Should We Consider a Third Party Candidate?

As important as I think learning more about our Constitution is, I feel compelled to interrupt the series to discuss another subject. Unlike the 1980 election, when people swept Jimmy Carter out of the White House in their exuberance over a Ronald Reagan Presidency, this year, very few people seem really excited about either major party candidate.

For those who don’t know me well, let me put myself in that camp. I was excited about the prospect of electing a man of the stature of Rick Perry or Ben Carson, but those hopes were dashed early in the campaign. Now the choice has come down to either a pompous windbag who can’t keep from putting his foot in his mouth or a serial murderer (remember all the mysterious deaths and disappearances among Clinton associates in the 90’s) and pathological liar who casually disregards protecting secret, sensitive information from our enemies.

Not at all an ideal situation, but there is still a clear choice. Far better to have the windbag than the crook, the man who has proven himself a success under our free enterprise system than the woman who would further destroy that system.

As more and more people grumble about the nominees of the two parties, there seems to be a groundswell leaning toward splintering the election with a third party candidate. I don’t know anything about Gary Johnson. He may be a good man and might even make a great President, but he can’t be elected. The best he can hope to do is muddy the waters.

It’s not like he’s the first person to try this. Other, much better known politicians have run as third party candidates in the past, and their presence has ALWAYS allowed the person they most wanted to keep out of the White House to win the election, with one exception, which we’ll get to.

In 1948 Strom Thurmond ran for President as a Dixiecrat. He had name recognition far beyond that of Gary Johnson, and was highly respected in his section of the country. However, his candidacy, launched to keep Harry Truman from winning reelection, did just the opposite. The nation went to bed on election night believing that Thomas Dewey had won, but the next day it turned out Thurmond had siphoned enough votes away from Dewey to tip the election to Truman.

In 1968 George Wallace ran for President as a third party candidate. His candidacy is the sole exception to throwing the election in the wrong direction. Lyndon Johnson was so unpopular—and, as his Vice-President, Hubert Humphrey shared that unpopularity—no one could stop Richard Nixon from being elected. Even so, Wallace didn’t garner enough votes to have any serious chance of being elected.

In 1992, George Bush ran for reelection against an almost unknown governor of Arkansas, and probably would have been a shoo-in, had it not been for the third-party candidacy of Ross Perot. Perot had no government experience and no popular backing, but he had enough money to buy his way into the campaign. He couldn’t win, but he deprived Bush of reelection, ushering in the Clinton Administration.

Now, along comes Gary Johnson with his third party campaign. He’s neither as well-known, nor as well-financed, as others who have tried this. There is no possibility he could win the election. All he can do is affect which major party candidate does win.

Since almost every vote he receives in the general election will be taken away Donald Trump, if Johnson can stir up enough interest, he can throw the election to the Democrat Party and their candidate, Hillary Clinton. I don’t know if there’s ever been a person of lower moral standard than Hillary, and I don’t think even Barack Obama is as far left as she is. Her election would be the greatest travesty that ever descended on our nation.

Do you really want to help bring that about by voting for a third party candidate who has no chance whatsoever of winning the election?


Benjamin Franklin, exiting Constitutional Convention:

“We’ve given you a republic, if you can keep it.”


For more information about David N. Walker, click the “About” tab above.

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About David N. Walker

David N. Walker is a Christian husband, father and grandfather, a grounded pilot and a near-scratch golfer who had to give up the game because of shoulder problems. A graduate of Duke University, he spent 42 years in the health insurance industry, during which time he traveled much of the United States. He started writing about 20 years ago and has been a member and leader in several writers' groups. Christianity 101: The Simplified Christian Life, the devotional Heaven Sent and the novella series, Fancy, are now available in paperback and in Kindle and Nook formats, as well as through Smashwords and Kobo. See information about both of these by clicking "Books" above.
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