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It’s no secret that I’m a libertarian. I believe in free markets, limited government and maximum human freedom — values not universally shared by either the Democratic or Republican Party. So, it always comes as a surprise when acquaintances warn me not to “waste my vote” by voting third party every election cycle.

The Libertarian Party never has a chance of winning, they say, so voting for one of its candidates is a waste of time and effort. Clearly my only choice, they say, is to bow down to our two-party overlords and make an admittedly onerous choice between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

Related: If you don’t vote your conscience, you’re throwing your vote away

I find this line of thinking hilariously naïve. It’s as if my partisan friends believe that their one vote could actually sway the outcome of an election, and therefore, I have a moral obligation not to waste mine.

Statistically, this couldn’t be further off-base. One has a greater chance of being struck by lightening than deciding the outcome of an election.

Stephen Weese does the math at FEE:

In the United States there are currently 218,959,000 eligible voters with 146,311,000 actual registered voters. In the 2012 Presidential election, 126,144,000 people actually voted. This is our voting pool.

Each vote, legally speaking, has the same weight. So if we start from that assumption, taking into account a probable amount of voters (126 million), the power of your vote is:


126 million

This is: 0.0000000079 or 0.00000079%. That is the weight of your vote mathematically.

Like it or not, my vote doesn’t matter much. So, why shouldn’t I spend it at least signaling in a small way my protest towards the two despicable candidates the mainstream system has produced?

Plus, I reside in the District of Columbia, a Democratic stronghold that has about as much a chance of a Trump victory as pigs flying. So, my electoral votes are going to Hillary Clinton anyway. Wouldn’t voting Trump be just as much a wasted vote as for Gary Johnson?

Related: Millennials don’t have a lot of confidence in democracy. Is anyone surprised?

If there’s one thing the American public school system has done well, it’s brainwash citizens into believing that their voice can change the outcome of history. In reality, social change is much more difficult, requiring years of organizing and debate. One man can change the world, but he needs a whole lot of help.

Gary Johnson is one such man and the only presidential candidate who consistently believes in the value of liberty as I do. So, I’m proud to support him by intentionally withholding my vote from the political duopoly that exists today. Third parties are only perceived as “wasted votes” because like-minded citizens are shamed into voting Republican or Democrat by misguided partisans like my friends.

I refuse to blindly follow suit.

Why are there only two major political parties in the U.S.?

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