Thursday, January 9, 2014

Anarcho Capitalism and Voting

Should AnCaps vote? This is a question that has divided the anarcho-capitalist movement for quite a while. Many AnCaps see it as not only a waste of time, but also a violation of the NAP. I would tend to disagree. 

Many non-voters will claim that voting is an act of consent to the coercive state and is therefore a violation of the NAP. Several notable anarchists such as Lysander Spooner and Murray Rothbard positively wept at this logic. Allow them to break down the issue:

"In truth, in the case of individuals, their actual voting is not to be taken as proof of consent, even for the time being. On the contrary, it is to be considered that, without his consent having ever been asked, a man finds himself environed by a government that he cannot resist; a government that forces him to pay money, render service, and forego the exercise of many of his natural rights, under peril of weighty punishments. He sees, too, that other men practise this tyranny over him by the use of the ballot. He sees further that, if he will but use the ballot himself, he has some chance of relieving himself from this tyranny of others, by subjecting them to his own. In short, he finds himself, without his consent, so situated that, if he use the ballot, he may become a master; if he does not use it, he must become a slave. And he has no other alternative than these two. In self-defence, he attempts the former. His case is analogous to that of a man who has been forced into battle, where he must either kill others, or be killed himself."                                                    -Lysander Spooner, No Treason

"Many anarchist libertarians claim it immoral to vote or to engage in political action--the argument being that by participating in this way in State activity, the libertarian places his moral imprimatur upon the State apparatus itself. But a moral decision must be a free decision, and the State has placed individuals in society in an unfree environment, in a general matrix of coercion. As Lysander Spooner pointed out, in an environment of State coercion, voting does not imply voluntary consent. I'm interested to talk about that. This is the classical anarchist position, there is no doubt about that. The classical anarchist position is that nobody should vote, because if you vote you are participating in a state apparatus. Or if you do vote you should write in your own name, I don't think that there is anything wrong with this tactic in the sense that if there really were a nationwide movement – if five million people, let's say, pledged not to vote. I think it would be very useful. On the other hand, I don't think voting is a real problem. I don't think it's immoral to vote, in contrast to the anti-voting people. Lysander Spooner, the patron saint of individualist anarchism, had a very effective attack on this idea. The thing is, if you really believe that by voting you are giving your sanction to the state, then you see you are really adopting the democratic theorist's position. You would be adopting the position of the democratic enemy, so to speak, who says that the state is really voluntary because the masses are supporting it by participating in elections. In other words, you're really the other side of the coin of supporting the policy of democracy – that the public is really behind it and that it is all voluntary. And so the anti-voting people are really saying the same thing. I don't think this is true, because as Spooner said, people are being placed in a coercive position. They are surrounded by a coercive system; they are surrounded by the state. The state, however, allows you a limited choice – there's no question about the fact that the choice is limited. Since you are in this coercive situation, there is no reason why you shouldn't try to make use of it if you think it will make a difference to your liberty or possessions. So by voting you can't say that this is a moral choice, a fully voluntary choice, on the part of the public. It's not a fully voluntary situation. It's a situation where you are surrounded by the whole state which you can't vote out of existence. For example, we can't vote the Presidency out of existence – unfortunately, it would be great if we could – but since we can't why not make use of the vote if there is a difference at all between the two people. And it is almost inevitable that there will be a difference, incidentally, because just praxeologically or in a natural law sense, every two persons or every two groups of people will be slightly different, at least. So in that case why not make use of it. I don't see that it's immoral to participate in the election provided that you go into it with your eyes open – provided that you don't think that either Nixon or Muskie is the greatest libertarian since Richard Cobden! – which many people, of course, talk themselves into before they go out and vote. The second part of my answer is that I don't think that voting is really the question. I really don't care about whether people vote or not. To me the important thing is, who do you support. Who do you hope will win the election? You can be a non-voter and say "I don't want to sanction the state" and not vote, but on election night who do you hope the rest of the voters, the rest of the suckers out there who are voting, who do you hope they'll elect. And it's important, because I think that there is a difference. The Presidency, unfortunately, is of extreme importance. It will be running or directing our lives greatly for four years. So, I see no reason why we shouldn't endorse, or support, or attack one candidate more than the other candidate. I really don't agree at all with the non-voting position in that sense, because the non-voter is not only saying we shouldn't vote: he is also saying that we shouldn't endorse anybody. Will Robert LeFevre, one of the spokesmen of the non-voting approach, will he deep in his heart on election night have any kind of preference at all as the votes come in. Will he cheer slightly or groan more as whoever wins? I don't see how anybody could fail to have a preference, because it will affect all of us."                                                                                                                                                  -Murray Rothbard, Ethics of Liberty
Now, you have heard the same thing from arguably the two most highly notable and influential anarcho capitalists in history. This is hardly worth scoffing at. Now if you'll allow me to break down the non-voter aargument myself: An argument you will often get from a non-voter is such that voting keeps the state in power. Let me counter that claim: the state could easily exist without voting, in fact the idea of democracy is only recent, so it is easy to dispel the claim that if everyone stopped voting, the state would somehow magically crumble. Our privilege to vote can be taken away at any time. Another argument is that it is a consent to be governed. This is also easy to dispel. The essential argument underlining the principled voter argument is that voting does not violate the NAP as it is a form of self defense. We are placed into a coercive situation in which we must be vote for a candidate or face a worse alternative. When non-voters claim that if you vote, you are violating the NAP, their argument is along the same lines as saying that if you pay taxes, you are violating the NAP. Why is it that non-voters are quick to say that voting is a violation, but paying taxes is not? Many in the AnCap movement pay all of their taxes, every month. If we use the principled non-voter argument against them, they have been consenting to the state for their entire lives and continue to do so. If this is the case, why do they pay taxes? For fear of punishment. They pay taxes out of self defense! The same argument non-voters use for taxation can be applied to voting and we can see that voting is, in fact, not a violation of the NAP.

