If the Libertarian Party doesn’t capitalize on this, oh my gosh I’ll be disappoint:
It was the first “protest” vote I’ve ever cast, and it felt … well, it felt good. Suddenly I understood a bit better why the Ross Perot or the Pat Buchanan or the Ralph Nader voters did what they did.
They thought the system was so broken that they couldn’t sit out but also couldn’t stomach voting for a conventional candidate at a time of unconventional problems.
Do I think a Ron Paul presidency is ever possible? No, I don’t. But I do want some of the Pauline virtues of candor and non-poll-tested conviction to play a larger role in our politics.
So now I’ve cast my protest vote. It felt good.
What I really want, though, is a party and a politics that’s commensurate with the problems and possibilities of the country. We’ll get there one day — and then we can focus on progress, not protest.
With Ron Paul semi-officially out of contention, the only credible third party or independent candidate left is going to be Gary Johnson. The only question is if everyone on the fence will once again wait until it’s too late to breathe life into his “brand awareness” campaign either financially or in-kind volunteering.
The tsunamis of voter discontent with the two-party system have been slamming higher and higher into public life on a regular basis every four years since Perot proved it could almost be done (you still need ridiculous amounts of money to be a threat to the party establishment). Around the world this is playing out with regularity as the masses discard their old political parties.
Maybe this is the year the tsunami of discontent topples a U.S. presidential election.