The Lesser of Two Evils = Vote Third Party

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About Brandon Ferdig

Brandon Ferdig is writer from Minneapolis, MN. He shares his personal growth pieces, human interest stories, and commentary at his blog. He is currently writing a book titled New Plateaus in China, a compilation of travelogue, personal experience, human interest, and social observations from China. You can follow Brandon on Twitter @brandonferdig.


  1. AnonymouDog says:

    Did you vote in either major party’s primary Mr Fertig? Why didn’t you post an essay outlining your concerns before the two parties chose their candidates? If you are willing to ‘throw your vote away’ voting for a third party candidate in the general election, why didn’t you ‘throw your vote away’ in the primary by casting your ballot for a candidate who agrees with your concerns?

    The two major parties don’t care about the concerns of people like you, Mr Fertig, because people like you are less likely to vote in their primaries.

  2. I don't know says:

    Third parties are this country’s only hope. Otherwise, we’re heading for a bloody revolution, crackdown, and an end to the Constitution.

    • J P McMahon says:

      Idk, Read a little bit about “bloody revolutions” in the past. The assassinations, food riots, and mass demonstrations that lead up to that kind of thing are not much in evidence in our country. You could make an argument that the American Revolution didn’t have these factors, but the people they were rebelling against were an ocean away, in sailing ship days. The demonstrations that turned up at the conventions could be called pathetic at best. It’s more like a lot of grumbling, which gets amplified by the internet and social media. No significant number of people is going to risk getting their power turned off, the highways blocked, or no food in the supermarket, let alone go up against heavily armed cops and soldiers who would be shooting real bullets, in the name of any “revolution” in our country today. If I was a hardcore Republican, I would strongly suggest that anyone who supports Mr. Ferdig’s views, vote Third Party this election cycle as well.

  3. Jean Brandt says:

    I voted republican in the primary, hoping Ron Paul would be nominated. He would have stopped the War on Drugs and the overseas occupations. But he was railroaded by his own party. Now I’m voting independent, Gary Johnson.

    • Why would we use the same strategies and guildlines put down hundreds of years ago that was made for a society that has evolved to the point where those same strategies and guildelines no longer work? The republican and democratic ideals haven’t changed. Niether party seems to have separated the ideals of a society from the reality of our current society. Their political ideals haven’t evolved along with our society.
      When people don’t vote for a system that would be benificial to the whole of society but instead vote for whose more likely to win, it becomes a popularity vote; something that belongs in highschool, not in the governing of our country.
      Gary Johnson is a man of character. This man who invites the thoughts and opinions of all of society (even anarchists who, by principle of anarchy, don’t even vote) obviously isn’t hunting for votes in order to win. Sadly many people probably don’t know his name because they’re so used to being “sold to”.

  4. J P McMahon says:

    I think a third party, be it green, libertarian, or any political flavor would be welcome in that it would certainly make things more interesting. The problem, is that the third parties out there are shooting for a PhD when they haven’t even gotten out of the first grade yet, thus making their participation in the presidential election nothing more than a vanity project for their candidates. Let’s see a third party run a TOWN, before they are going to run the country. All politics and political careers start at the local and state level. How many assemblymen, delegates, commissioners, mayors, council and board members belong to third parties nation wide? Until a third party can get that going, what they do is pretty pointless.

    • justpassing says:

      maybe you should do research on those third parties before proclaiming them 1st graders.

      Libertarian running for office was republican governor of New Mexico for two terms and was one of only FOUR states who ended up with a surplus in their budget.

      by I’m assuming since they are third parties and don’t have the money to parade their accomplishments in your face, you haven’t heard about them. It’s called Research

  5. I do not agree with the drug war.

    However, I am legitimately curious about what Mr. Ferdig thinks we should do about militants that live abroad.

    I was in high school on September 11th, 2001, and lived in northern New Jersey. Seeing the smoke from my house, getting phone calls from people whose parents worked in Manhattan and were still missing, knowing that some just wouldn’t come home at all, it was terrible.

    There are people that hate the US. They will try to kill innocents in the US every chance they get. Foreign countries clearly cannot be counted on to police their own populations (see: Osama Bin Laden living happily just outside a Pakistani military base). So what are we supposed to do?

    • Thanks, Mike. Yeah I liken it to having a snake captive. If we “do the right thing” and let it out, it might bite us. So is it best to keep it caged up? Actually maybe that’s a better metaphor for prison, but hopefully you get my point about how it’s tough to be peaceful in a dangerous world.

      The difference between the snake and the militants, though, is that we didn’t make the snake dangerous, and I argue that the militants hate America not because of who we are, but because of what we’ve done and what we do. You never hear them chant “death to Australia” even though Australia is just as free as we. Our constant presence and bombings in the Middle East can’t be over-stated in their devastation.

      And maybe it’s the way we’re doing it rather than the mission that has me (and them) react. America has sunk to new levels of low by shooting rescue workers and dropping bombs on funerals.

