The presidential election is fast approaching and that means the voting rhetoric is heating up. One of the most repeated fallacies regarding voting is that voting for a third-party is a vote for one of the two major candidates. Republicans will claim that casting a vote for Gary Johnson is actually casting a vote for Barack Obama while Democrats will claim that casting a vote for Jill Stein is actually casting a vote for Mitt Romney. As I’ve explained before voting doesn’t work that way. The premise that voting for a third-party candidate is actually a vote for one of the two major candidates is based on the assumption that the voter would have voted for one of the two major candidates if the third-party option wasn’t available. This assumption states that libertarians voting for Gary Johnson would have voted for Mitt Romney had no Libertarian Party candidate been available. Why would anybody make such an assumption?
I would never vote for Mitt Romney, period. The man supports gun control and wants to murder people overseas. Both of these stances are morally abhorrent to me. My opinion is shared with many people who are planning to vote for Gary Johnson this election season. Gary Johnson isn’t stealing votes from Mitt Romney because many of Johnson’s supporters would never vote for Romney. If Johnson wasn’t on the ballot many libertarians wouldn’t vote for any presidential candidate.
Consider this example: you’re given a ballot to vote for who will be living with you for the next year. This ballot contains three options: a serial killer, a serial rapist, and a man with no criminal record. Which of the three are you likely to vote for? I’m guessing most of the people reading this post would vote for the man with no criminal record because nobody wants to live with a serial killer or a serial rapist. What if the ballot was changed and the man with no criminal record was removed? Would you sudden vote for the serial killer, serial rapist, or simply not vote? I’m guessing most of the people reading this post would simply not vote. Under such a circumstance it’s asinine to claim that the man with no criminal record is stealing votes from the serial killer or serial rapist. If you’re still unsure of what my point is exchange the serial killer for Mitt Romney, the serial rapist for Barack Obama, and the guy with no criminal record with Gary Johnson.