Ron Paul and Gary Johnson’s supporters are not a “nonfactor” in this election

In America, we choose to be different on purpose. Photo: AP File Photo

WASHINGTON D.C., October 10, 2012 – America has fallen a long and terrible way from George Washington’s farewell address in which the first U.S. president warned “I have already intimated to you the danger of parties in the state … The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism.”

Today, petty browbeating and factional elitism in Washington D.C. has replaced George Washington’s spirit of humility and wisdom.  We have seen narcissism overtake nationalism and partisanship replace patriotism.

Today, if you don’t identify with the Democrat or Republican parties or don’t want to vote for Mitt Romney or Barack Obama in November, you’re despised as electoral ragamuffin, political flotsam and a “nonfactor” in the pages of history. Now some would call that “pragmatism.” I call it electoral bigotry.

If America’s Founding Fathers could look from the balconies of heaven upon the Great Republic Experiment they birthed, their eyes would be shedding tears upon us like a squall of winter raindrops. The same nation that began with a Declaration of Independence that said “Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed” now is a nation controlled by politicians who insist they know best for us, that their plans are better than our plans and that all of us must sacrifice our unique values and history so that they can make history.

Like the Bible’s prophet Hosea of ancient antiquity bemoaned, “because your hostility is so great, the prophet is considered a fool, the inspired man a maniac.” No scholar or expert can have a serious discussion in this country anymore because the agenda setting power rests with people who refuse to accept rebuke from the very people – now awake – that in prior elections were lulled into voting for charlatans in gray suits and maroon ties.

No one can talk about real issues anymore because hyperbole and innuendo are now preferable to salt and light. Any attempt to address America’s debt crisis, her costly and losing commitment to meaningless military engagements abroad and the collapse of our government institutions at home is met with elitist sneers, ridicule and contempt. We are told that others, smarter and more competent know better than us and that we should simply know our place and vote for left or right.

This is a pattern that is happening not just in America, but the world over. If liberty is extinguished here in America, there is no other place for Americans to flee to or seek refuge in. Nigel Farage, a UKIP MEP, speaking of Europe’s bureaucratization warned of what he calls a “moral mutation” and says of the EU, “Money from taxpayers and consumers is channeled, by this system, into those parts of the civil infrastructure, which support the incumbent parties and for the last few decades, have ensured that these parties remain collectively in power and that they resolutely continue with the work of removing from society all concept of moral value, other than that defined by themselves.”

We would be wise to take heed to those words and to ensure that America does not fall into that same moral mutation, though she is already showing signs of massive political and social metastasis.

Now consider this: Gary Johnson and Ron Paul both are men whose movements have attracted people who are sick and tired of being sick and tired. They are people who are increasingly less interested in left and right and more concerned about right and wrong. For them, this election is a referendum not on personalities but on paradigms. They are tired of explanations, tired of excuses and tired of waiting for a false political tagline salvation that never comes.

There is good reason not to vote for Barack Obama or Mitt Romney. On my ballot, I have a third party choice and I will vote for it. I am a Libertarian, and for president I am voting Libertarian! It has nothing to do with irrational disdain for either candidate and more to do with choosing to say that America needs to know that there are people who do not agree with the two parties and refuse – politely, yet firmly – to be peer pressured into voting for platforms and presidential candidates that do not represent their view of a government “as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

Contrary to what you have been told, a third party vote isn’t a vote for Barack Obama or Mitt Romney. It’s a vote for a future that though delayed today cannot be denied tomorrow if enough people have the faith to pursue it. Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Faith calls those things which are not as though they are until they are. And in this election, there are those of us who will choose the third choice because we choose to believe in an America so much better than what we’ve been offered by the two party system.

Change begins with a courageous choice. You’ve heard it before: what is right is not always popular and what is popular is not always right. Do not be moved by peer pressure or intellectual intimidation. The two parties may revel and glory that they hold majority today, but remember you still hold the vote. And as Shakespeare wrote, “Glory is like a circle in the water, which never ceaseth to enlarge itself, till, by broad spreading, it disperse to naught.”

Some of you reading this may be Republican. Then vote Republican. Some of you may be Democrats. Then vote Democrat. Good for you. But others of you are Americans commited only to the labels of liberty and justice for all, and to you I say this:

Your vote counts. Your opinion matters. If your heart feels led to vote third party, know that a vote for a third party is never a wasted vote, and this is your time to choose!


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Danny de Gracia

Dr. Danny de Gracia is a political scientist and a former senior adviser to the Human Services and International Affairs committees at the Hawaii State Legislature. From 2011-2013 he served as an elected municipal board member in Waipahu. As an expert in international relations theory, military policy, political psychology and economics, Danny has advised numerous policymakers and elected officials and his opinions have been featured worldwide. Now working on his first novel, Danny resides on the island of Oahu.

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