by R. Lee Wrights
Not all of America’s wars are clear and visible. For decades establishment politicians have been waging a quiet, secret war most Americans don’t even realize is going on. But this war is just as destructive of our liberty as the war in Afghanistan, the war on drugs, the war on taxpayers and the myriads of other conflicts our government is waging.
This war is stealing one of our most precious birthrights, the right to vote for the representative of our choice. It is the war on ballot access. Unlike other wars, the war on ballot access is waged by a united front of Democrats and Republicans who always willingly and eagerly stand together to restrict and obstruct any contender for political power but themselves. They’ve seized control of a nation and have no intention of ever relinquishing their stranglehold on the reins of power.
Most Americans are oblivious to the monopoly of power exercised by the Democrats and Republicans because they’ve been conditioned to believe that "America has always had a two- party" system. Even some otherwise honest and intelligent Republicans and Democrats believe this is the way it’s always been, and seem genuinely amazed when they’re told how difficult it is for third-party and independent candidates to get on the ballot in many states.
That’s exactly what the professional political class wants them to believe. The arrogance of the two-party establishment feeds on itself; the longer it maintains and holds sole power, the more convinced it becomes of its rightness. They see nothing wrong in limiting your choices. In their haughty position of self-importance, they piously proclaim that having more than two choices on the ballot would only result in a "cluttered ballot" and "voter confusion."
These claims are merely a cover for their cynical belief that American voters are too uninformed and uneducated — in other words, too stupid — to make decisions from a long list of choices, unlike voters in countries like Iraq. The same politicians who piously demand other nations institute "democracy" have no qualms about blatantly denying to their own people the right to vote for representatives of their choice.
The stark truth is, if you’re not a Republican or a Democrat in the United States of America, you are a slave to a government controlled by a majority that forces it’s will upon you. Restrictive ballot access laws, perpetuated by the two-party duopoly, are the ultimate abuse of power. They’re depressing testimony to the mortification and calcification of the two-party system to the point that it is close to death.
"One of the best-kept secrets in American politics is that the two-party system has long been brain-dead maintained by a life-support system that protects the established parties from rivals," said Theodore J. Lowi, senior professor of American Institutions at Cornell University. "The two-party system would collapse in an instant if the tubes were pulled and the IVs were cut. And until then, the dominant two parties will not, and cannot, reform a system in which they are the principal beneficiaries."
In almost every case, state ballot access laws are an impediment to our rights, our freedom and our liberty. They’re designed exclusively to muzzle dissent and limit voter choice in order to secure power for the ruling class. In this election, however, America will have a clear choice and an opportunity to pull the IV tubes on the two-party duopoly.
Libertarian presidential candidate Gov. Gary Johnson may well be on the ballot in all 50 states. But to make that happen, the Libertarian Party needs funds to secure ballot access in 19 more states. You can help that effort here.
Then on Nov. 6, 2012, be Libertarian one time and vote Libertarian to stop the war on ballot access. Help us achieve a historic one million votes for the Libertarian candidate for president. Send a clear message to Democrats and Republicans that it is your choice, your vote, your rights, and you will no longer stand idly by while they take them away from you.
Enough is enough! Make them remember this November! Vote Libertarian!
R. Lee Wrights is a writer and political activist living in Texas. He is currently the Vice Chair of the Libertarian Party national committee. He is the co-founder and editor of the free speech online magazine Liberty For All. Contact Lee at firstname.lastname@example.org.