Not only is it not a violation of the NAP, but I feel as if it is a good way to bring about anarchy. Those who claim that minarchy is not a good way to bring about anarchy suffer from Zeno's Paradox. Zeno’s Paradox may be rephrased as follows: Suppose I wish to cross the room. First, of course, I must cover half the distance. Then, I must cover half the remaining distance. Then, I must cover half the remaining distance. Then I must cover half the remaining distance…and so on forever. The consequence is that I can never get to the other side of the room. What this actually does is to make all motion impossible, for before I can cover half the distance I must cover half of half the distance, and before I can do that I must cover half of half of half of the distance, and so on, so that in reality I can never move any distance at all, because doing so involves moving an infinite number of small intermediate distances first. Essentially, to achieve your destination you must cover half the distance, then cover half that distance, and then cover half that distance until you achieve your destination. Let me ask you: If you could press a red button that ended the state right this moment, would you do it? So many people have become dependent on the state for everything, that society would simply not function without the state. We would erupt into chaos. There would be riots on the streets, looting, mass murder, and other horrendous events. We must realize that the average American cannot live their life without the state and when the state is removed they will come for you, your family, and your property. It is a risk to you, a risk to me, and a risk to the well-being of society in general. Yes minarchy is like a surgeon only removing 80% of the tumor, but you do need to remove 80% of the tumor before you can remove all of it don't you? We need to achieve anarchy through localization or at least decentralization of the state. We must take baby steps if you will. We must first limit the state's powers before we can completely eliminate them. This is why I still participate in the political process and why Adam Kokesh will be running for President in 2020. We recognize that we cannot move across the room without walking halfway first. 

So we have established that not only is voting not a violation of NAP, and that it is probably the best way to achieve anarchy as well. Perhaps if AnCaps ditched the non-voter position one and for all and started running for office themselves, we might actually have incredible candidates at the local, state, and federal level that can cripple the state and help bring about anarchy by way of localization. So, I encourage you my fellow AnCaps to vote and help weaken the beast so we can finally be rid of it!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Beneficial Gain: Why Socialism Fails, And Capitalism Thrives

The capitalist vs. socialist paradigm all comes down to incentive to achieve. Capitalism fosters it, socialism doesn't. Innovation is the product of dreamers. Take away the chance to get rich and/or the chance to change the world and you kill that drive that pushes them to work 20 hours a day to create the next best thing. This is where socialism fails, and capitalism thrives. In a socialist society all of your basic needs are provided for at the expense of others around you. There's no drive to work hard and invent something because wealth is equalized and there's simply no chance of becoming successful. A counterargument to this is that people could work simply to help society. Let me say this: the drive for money is more powerful than the power to change things. This is, perhaps, a generalization but it as such an important notion to realize that altruism alone is not powerful enough to propel society forward. You wouldn't work your job simply to help your employer, would you? It's likely that if your wage got lowered you would quit your job and find another one rather than continue working. If your company went bankrupt, everyone would rather quit than put the company back on it's feet. With this we can conclude that the company must rely on the human motivation for money to keep its workers. Imagine this on a much larger scale and you will understand why human motivation for wealth is more of an incentive than pure altruism. 

