The question in this part of the continuing third party viability debate is:
“Is a third-party vote “wasted?” If so, how? If not, why?”
This question is trickier to answer than it appears. Because it assumes that any vote could be wasted. The simple answer to that question is, “No, a vote that is cast is never wasted.” To vote is to speak your conscience, to announce your choice for the candidate you want to represent you in public office. So in the purest sense, a vote cast is never a vote wasted, even if cast on a candidate you are sure won’t win; third party or no.
Now if the question presented were to ask, “Is a vote for a third party what is needed to, A. send a message to D.C. and B. the way to get our country back on track to the principles and concepts of our founding?” In that case the answer would be a resounding “No!” Why you ask? The answer lies in what the electorate wishes to accomplish. Change of ‘regime,’ be it Democrat OR Republican; or more specifically, change of ideology in either party can only come about via infiltration and usurpation of said party. You cannot effect change by presenting a third party. You can go on all day how the Republicans blew it after they took power in the ‘90s, and I will not argue with you on that point. They did blow it, big time. At first, they were gang busters, presenting America with a balanced budget four years in a row, but in due time, the temptations of power caught up with them. But is the answer to this really the development of a new political party?
Even a viable third party would only offer that a new kid on the block, once in power would succumb to the temptations and vices that both the Democrats and Republicans have in the past. As I stated in the first part of this debate, absolute power corrupts absolutely.
That being said, we are left with two options:
- Conservatives need to take back control of the GOP
- We, the Conservative electorate need to remain vigilant and hold our party to the highest standards and keep them on track to the road of smaller government and more individual liberties
This is by far, the hardest path to carve in today’s political landscape, but as my Dad once told me, doing the right thing is rarely the easy thing. It is much easier to sit back and take the populist route by spouting third party rhetoric and trying to capture the energy of the Tea Party Movement that is present in America right now, bending it to your will. The Tea Party’s power lies not in it being a third political party, but as a wake up call to the powers that be in the Republican Party. So far it is working. If you want proof of the power of the Tea Party, then look to the recent elections in Virginia, New Jersey and especially in Massachusetts. THAT is where the power of the Tea Party lies, in motivating the moderate Democrat and Independent voters to make choices for conservative candidates.
Lastly let me say that if people want third party choices, then let those choices be in the primaries. For then you don’t have to worry about splitting the vote and this might be the only viable way a third party could work in this country. A healthy, robust primary race with Republican and third party candidates could put a fine point on the message we need to send to D.C. Mounting a third party in the general presidential election would only serve to spell disaster for the conservative movement in America.