Over the years I have been feeling increasingly disenfranchised from politics — especially on the federal level. Only once have I have been passionate about a Presidential candidate. Since then I have essentially voted for the least objectionable choice. This year, I don’t even want to do that. Instead, I yearn for the option offered on many multiple-choice tests, Answer D: “None of the above.” Some might assert that would be wasting my vote — and I used to agree.
In the United States we effectively have a two-party system. Any credible third party option is squelched by the system or effectively absorbed into the mindset of one of the two major parties. In essence the Democrats and Republicans have a shared common interest to keep third parties impotent. I’m not suggestion collusion, but it wouldn’t surprise me.
My preference would be no political parties, as George Washington advocated. Short of that, I would embrace viable alternative parties, who would join as needed to form ad hoc coalitions, as is seemingly done in every other “democracy” in the world.
In the past, concern over wasting my vote has kept me from selecting a third party candidate. But in recognition of my growing ambivalence towards the process, in general, and the options offered by the two major parties, in particular, a different approach is in order.
After all, voting for a third party candidate with no chance of being elected is less lame then voting for “none of the above” by staying home on Election Day.
Wordsmith Peter DeHaan is a magazine publisher by day and a writer by night. Visit peterdehaan.com to receive his newsletter, read his blog, or connect on social media.