This is a question that seems to come up every election cycle. Many people that I talk to have a very simple, cut and dry response of yes or no. However, I do not feel that the question is as cut and dry as that. In fact, it could be said that it is a very complicated question.
As we all know, the internet is full of opinions and perceptions that people try to pass off as statements of fact. I have done it as I am sure you have as well. So let me be clear, the following is purely my opinion based on my experience, views and perceptions.
Let me start off by saying that I have voted mainly Libertarian or Independent for most of my adult life. I put that out there to put out the fires of the people that will ultimately accuse me of being pro-establishment.
I think voting third party can and has been wasted votes, but not always. I am a huge proponent of voting for who best represents you and/or voting for who will best serve the purpose of securing the outcome that you want for an election.
For instance, Donald Trump may not be “your guy” or best represent your political ideology, but if you feel strongly enough that he can stop Hillary Clinton from getting in office and that is ultimately the outcome that you want, then voting for Trump is not a wasted vote.
Voting with a purpose is, in my opinion, the defining factor if your vote is “wasted.”
If you are voting for viable third party candidate that best represents your political ideology, then no, voting third party is not a waste. But when is it?
If you are voting third party as a protest vote, where you don’t really care who the third party candidate is, but your voting for him with the equivalent of stomping your feet and throwing a fit against the two major parties, then yes, it is a waste.
If your third party candidate is a write in for Mickey Mouse or Donald Duck, not only is it a waste, but you’re making a mockery of one of the freedoms that we have that millions of other people in other countries wish they had.
Also, if you’re a party line voter. This goes for any of the parties, not just the third party. If you vote for the independent or Libertarian candidate just because they have an (I) or (L) next to their name, you’re not voting with a purpose, you’re essentially on auto-pilot and yes, it is my opinion that it’s a wasted vote. Same can be said about the (R) and (D) voters.
Yes, people do these things and many of them are the same ones that say, cut and dry, voting third party is never a wasted vote.
So what’s your opinion (and keep in mind, it is just your opinion) on this subject?