Now, does this mean I think altruism has no place in society? Do I think people should pursue things that are only beneficial to them? Of course not. I'm not an objectivist, though I do like some of Ayn Rand's work. I do believe that altruism is beneficial to society, however we must be realistic and admit that altruism alone is not powerful enough to propel an entire society forward. As much as Communists, Socialists, and Zeitgeists hate to admit it, human greed is in our nature.  Now by greed I do not mean a want to harm others, but rather a want to have more. We will always want more than we have. It's simply a fact of life. There is not a single person on the planet that is completely satisfied with what they have. We will always want more food, better clothes, the newest technology, the latest vehicle. We must realize that a socialist society will not work because there is always that drive for people to maintain more than those around them. We can foster this nature best in a true capitalist society  where everyone is given an equal playing field.

Now there's something that needs to be cleared up. The free market is not a system. This sounds crazy, but let me finish. It is not a policy dictated by any person or state. It cannot be created via law, and it does not exist in any legislation or regulation. It is quite simply natural order. It is what people tend to naturally do. If you have a banana and I have an apple, chance are if I want the banana more than I want the apple I am going to trade my apple for the banana. This is mutual beneficial gain, and we are both happy. The free market is what happens when you allow people to act entirely on their own without central direction, with their own property, and their own interest. It is, to put it quite simply, what happens in an economy without central control. 

In a free market companies would be forced to compete with other companies to maintain money flow. They would have to lower their prices, better their products, and treat employees better or risk going out of business. To put this into a simpler example: It is likely that I wouldn't ask for five bananas in exchange for my one apple. This would be a poor outcome on behalf on the banana owner and he would not consent to this trade. It would not be beneficial to him to give up five bananas in exchange for one flimsy apple. I would also not provide him with a rotten apple, as this too would not be worth his banana. In a truly free market a manager or CEO would have to please everyone around him to maintain his job. If he does not provide lower prices and better products than other companies in the same field, he will lose customers. If he does not pay his employees enough or give them decent working conditions, they will quit and find another company to work for. If he does not bring the alloted money to the shareholders, they will take over the company and institute a new CEO. This is decentralized control of a business. It's what keeps prices low, working conditions livable, and products working smoothly in the absence of a coercive state.

Now that we've established that the free market stimulates innovation through beneficial gain, lets take a look at socialism. Socialism in its bare form, not American "socialism", is the idea that wealth should be completely equalized. It is the idea that gaining wealth is hoarding and stealing from society. Essentially, everything is provided for you. This type of society creates an entitlement mentality. A mentality that society owes you something simply for existing. This is a dangerous mindset for a society to hold. If everybody relies on others for their food, their water, their clothes, their shelter, or anything else they need then who will provide it all? Anarcho-Communists claim that people will provide this out of pure altruism, and statist communists claim that government can just force everyone to work(an ironic notion since they tend to claim that working for pay is " wage slavery".) Both ideas will fail horribly. As we established earlier, pure altruism is not enough to propel a society forward. We must be realistic when we say that while it is indeed man's nature to want to help others, this drive is nowhere near strong enough as beneficial gain. Would you be more likely to work at a volunteer animal shelter or a paid animal hospital? Both are altruistic in nature. Who wouldn't want to help animals? But the paid hospital holds a secondary motive of beneficial gain. As for statist communism, not only is it plain immoral and unjust to force a man to work, but it also a failed process. You wouldn't want to do a good job in a field that you are forced into and get no beneficial gain from. It is likely that you will do the bare minimum not to go to jail, and that would be it. There would be no motivation to improve the product you are creating because it would add unnecessary hours into your day that you will receive absolutely no benefit from. Why work an extra four hours on a product if you will receive absolutely nothing from it?

