2016-10-27 / Views

Third party equals third choice in this election

A column by Jay Bushen

I scream, you scream, we all scream for the end of election season, am I right, Leelanau County?

Fortunately, the finish line is 12 days away. No more campaign ads, political signs or Ken Bone references.

Inside this edition of the Enterprise is a handy-dandy guide to all races taking place at the county level. My colleagues have logged a lot of hours to give you facts, unfiltered voices of those running for office and more. I plan to dive in with a fine-toothed comb before rocking the vote Nov. 8.

I still have much to learn before humbly accepting my “I voted” sticker but, after channeling my inner Ken Bone for the past few months, have finally shed my undecided voter status.

I’m not with her. I’m with him. That’s right, yours truly is about to vote for a man on the fast track to losing the presidential election: Gary Johnson.

I encourage those still on the fence to check out Johnson’s Sept. 28 opinion piece in The New York Times: “Gary Johnson: Take a Deep Breath, Voters. There Is a Third Way.”

For all eight of you still reading, let’s recap a few ways our main man plans to make America great again: Dude stands against hyperpartisanship, crony capitalism, unbalanced budgets, unjustified spending, mass surveillance and Donald Trump’s take on immigration.

Does he know where Aleppo is? I’m not convinced, but let’s be real: He’s not going to win anyway.

So why “waste” a vote on Johnson?

First of all, if it were up to me, I’d still pick him over Trump and Hillary Clinton. Truthfully, I’d pick Ken Bone over Trump and Clinton if given the opportunity, but I’ll settle with Gary.

How did Johnson win my vote? For one, he blasts the two-party duopoly. And, as many have pointed out before me, now is the time to do just that.

Honestly, how’s the two-party system working for us? Are we watching the debates? Do we really believe every problem has two possible solutions? Do we ever wonder why we discuss the same problems over and over again? Can we picture a political landscape characterized by 2-1 votes instead of 1-1 stalemates? Are we willing to consider these questions?

We ought to, and we should have no problem logically discussing our answers without attacking each other’s character and requiring a moderator.

My vote isn’t rooted in party affiliation, rather the dream of seeing a political paradigm shift. Maybe in 2020 we can watch three goofballs spar on the stage, not just two.

I joined others in making the same argument four years ago, but it fell on deaf ears. This year’s election has hopefully expedited the process.

And to be clear, I don’t hold a grudge against either party. I just oppose the two of them together.

But don’t take it from me. Take it from The Caledonian-Record, the Chicago Tribune, The Detroit News, New Hampshire Union Leader, Richmond Times-Dispatch and Winston-Salem Journal, six newspapers that have all endorsed Johnson.

The Chicago Tribune editorial board had this to say: “We reject the cliché that a citizen who chooses a principled third-party candidate is squandering his or her vote.” I would agree.

For those rolling out the “a vote for (blank) is a vote for (blank)” argument, there’s a website for that.

The Balanced Rebellion is a movement designed for Democrats and Republicans disappointed with their party’s presidential nominee.

The site is set up to match you with a member of the opposing party who’s also willing to vote for Johnson.

There’s still time but, thankfully, you’ve only got 12 days.

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