No Regrets: Tales from a Millenial Third-Party Voter
A year ago this month, I can recall with great clarity as many of my fellow millenials were posting misguided BuzzFeed articles on “How to Move to Canada in Six Easy Steps,” I was on the verge of calling my parents and asking if I could come home to Canada myself- not because I was upset with the election results, but because my friends in local law enforcement told me that unfortunately, I was ineligible for witness protection. I hadn’t witnessed a drug cartel operation gone bad or anything- rather I had committed the unfathomable crime of voting for a third-party candidate.
I was yelled at. I was unfriended, unfollowed, and ridiculed. I was told that I was the reason that transgender and gay people were going to end up in concentration camps and women were going to be forced to be impregnated with the sperm of Mike Pence.
A year into the Trump presidency, the criticism has only intensified. After all, Trump is ruining our country, right? Right? How could I possibly let this happen? Surely I regret my third-party vote now, don’t I?
Not a bit.
In fact, I stand firm in my decision to vote third party- and I’m not alone.
- Rome wasn’t built in a day. Right now, the seeds of liberty are being planted- and someone has to hoe the fields, dig the holes, and till the soil. Katelyn, a third-party voter from Georgia, stresses that while the Libertarian candidate may have not won the election, she doesn’t regret her vote as “the Libertarian party is growing in numbers as people get irritated by the two-party system.”
- Principles override pop culture. Yes, we had Jay-Z promoting Clinton and Kid Rock supporting Trump, and fairly clever memes coming from both camps denouncing the opponent, but in the end, voting is a very personal decision and should not be taken lightly. We must weigh each issue and assign importance and value to them and make a decision based on which candidate’s platform best aligns with our own personal interests.
- It was my vote, and I voted for me. Shane, a third-party voter from California, stated that he also has no regrets as he says: “I voted from my own conscience and for my own values, those of which neither candidate in the Republican or Democrat party represented.” Selfish? Not really. After all, if each individual’s vote is counted equally, in an ideal world, the interests of the majority would win the election.
- The Libertarian platform appealed to my generation. Marie, a voter from the Midwest, has no regrets about voting Libertarian due to “their message of being socially tolerant and fiscally responsible, and that they both had actual governing experience.” As a millennial, I feel that a government’s job is to be but an arbiter of disputes and to provide basic services that benefit everyone (a small military, public safety agencies, and public education) while staying out of their citizens’ personal lives and the international affairs of other nations.
- I voted for change. The United States wasn’t founded by Republicans and Democrats. It was founded by an independent group of individuals who wanted a change. Other political parties have risen and fallen over the course of almost 300 years- and maybe it’s time for the Republicans and/or Democrats to collapse. When that happens, the Libertarian party is poised to absorb moderates from both groups.
Elections aren’t betting games. Jason, a third-party voter from New York, points out that as a voter, “you’re not supposed to pick who you think is going to win. You’re supposed to pick who you think will do the best job.”
We have but one vote to gamble with, and like my Libertarian peers, I gambled on a better future.
And I don’t regret it one bit.
Also published on Medium.