COLUMN: The case for voting third party

Aside from basic human rights, nobody is entitled to anything.

One can debate what constitutes a basic human right, but for the most part, I do not believe anyone will find anything controversial with that statement. However, there is always one time of the year where I have to repeatedly mention this fact: Election season.

This past presidential election, I, like 1.2 million fellow Americans, voted for Gary Johnson.

Because of tactics pulled by the Republican Party of Michigan, I was also one of 7,774 Michiganders who had to write his name in.

Now, I obviously did not get away with such an action without a large amount of heckling.

As the election approached, Republicans told me that by voting for Johnson I was complicit in the fiscal destruction of America, while Democrats told me I would be complicit in Romney’s calls for self-deportation and a constitutional amendment of what constitutes a marriage.

So, I ignored them and voted third party.

More recently, many independents and Republicans had to face a similar struggle in the Virginian gubernatorial race.

Several “fiscally conservative” individuals were uncomfortable with voting for Republican Dan Cuccinelli, who as recently as June filed an appeal with the Supreme Court to uphold an obnoxious anti-sodomy law.

As a result, 6.4 percent of Virginians voted for the “fiscally conservative” and “socially liberal” third-party choice, Libertarian Robert Sarvis.

In an interesting turn of events, Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe would win the election by about 2.5 percent of the vote.

Naturally, many Republicans are blaming Sarvis for costing them the election, just as many Al Gore supporters once blamed Ralph Nader for his loss to George W. Bush.

Here is the thing, though. Nader and Sarvis aren’t responsible for Gore and Cuccinelli losing their election bids. Gore and Cuccinelli have only themselves to blame.

Nothing entitles candidates to a vote.

There is no way in good conscience I could have voted for Barack Obama or Mitt Romney; I was vehemently opposed to both of them on a number of issues.

The thing with Gary Johnson was he and I agreed on most everything.

We agreed upon imminently ending the wars overseas. We agreed upon an end to victimless crimes, including the decriminalization and eventual legalization to marijuana. We agreed upon further liberalizing immigration laws. Golly, we even agreed upon the need to reduce government spending and balance the budget in order to prevent screwing over future and my own generation of Americans.

In fact, a number of polls indicated that had Americans based their votes solely upon the issues, Johnson, a former two-term governor of New Mexico, would have been president.

Yet most people probably were not even aware of his existence, let alone willing to vote for him.

I, like some Virginians did for governor earlier this month, refused to vote for a candidate I did not believe in. Unfortunately, most Americans refuse to vote their conscience and choose someone non-mainstream.

Look at what a fantastic government we have produced today.