In conclusion, the capitalism vs. socialism debate revolves around human motivation. Socialism has little if any motivation to innovate as there is no beneficial gain. Capitalism, however, is built on the entire idea of innovation. Innovation is what fuels capitalism. New ideas, and then eventual improvement of those ideas. People will want to innovate and create new things to make a living for themselves. Some of the greatest technological marvels of modern technology were built in the garage of a random house in a suburb. Microsoft, Apple, Ford. All of those companies were started by ordinary men with extraordinary ideas. They were propelled by motivation for beneficial gain, and they changed the world as we know it. That is why socialism fails, and capitalism thrives. 

Friday, December 6, 2013

The Iron Law Of Prohibition: Why Prohibition Makes Everything Worse

Since the early 20th century, the Federal government has attempted to ban the use of addictive drugs. In spite of this, drugs continue to be widely available. The "drug trade" is now a billion dollar industry, run not by legal corporations, but by illegal gangs and mafias. Drug prohibition was originally introduced to protect citizens from the harms of drugs. It has served to put our country in much more danger? How? The answer can be found in the Iron Law Of Prohibition.

Step 1: The Government Bans The Item
It starts with banning something, not just anything though, something that gives pleasure to the user. Something like, well drugs.

Step 2: Supply and Demand Kicks In
Once government prohibits the use of an item, demand for it dramatically increases. This is because addicts that seek the unique kind of pleasure found in drugs, still want them, badly. Their desperation allows drug dealers to raise prices exponentially and still keep business.

Step 3: Organized Crime Becomes Popular And Profitable
Drug manufacturing, market, and selling is a complex business. When the drug is legal, it is sold by legal corporations, when it is illegal it is instead sold by gangs and mafias.These huge organizations, as complex as any multinational corporation, thrive off the constant demand and riches that only an all cash, tax-free business can provide.

Step 4: Violent Crime Increases
Legal drugs like nicotine and alcohol are closely recognized, regulated, and protected by the government. When disputes over products arise, they can simply take the disputes to court. Those involved in the illegal drug trade cannot. For quite obvious reasons. Instead they handle conflict resolution by means of violence. Other groups that sell drugs on their "turf" are dispatched violently leading gang wars, in which innocent bystanders often find themselves in the middle of. Neighborhoods and cities are turned in war-grounds. Violent crimes increases. The streets become very unsafe.

Step 5: The Potency Effect Kicks In
To keep costs down, profits up, and to avoid detection drug dealers often condense their products. The results: more potent and addictive drugs. We've encountered this in the past during the Alcohol Prohibition of the 1920s when alcohol dealers gave up on bulky, weak beer, and wine in favor of hard liquors like whiskey and moonshine. The potency effect has affected drug dealing in today's drug prohibition era. The drugs prohibition has brought us drugs like crystal meth, which is more addictive and potent than ordinary meth.

Step 6: "The Lure Of Forbidden Fruit"
People, generally people of younger ages, have always been lured by the forbidden. Drug dealers know this so they often aggressively market to this portion of the population. This is why a lot of hard liquor consumed during the 20s were sold in speakeasies, basically illegal nightclubs. Today we see the same thing with rock concerts and raves, which are similar to the speakeasies of the 1920s.

As you can see, due to the Iron Law, prohibition has made our drug situation much worse than if we had just kept drugs legal. Sure, drugs aren't the healthiest product on the market. We must learn that using the law is not a pragmatic approach to rehabilitation of our society. We need to learn from the mistakes we made in the 1920s. The law is not magic, it can be and is fallible. We must learn to cope with the idea that throwing legislation at a problem won't make it go away. We must come up with better solutions to our problems.



Sunday, November 24, 2013

The War On Drugs Is A Civil Rights Violation

America is at war. We have been fighting drug abuse for almost a century. Drug abusers clog up our courts, and overcrowd our jails. The black market for drugs causes violent crimes that ravage our cities and neighborhoods. Mob bosses and gang leaders grow in power as they illegally sell these drugs to addicts. Police resources are spent hunting down drug abusers, shifting focus away from violent offenders. The War On Drugs has not only drained our economy, turned out streets into a war zone, and given more money and power to the mob bosses and gang leaders but it is also a civil rights violation.

