Everyone who knows me knows I hate the two-party system. Recently, it has become clear that both parties exist to serve and protect each other, not the American people. Issues such as abortion, our nation’s border and economic and foreign policy will never be resolved. If both parties work together to solve them, they have nothing to rile up their bases once election season rolls around.
The American public has become more in-tune to government inefficiency, growing angrier every year. Yet, every election, the same two parties emerge and battle for control. With this glaringly obvious paradox present, it is clear that while the goal of both parties is to defeat the other side, the ultimate goal is to make sure, even if you lose, you are still in a position to take control next election. They do this with gross electoral finance laws, ballot access regulations and absence of term limits, to name a few strategies.
So how do we, the American people, break this? Given the right circumstances, I believe a strong libertarian candidate can seize control of the White House and shock the system.
It has to occur in an extremely contentious election. The libertarians also have to win at least one state to hold any sort of leverage. For example, if the libertarian candidate wins New Hampshire and the state’s four electoral votes, they could potentially hold power. If the democrat and republican parties each split the remaining 534 electoral votes, both candidates sit at 267.
So how does a candidate with four electoral votes win an election? Well, if there is no majority in the electoral college, the presidency is decided by the House of Representatives. However, the electors meet for the actual vote on the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December, more than a month after election day.
With the increasingly polarized political climate of America, especially at the national level, political opponents are beginning to be viewed more as evil wrong-doers rather than simply adversaries.
In our hypothetical scenario, the libertarians would have over a month to convince one of the two parties’ electors to vote for their candidate, mainly to keep the candidate they deem “evil” out of office. This is easier if there is a clear disadvantage in the house for a particular party.
In the situation we are currently in, if the libertarians offered a strong, fiscally conservative like Larry Sharpe to the republican electors over the democratic candidate, when the republicans know they will not win an election decided in the House, they are most likely going to take the side of Larry Sharpe to keep someone such as Bernie Sanders out of the White House.
In many states, electors can be punished for not voting for the candidate that won a majority in their state. However, the likelihood an elector would accept punishment to do what they think is “best” for the nation increases as we further divide ourselves along party lines.
If the libertarians could pull this off, it would completely change America’s political landscape. On their first day in office, a libertarian candidate signs an executive order reshaping campaign finance laws and ballot access. The libertarian president works with both parties to pass legislation that works for America.
With that hopefully, America will be free of the two-party system.