The op-ed below was published by the Star Tribune on September 28, 2016. Griffin Edwards is a St. Olaf senior from Encinitas, CA, majoring in Russian language and international development. He is currently studying abroad in Veliky Novgorod, Russia.
Despite the repeated assertion that I’m just giving my vote away to either Hillary or Trump (depending on who I’m talking to), I’ll be voting for Gary Johnson in November.
“Why?” you ask, “He isn’t going to win.”
To which I respond, the point isn’t to win, and it isn’t a protest vote. I’m not handing Trump (or Clinton) the White House by not supporting a major party candidate. A vote for Gary Johnson isn’t thrown away. Rather, I believe it’s a vote to save American democracy.
At no other time in our history have we been so divided. Study after study confirms that we’ve become more and more partisan, unwilling to give credence to the “other side”. We’ve gone from “I disagree with you, but I respect you” and “I think my opinion is better” to “I’m right, you’re wrong” and “I’m educated, you’re ignorant”.
And our election has reflected this shift. Just look at the vitriol that’s been thrown around. Families and friends have been torn apart, and for what? Because one candidate is “crooked” and the other is a “psychopath”. Suddenly, political identity has become less about the opinion held by a person and more about the person themselves.
Concerned about the expansion of government control and the erosion of individual liberty? Please consider joining and becoming active with the Libertarian Party of Minnesota. Libertarians support liberty on all issues, all the time! Libertarianism is a philosophical and political movement to promote personal freedom, strong civil liberties, a genuinely free marketplace, and peace.