candidates, and disliked the Democratic ones.

Simple, right?

So, why the change?

In 1992, I suddenly found myself not liking either candidate. Something was very wrong, as both Bush and Clinton seemed strangely ‘programmed,’ and not in touch with reality (though Clinton was very adept at manipulating people’s feelings). Along came Ross Perot, and I saw someone outside of the country club, trying to crash the gate. He alone seemed to actually address the economy in an honest, intelligent way. I voted for Bob Dole in 1996- simply because he deserved a few votes, even if he couldn’t win.

Then came George W Bush (Dubya). I actually liked him, though not as much as any previous Republican presidential candidates. Though he seemed like a bit of a decline in quality, he was not too bad overall. And he was certainly superior to Gore (not much of a challenge). By the next election, it was clear that Dubya wasn’t really a conservative, and I found myself being ambivalent about his presidency. Still, I considered Kerry to be a real stinker. And so that was my first real “lesser of two evils” election. I was still only vaguely aware of third parties, and I didn’t really understand them. Nor did I agree with them at the time, based on what little I knew.

As I gradually switched my news sources from television and newspapers to the internet, the information in front of me became much more diverse. As I learned and branched out more, I became aware of other parties, especially the Libertarian party. This switch was not wholly on purpose. I just found that I could get more news here and there on the internet during workbreaks than having to sit and dedicate blocks of time to the tube or paper. But what a great intellectual liberation it was to see news about my country from foreign news sources and not have to depend on all the carefully scripted scraps our own sources allow us to see. What a pleasure to simply visit and and read news sourced from around the world, and from those with differing points of view. How great it is to log into my faceboook and Twitter accounts, and see links to articles from authors I would never have found otherwise.

And therein lays the reason I am voting for Gary Johnson. I have been the recipient of information that has made me far more knowledgeable about world affairs and our very broken political system. With this new understanding comes the realization that it is absolutely imperative that I contribute to fixing that broken system as best I can. It’s that simple.

The more you learn about the world, the further you can get away from the talking heads and “newsmakers” who will try to manipulate you, the more you will find that the DNC and GOP are not in the game for you, nor our country, but only for power. The clearer it will become to you that the duopoly must be shattered and other voices heard.

No one who relies on television and newspapers will ever know this.


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