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Terrorizing the Two-Party System
Wednesday, September 5, 2012



Photo courtesy of Fox Broadcasting Company

I want to be a terrorist.

Not a terrorist terrorist. Not the kind that blows up buildings or kills people. I mean I want to be a terror.

I want to make things difficult and really annoying for the people who want to run my country.

In November, Iím going to be asked to vote for president. You want my opinion? I mean my true opinion? I would just as soon have the presidency abolished as vote for another person to hold it. Since thatís not gonna happen by this November, I need to figure out what Iím going to do.

The way I figure, people like me—and by that I mean American citizens who dislike both President Obama and his opponent, Mitt Romney—have three options to consider in this election. The first and most obvious of these options is to vote for the guy we dislike less. You hear people make comments to this effect all the time:

ďYou donít like Mitt Romney, do you?Ē

ďI like him better than Barack Obama.Ē

This is a foolish way to vote, and Iíll tell you right now: Iím ruling it out. The parties count on this kind of thinking. They count on you being willing to choose them because you dislike them less than their opponents.

The second option for people like me is to stay home altogether. If you dislike the Democrats, dislike the Republicans, you simply stay home and donít vote for either. This option certainly has its merits. For one thing, it saves you on gas. Why drive to the polls when you feel uninspired? For another, by not voting whatsoever, you can safely say, no matter the outcome, that no one can blame you for being a part of it.

The problem is, Iím looking to make things annoying, and I donít think staying home annoys the major parties. It doesnít matter if you stay home. It would only matter if literally every person in the country did.

Personally, I would love to see this. I would love to see every person in the country stay home. I would love to see a situation in which they couldnít name a president because zero people turned out on Election Day. This would be exactly the kind of chaos that I could sit back and enjoy with a beer. But since it would only take one person in a country of 300 million to blow it for everyone, this kind of thing would be hard to coordinate. Therefore, I cannot get behind it.

Which brings me to Option 3: the option to vote Third Party. This is the only option that makes sense to me, because itís the only one that strikes real fear in the hearts of the major parties.

In Pennsylvania, for instance, there is an effort afoot to keep Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson off the ballot. Similar efforts are afoot across the country, not just against Johnson but other third party candidates. The major parties donít want your vote going to any other party but themselves. They would rather go back and forth beating and losing to each other than run the risk of a viable third option entering the fray.

Thatís why, in Pennsylvania, the major parties only needed 2,000 petition signatures to get on this yearís ballot, while third party candidates needed better than 20,000. Itís also why, if a major party successfully challenges a third partyís petition signatures, the third party has to pay the major partyís legal fees.

These kinds of arrangements are what make up your country, and if youíve ever needed proof that the two major parties are working together to one anotherís benefit, there it is.

Thatís why, to me, the only thing that makes sense this November is to find a third party you can get behind. Itís the only thing that will properly annoy and terrorize and agitate. Itís the only thing that will shake things up. Itís the only way to make sure your voice and displeasure are heard in this election—the only way to send a message that things will need to change.

If youíre satisfied with the way things are in this country, by all means, perpetuate the system. By all means vote for Obama or Romney. Or stay home and let them win anyway. Iím an open-minded guy; I will not begrudge you.

But for me, the time for change has come. For me, the time to break up the two-party cartel is now. For me, the time to tell these people—who are working together, who have always worked together—that they are not our only choices is this November 6.

Jonathan David Morris is the author of Versus Nurture. Like him on Facebook at facebook.com/readjdm.

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