I hear it again and again when a discussion turns to the sordid question of the presidential election. “I can’t stand either Trump or Clinton,” so many people say, “but what are you going to do? You gotta pick one.”
This presidential election feels like a hold-up. Like we’ve been run into a boxed canyon, held at gunpoint, told to put our hands up, and choose: Your money or you life.
We are righteously angry at being forced to make a decision between two such bad options, while at the same time, we know it isn’t true. We know there is another option in Libertarian Gary Johnson. We know the gun isn’t loaded, the canyon isn’t boxed. But we keep insisting we’re trapped.
I think at the heart of this boxed-in thinking is that we have been conditioned, trained to accept a logical fallacy.
It goes like this. I can’t vote third party because that would be throwing my vote away. Why? Because nobody else is voting third party. Why? Because that would be throwing their votes away.
The entire hold-up is built on circular reasoning. On being conditioned to believe in an imaginary box and, perhaps, distrust in the mental acuity of others to see that the box is imaginary.
It was perhaps with this expectation of conditioning that John Quincy Adams warned us to, “Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.”
Gary Johnson will be on the ballot in all 50 states. Every single voter will have the power to choose him. There is no boxed canyon. The gun is not loaded. We are as free to vote our conscience as we choose to be.
Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup.
Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox.