It seems to me that every 4 years you have a presidential election and all of a sudden, they come out of the woodworks:  The people whining that we need more than two choices; that we have to have more than two parties. They extol the virtue of voting for a candidate that will be lucky to get half of one percent of the vote.

Now, I agree that we need more options.  I agree that we need more ideas on the table.  We should have more than two viable parties.  My problem is that elections don’t only get held every 4 years.  Elections get held every single year.  You have all levels of government be it federal, state or local.  I vote every year and yet when I vote on odd number years, I never see any third party candidates running for school board, city council, sheriff, constable, comptroller etc.

If you want to build successful third parties, you need to start on a grassroots level.  These are the elections that are winnable and can form a foundation.  You could get a libertarian as the town constable or get a Green party candidate on the city council.  You could get an independent candidate on the school board.  These are small elections with a small base of voters.  It would be easy to capture the imagination of enough voters to win some of these elections.  That would make it easier to start getting into state senates and houses or even the federal House of Representatives.

This is where it’s time to call out bullshit.  School boards and city councils aren’t really sexy.  Who cares about the comptroller?  Or the constable?  The presidential election is nationwide and it gets a lot of election.  For a lot of people, it’s really more about wanting to complain or wanting to be contrarian.  I don’t even see many people propping up third party candidates for congress or the Senate during the Presidential election year. 

Now if you actually are out there trying to get independent and third party candidates elected to school boards and city councils, this diatribe is not directed at you.  I respect what you are trying to do and support that cause.  This is directed at the people that only turn out every 4 years with their holier than thou self righteousness.

Now I’m not going to tell anyone how to vote.  People should vote for whomever they feel is the best candidate.  I also won’t tell you that you are wasting your vote if you want to vote for a third party or independent candidate.  Since only one candidate wins, you could argue that 54.1% of the people wasted their vote in 2016.  Vote however you please.  I won’t tell you that you’re wasting your vote.  I am asking you to stop wasting my time.


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language_game's picture

lol... well said... though i

lol... well said... though i would argue that your dedication to voting is irrelevant... i don't think the powers to be would ever allow a real powerful society-changing movement to change the course of this capitalist Western liberal nation-state... but "free" elections do seem to give hope to the great exploited majority as the inequality divide quietly continues to widen like a great gaping bottomless abyss... only violent revolution can change the human condition... did i just state my opinion as though it were an absolute universal truth?... then i broke one of my ruleszzz today.




georgeschaefer's picture

absolute truth is usually a

absolute truth is usually a lie

J9thxciv's picture

If my comment contains a

If my comment contains a misreading, please feel free to tell me or to delete it, as you think best.  Your poem led me to read  the full text, and not just a digest summary, of George Washington's Farewell Address---specifically the section in which he condemns the presence and processes of political parties.  Although we have made his birthday a Federal holiday, and we raised a great obelisk to his memory in the Capitol that bears his name, we seem to be blissfully ignorant of his opinions.

  I have read both historical and political scholars who have suggested, plausibly, that this country was founded upon some of the principles and practices of FreeMasonry (it is represented on both sides of our dollar bills, and in several of our national monuments).  As a former Freemason (32nd degree in the Scottish Rite), I can attest, without doubt, that, within a tiled Lodge, no party faxtionalism is admitted or tolerated.  The only party present is the fraternal aspect of the Masons' mutual fellowship.  Votes are cast according to what the individual's conscience deems as best for the Brotherhood---the individual lodge---the brothers in the individual lodge---and, lastly, oneself.  We know that Washington was an ardent, perhaps even a fanatical, Mason; and I think some parts of his farewell address---esoecially as it expresses his aversion to party politics---may have been based upon his Lodge which factionalism was avoided at all costs for the good of the organization.  I think he realized that he realized that the allegory of a rough stone being shaped and prepared to be a smooth and well fitting part of the Solomonic temple---which is one of the great allergories presented by Masonic ritual---also applies to American political discourse, in its ideal form.  We need to smooth over the rough edges that political parties promote and nurture, so that, as one nation under God, we may fit nicely together in the American temple of domestic tranquility and social interaction.  And yes, I know that old Mason, Brother George, had many flaws; I have never met a human being without them; but just as David and his son, Solomon, demonstrate, a flawed man can still be a fount of wisdom when that vocation is given to him.  And I think Washington, despite his other flaws, understood and foresaw the meaning, the purpose, and the future of this nation in ways from which we should learn, and from which we should navigate our future course.


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georgeschaefer's picture

good history lesson.  I do

good history lesson.  I do hope people start to take those small elections more seriously.  that's where you can get grass roots change

Stephen's picture


The British haold elections every time they get to a point of "no confidence" in the prime minister or every five years whichever comes first.

georgeschaefer's picture

vote early and vote often

vote early and vote often

allets's picture

For Something


I can not say when I began "standing" for things. College maybe. Real things worth addressing. The Infrastructure Party, The Anti-Global Warming Party, The Rent Control Party - have merit. Partys to believe in. Start in pre-school teaching usa management classes.Downside of freedom, we are free to do nothing. Thought provoking write, Gee. The Poet's Party - hey. :D





georgeschaefer's picture

We'll start our own crazy

We'll start our own crazy poet's party someday