According to the Justice Policy Institute: "The United States leads the world in the number of people incarcerated in federal and state correctional facilities. There are currently more than 5 million people in American prisons or jails. Approximately one-quarter of those people held in U.S. prisons or jails have been convicted of a drug offense. The United States incarcerates more people for drug offenses than any other country. With an estimated 6.8 million Americans struggling with drug abuse or dependence, the growth of the prison population continues to be driven largely by incarceration for drug offenses" Think about that for just a moment. That's close to 2 million people in jail for drug use. How can America be "land of the free" when there are more than 5 million people in our jails, a good chunk of them non-violent drug offenders. We are talking about locking fellow Americans in cages for choosing to put something in their body. Perhaps not the smartest decision they have ever made, but yet it was their decision to make. Often peaceful people are locked up in jails with murderers, rapists, and terrorists for upwards of 10-15 years and yet no one seems to see a problem with this. Most of these offenders are innocent and peaceful people, and a good chunk of them first-time offenders. Drug abusers are often given excessive punishments which ruin their life forever. 

Not only are peaceful people given harsh sentences for dumb mistakes but many victims of the War On Drugs were denied treatment through medical marijuana and many died as a result! For example:

Robin Prosser was a Montanan musician and mother who was using marijuana for medical purposes. She had systemic lupus, which caused severe nausea and chronic pain, and marijuana helped with these symptoms, as she was allergic to many prescription drugs. Police and prosecutors in the state attempted to charge her and put her in prison until Montanans voted overwhelmingly to allow medical marijuana in 2004. However, federal agents continued to go after her and effectively denied her necessary medicine. Unable to deal with the pain, Robin committed suicide in 2007.

Sal Agro died a few days after his family suffered violent raids upon their homes and businesses in Ferndale, Michigan. Both he and his wife were legally registered medical marijuana patients. Barb Agro was found guilty of manufacturing and distributing marijuana. She was not permitted to use her status as a licensed medical marijuana patient as a defense, though her actions were legal under state law.

Peter McWilliams was a world-famous author and an advocate of medical marijuana, not only because he believed in it in principle, but because it was keeping him alive (he had AIDS and non-Hodgkins lymphoma). After California passed a law legalizing medical marijuana, Peter helped finance the efforts of Todd McCormick to cultivate marijuana for distribution to those who needed it for medical reasons. Federal agents got wind of his involvement, and Peter was a target for his advocacy. He was arrested, and in federal court was prevented from mentioning his medical condition or California’s law. While he was on bail awaiting sentencing, the prosecutors threatened to take away his mother’s house (used for bail) if he failed a drug test, so he stopped using the marijuana which controlled his nausea from the medications and allowed him to keep them down. He was found dead on the bathroom floor, choked to death on his own vomit.

Think that's bad? You have not seen anything yet. A lot of the victims of the drug war actually weren't drug abusers. Here's some examples:

Derek Hale, a veteran of two tours in Iraq, was tasered, shot and killed by Wilmington Police in 2006. Hale was a member of the Pagan Motorcycle Club in Delaware, which was known for sponsoring the “Toys for Tots” run every year. The club was the target of investigation by police on suspicion of drug trafficking and Hale was personally targeted for surveillance. Hale was house-sitting for a fellow club member when he was approached on the steps of the house by 8-12 undercover police officers. He was tasered three times, then shot at point blank range, all while verbally stating that he was attempting to comply with the officers’ demands.

Following up on a tip from a drug suspect, 6 officers crowded into a hallway outside Pedro Navarro’s bedroom. When the door opened, one officer shouted that he had a gun. Navarro’s gun was never fired, but officers fired 30 rounds, with 12 of them hitting Pedro in the back, head, and left hand. The trajectory of the bullets indicated that at least 6 of the rounds fired into Navarro were shot from the doorway as Navarro law on the ground. The police had no warrant for the raid and no drugs were found in the house or in Navarro’s body. Police have not produced any reports to indicate Navarro was ever involved in the drug trade or any other sort of illegal activity.

Mario Paz was shot twice in the back in his bedroom after a SWAT team of more than 20 officers shot open the doors to his home in a drug raid. No drugs were found, and the police chief stated that he was unsure if the officers knew the Paz family was living in the home, and that both before and after the raid they had no information which indicated that anyone in the Paz family was involved in drug trafficking.

Those are just a few of the many victims of the drug war. You can find more here

The war on drugs is a civil rights violation that puts innocent lives at risk, and innocent people in jail every day that the war rages on. Houses raided, people shot, first-time offenders given excessive sentences. It's kind of funny that a war waged to protect people from the dangers of drugs is harming more people in the process. But hey, that's government for you!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Libertarianism is NOT Corporatism

A common misconception about Libertarianism is that Libertarianism is corporatism. This is not only false, but it is absurd on many levels.

