The mainstream media may not publicize it often, but America is fed up.
Of course, this comes as no surprise to me. I’ve been hearing it from voters from all sides for years. Iowa and America’s voter registration numbers show it with an increase in independent and third-party voters over the past four years. This, despite the best efforts from both Democrats and Republicans to strengthen their political tribes through legislation and bullying.
The frustration that America is feeling was reinforced following the debacle that was the first presidential debate on Tuesday. For two hours, Donald Trump and Joe Biden displayed their amazing ability to dodge questions and issues that impact citizens, while turning the debate into no more than an infantile Twitter argument.
This is what American politics has devolved into: 167 years of two parties being in power has culminated in a hyperpartisan tug of war for power over the people.
All over social media, Americans expressed their embarrassment for the pathetic exhibition. Even the mainstream media found it next to impossible to spin this in a way to make it palatable.
Google search trends for “Jo Jorgensen,” “libertarian candidate,” and “third party” shot through the roof after the debate. Jo Jorgensen’s campaign website received so much traffic that it temporarily crashed. Third-party social media pages and groups were flooded with new “likes” and “follows.” The appetite for another option is definitely there.
Personally, I spoke with multiple friends who were disheartened by the display. They are sick and tired of the status quo, but still couldn’t yet justify “wasting their vote” on a third-party candidate.
To me, I see it the other way around — why waste your vote on the status quo?
A vote for Jo Jorgensen can do so much more than a vote for either Biden or Trump. If she is able to get 2 percent in Iowa, that means Libertarians are considered a major party in Iowa, which immediately gives candidates credibility. If she can collect 5 percent of the vote nationally, that means the 2024 LP candidate would qualify for public matching funds. That would be a game changer and instantly make the Libertarian Party a contender.
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You can vote for the status quo and continue to get the sideshow that you saw on Tuesday, or your vote can actually have an impact on the political direction of the country and get us one step closer to a legitimate third option.
So, I agree. As proven by the appalling debate, this election is far too important to waste your vote on Trump or Biden next month.
Mike Conner is chairman of the Libertarian Party of Iowa.