      But regardless, for a solution, I’d recommend getting our troops out of the Middle East. This isn’t to isolate us from the region just as we do business with other regions today without military. Let’s talk with their leaders. Let’s even talk to “terrorist organizations”. We stop funding their enemy, Israel. We help where we can to see that women are treated fairly and the poor get help. And, yes, support our oil interests where we can so we can drive our cars. If a nation is particularly bad, we don’t do business with them.

      We can’t force them to be who we want them to be any more than we could force the Soviet Union to change. We just had to wait for them to collapse and for the resultant, independent satellite nations like Poland, to voluntarily loosen up their ways to open the door to more freedom and prosperity. I think we need to take a more patient, diplomatic approach such as this.

      • Jean Brandt says:

        Brandon, the answer is not with force, but with love. We take away the reason for hate. Radical evolutionary consciousness of entanglement and collective humanity says that we are all in this together, regardless of our differences. So the answer to the parts of humanity that work against the harmony of the whole is not to destroy them, but to heal them. This takes openness of heart, a letting go of being right, and a nationwide movement into the new age of interdependence.

      • J P McMahon says:

        “We can’t force them to be who we want them to be any more than we could force the Soviet Union to change. We just had to wait for them to collapse…” Wow. I can’t believe you wrote that. The primary foreign policy objective of the United States from 1945 to 1991 was to stop the spread of communism, and bring down the Soviet Union. The Marshall Plan, the Peace Corps, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and other proxy wars and covert operations (including Afghanistan), as well as aid programs throughout the world for that time period were directed to that goal. The Cold War and subsequent military build up was what ultimately brought them down. VOA beamed “Dynasty” into the Eastern Bloc and the people there wondered why they couldn’t live anything like that. But the Soviets, because their economic system was was so laughably inefficient, couldn’t build tanks and jets, and at the same time build TVs, cars, and washing machines. And once the Soviet Union started to weaken, the Poles and other Europeans realized that the Russian hoards wouldn’t be coming over the border if they did their own thing. Why do you think that those countries all joined NATO as soon as possible? The collapse of the USSR didn’t just happen, and we didn’t just “wait for it”.

        • Thanks, J P, for the history lesson. You are much more learned in this area than I. But we didn’t invade Russia –or even the USSR, we lost Vietnam, and the “Dynasty” promotion all support my idea of how we should/should not handle the present difficulties–not with war but by being great and letting them see that.

          • J P McMahon says:

            “…but by being great and letting them see that.” I think most people in the Islamic world see this more as rubbing it in their face as to how backwards they are. They love air conditioning, cell phones, antibiotics, air travel, the internet, and all of the other technological innovations created in the West. And what have they offered the world in this arena? Nothing. They aren’t even capable of copying it. The great scholars in that part of the world are all over the Koran, but electrical engineering? Not so much. And things we think are great, like our tolerance, and particularly the acceptance of the equality of women, they see as apostasy. The idea that infidels are so much better than believers at so many things, when their world view tells them that the opposite should be the case, has made them extremely resentful. It is almost like God is punishing them. And that has deranged them.

      • Mr. Ferdig,,

        I appreciate the response, I just suspect we’ll have to disagree.

        I do not believe that these populations hate the US because of “our freedoms,” that’s an absurd argument. I believe that what we’re seeing is what we’re always seen: tall poppy syndrome ( ).

        Virtually all of the problems of a nation like Yemen would be solved if the people would organize themselves along democratic lines with some sort of protections for individual liberty (probably in the form of a constitution). Just as you pointed out that these people do not chant “Death to Australia,” I would point out that countries with strong democratic institutions generally do not give rise to popular movements that promote terrorism in the first place.

        Fixing your own country is hard, but blaming America is easy. Regardless of where American troops are or are not located this simple calculus will not change. As a result, I am unconvinced that any action on the part of the US will ever cause militant groups to change their minds; doing so would imply a capacity for introspection that they have thus far been completely incapable of.

  6. I don’t vote for parties. I vote for specific issues. In general, I vote for the candidate who’s anti-war, pro-labor, pro-environment, and anti-Wall Street. If that turns out to be the Democrat, great–he’s got my vote. If not, I vote Green or for another independent.

    And when Democrats lose and complain “We needed your vote,” I reply: “Then you should have earned it.”

    • I agree, Copyleft. A vote for Jill Stein is not a vote against Obama. A vote for Gary Johnson is not a vote against Romney. A vote for Jill Stein is a vote for Jill Stein. And a vote for Gary Johnson is a vote for Gary Johnson.

      • I am morally torn…. I agree with Jill steins’s platform, and realize Obama isn’t perfect and has perpetuated many negative policies…

        But the stakes are high with the supreme court judges being likely replaced within the next four year term… It would seem cruel to force the nation to deal with a overly conservative supreme court, and a presidency that would do much much worse than Obama IMO…. So I am likely to vote Obama in terms of overall utility of my vote, but realize I am relinquishing my principles and values albeit for a good reason. I just wish I didn’t feel bad for doing it…

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