Let's start with the fact that Libertarians are vehemently non-interventionist. We oppose war unless we are directly attacked. We don't think our military should be getting into the affairs of other nations. This stance is a deep threat to the military industrial complex which makes all of it's money off of the obscene amount of wars and police actions that our military engages in. Massive military contractors such as Xerox Corp. and General Dynamics C4 Systems make their money off of these wars and police actions. They provide equipment for our men overseas. If Libertarianism propped up big business, then Libertarians would support interventionist wars overseas...which we do not. Libertarianism is a massive threat to the military industrial complex which houses some of the biggest corporations in the country.

Let's move on to how Libertarians think economically. Libertarians believe in an ideal called Capitalism, which embraces something called free market economics. A free market encourages competition in the marketplace. By abolishing some of the obscene regulations government places onto businesses, it will be easier for small businesses to grow and prosper which is exactly what the big corporations don't want to happen. Competition would force corporations to provide better services and lower prices in an attempt to keep customers. In a crony capitalist, or closed market society corporations are able to monopolize certain markets...and since they don't have to worry about losing customers as much, they are free to provide terrible products for high prices and get away with it. It would also solve unemployment problems, because since there would be more companies...there would be more career opportunities. Since Capitalism encourages innovation, any old Joe out on the street with a wonderful idea can put that idea in action to make a living, and possibly change the world. In a crony capitalist society, even if you can motivate yourself to share your idea with the world and make something of is highly likely that a large corporation would just buy you out, or get their government buddies to regulate you out of business.

Lastly, let's move on to the obvious part that the Libertarian Party has practically NO money. The Libertarian Party receives it's money almost entirely in individual donations from members. Libertarians often lose elections because they are the only political party that isn't bought out by corporations. Libertarians are also shunned by the media, which are owned by these major corporations. If Libertarians back big business, why doesn't big business back Libertarians? That would be because corporations don't want Libertarians to win elections, because they fear their corporate welfare and closed market will disappear. A competitive market is big business's worst nightmare, and since Libertarians famously champion that economic structure...that makes Libertarians a big threat to big business.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Obamacare: Coming Soon To Your Favorite Prime-Time Shows

The California Endowment is reported to have dangled a $500,000 grant in front of the eyes of top TV writers and producers in an attempt to convince them to promote the Affordable Health Care Act(Obamacare) on major TV stations. They are convinced that featuring lines and plots regarding the ACA in popular TV shows will convince Americans to enroll in the increasingly unpopular plan.

"We know from research that when people watch entertainment television, even if they know it's fiction, they tend to believe that the factual stuff is actually factual," said Martin Kaplan of the University of Southern California's Norman Lear Center, which received the grant. "The public typically gets as much, if not more, information about current events from favorite TV programs as mainstream news outlets, so people learn from these shows." Kaplan went on to say.

The grant announcement has been made after the release of the deeply flawed health care website and lies about Americans being able to keep their health care plan. "If you like your health care plan, you can keep it." said an enthusiastic Obama in 2009. Hundreds of reports are coming in from people who have lost their coverage. Many people, including some Obama supporters, have said that they were shocked at the sharp rise of their premiums...and at the knowledge that many Americans are losing their health care coverage. 

So, in an attempt to convince the public that the ACA is "right for them" or whatever they are trying to accomplish, they have essentially bribed major TV writers and producers to put plots and lines in their shows that concern the ACA in some way. Since the grant money is a relatively new proposal, no specific shows or stations have been targeted. David Zingale, a California Endowment senior vice president, has said: "We want them[Americans] to get the facts. We don't believe the government alone can break through with those facts". 

Buckle up your seatbelts, Ladies and Gentleman. If you thought the amount of propaganda featured in television shows already was bad, you have not seen anything yet!  


Monday, November 4, 2013

Is Voting Third Party Really Such A Terrible Idea?

