Libertarians have been relentlessly criticized this year, by the right and the left, for not voting for a candidate of one of the two major political parties, but they don’t owe their vote to either side.
Republicans and Democrats both claimed that a third-party vote is a vote for the opposition, while also claiming that it would be a wasted vote. However, a vote does not fall under either of these claims just because it does not go to the candidate that many others would like.
Each person’s vote is up to them and they should cast it as they see fit. They should be able to cast their vote for whoever they feel best represents their views both morally and politically.
A myth that individuals from both ends of the political spectrum believe is that libertarians would vote for their candidate if their options were only between the Republican and Democratic candidates. They fail to realize how little support they actually receive from libertarians.
“I am not going to support Democrats or Republicans publicly because I disagree with them on over half of all things,” Ryan Graham, chairman of the Libertarian Party of Georgia, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Maybe we are all just bad politicians and that is why we are Libertarians.”
Instead of resorting to attempting to guilt libertarians to vote for their candidate, a better tactic would be to run a candidate that more closely aligns with the ideology that prioritizes liberty above all else.
This situation was especially relevant in battleground states, such as Georgia, during the general election. Republicans were frustrated with libertarians for voting for Libertarian Party Candidate, Jo Jorgensen, who received just 1.2% of the vote in Georgia. If each of Jorgensen’s votes went to President Donald Trump, he would have won the state.
Additionally, in Georgia’s Senate race between Democratic Candidate, Jon Ossoff, and Incumbent Republican Senator, David Perdue, the libertaian vote forced a runoff, as many projected would happen prior to the election. If the votes that went to Libertarian Party Candidate, Shane Hazel, went to Perdue instead, he would have won the senate race and avoided a runoff.
“In Georgia, you have to win 50% plus one to win the election,” Graham said. “And if you are not popular enough to do that, that is not our fault—that is your fault. If you did not earn enough votes, maybe you should change your platform and earn those votes.”
Libertarians may never have a realistic shot at a high office anytime soon. However, that does not mean they should betray their beliefs in favor of a candidate in a major political party that they think would be slightly better than the other major political party’s candidate.
The Repubublican Party does not reflect the values of libertarians so they should not feel inclined to vote for republicans, and they certainly do not share common ground with the Democratic Party.
Brian Slowinski, a former Republican, feels that, like many other libertarians, the party does not represent them like it once did
“I didn’t leave the party,” Slowinski told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, speaking of the Republican Party. “The party left me.”
The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.