The 2000-2008 reign of George W. Bush was uncomfortable to Republicans and Democrats alike. Bush's policies like his wars in the Middle East, his Patriot Act and the expansion of the police state concerned many. When Obama ran for President in 2008, he had a beautiful message. He spoke of Bush's unforgivable massacres in the Middle East. He explained how the Patriot Act was unconstitutional and vowed to bring America back to the constitution where it belonged. Supporters of the Libertarian Party and Constitution Party candidates were skeptical. They pointed out that many presidents before Obama ran on a positive message...they were ignored, shunned and ridiculed. They were told that a vote for a third party candidate would put another Republican in office and ruin Obama's chances of steering the country back to freedom. Obama won the election. He continued the wars overseas, expanded the Patriot Act, passed the NDAA and drafted executive orders banning certain types of guns. In 2012 Obama was up for re-election. Mitt Romney ran against Obama promising to undo all the bad things Obama had done. He ran on a positive message of freedom and liberty. Once again, the third party candidates pointed out that former presidential candidates ran on a message of liberty and then failed to uphold those principles. They pointed out that Romney's actions in Massachusetts did not match his words. They urged voters to vote third party. Once again they were shunned and ridiculed. They were told that voting for the third party would take votes away from Romney resulting in another four years with Obama. Libertarians and Constitutionalists begged voters to rethink their votes. They appealed to reluctant Obama voters. The voters ridiculed the third party voters as well, saying that while Obama was bad...Romney would be much worse. Obama won his re-election. Obama has been worse the second time around, encroaching more freedoms then ever. Most people would agree that Bush and Obama were terrible presidents. But most reject the idea of voting third party because they fear that would only put someone worse in office. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result. 

One of the biggest excuses made by Republicans and Democrats is that a third party vote is a wasted vote, and that we should vote for the lesser of two avoid putting someone worse in office. Allow me to let you in on a little secret. The lesser of two evils is still evil. Voting for a bad candidate, to keep a worse candidate out of office is compromising your vote. When complaining about the state of the country, you can only blame yourself. You voted for a candidate you knew was bad, and yet you voted for him anyway. What gives?

It should be worth noting that there is no legal document binding the country into a two party system. In fact the constitution, in several places, assumes that there would be at least three major candidates running. If you look at the first several Presidential elections in this country, you would see that there were always at least three Presidential candidates who received a strong amount of electoral votes. The bars preventing us from introducing a three party system or a multi-party system is purely in our heads. We are a two party system, because we only vote for two parties. Simple as that. If the constitution explicitly said that there should only be two political parties, that would an entirely different story.

Another argument that is brought up opposing third parties is that it "doesn't work". This claim is often made with no evidence whatsoever. They think it "impossible" and it would create chaos. We should look to successful Republicans like Japan, Italy, Ireland and even the United Kingdom. They all have at least three successful political parties, if not more. It seems odd that America, supposedly the freest country in the world, can only choose from two candidates every year. We only have one more political party than Germany during World War II, something to bear in mind. Americans enjoy varieties of choices everything from the religions we wish to practice, to the foods we wish to eat, or the television channels we wish to watch. Why don't we have more choices for which political candidate we wish to vote for?

Republicans and Democrats often tell us that a third party would mean candidates would have to work ten times harder to get elected. That's the point! Right now candidates can hide behind the "lesser of two evils" and "party before policy" arguments even if they are terrible candidates. In the presence of a viable third party , the Republican and Democratic parties will be forced to put up better candidates. Think of the party system like you would a free market system. A free market introduces competition. In the presence of competition, corporations will have to work harder and provide better products in order to keep customers. In a closed market, corporations can raise prices and produce worse products without fear of losing customers...because they are really the only choices. That's called a monopoly, and right now the same people preaching about the negative impact of monopolies on an economy, are supporting the monopoly on our political system.

Right now, in our current party system, Americans have taken an "us vs. them" mentality. Either you're with us or you're with them. As any self-respecting Star Wars fan will tell you: "Only a Sith deals in absolutes". It is a false dilemma. We need to break that. I didn't buy it when Bush claimed that either we were with him or we were with the terrorists, and I don't buy it now. There is always a third choice. Every decision we make has a third choice, whether it's a good choice or not is up to you, but there is always a third choice. Don't let people fool you into thinking in terms of black and white. 

So, what should we do about this? Fight. Fight to convince people to run third party. Fight to get them on the ballot. Fight to get people to vote for them. If you don't like either of your choices in an election, don't vote for either of them! Remember, the only wasted vote is an unprincipled one. Don't be afraid to support a candidate just because not enough of your neighbors support a candidate. Real and honest change is rarely popular. People are very fallible, and voting for the most popular candidate will not get you what you want. Voting for the lesser of two evils, no matter how evil the other candidate is...will not get you liberty.