In late February Lee Wrights, Libertarian Party presidential hopeful, put up the Million Vote March website. The idea was simple: if voters didn’t like either of the “establishment” candidates, they were encouraged to cast a protest vote for the Libertarian Party nominee and push his vote count to a record-breaking 1,000,000 votes.
As it turned out, Gary Johnson, former Governor of New Mexico, won the Libertarian Party presidential nomination in May. By that time, the two contenders had developed a respectful camaraderie. Both men told me that they became better candidates for having to “compete” with each other.
Consequently, when Mr. Johnson won the nomination, Lee Wrights began showcasing the former governor on the Million Vote March site. Wrights’ piece “Why I’m Voting for Gary Johnson” spread across the Internet through his strong presence on Facebook and his blog, one of the oldest in the movement. Johnson, for his part, came out strongly against the foreign wars, a position that Wrights had championed.
Rather than attack each other, these two presidential candidates kept their eye on the goal: enhance the credibility of the Libertarian Party, get voters to pull the Libertarian lever, and break through the “wasted vote” barrier to reach new highs. Instead of tearing each other down, they built each other up. The result was 1,139,562 votes, more than double the 2008 vote count for the divisive Barr/Root ticket. Teamwork pays!
Congratulations are in order-for the presidential ticket of Johnson/Gray, for the hundreds of Libertarian Party candidates, for their uncountable supporters, for their generous donors, for their tireless volunteers-and for the 1 million plus who marched to the polls and voted Libertarian. Working together, we all sent a message to Washington.
Will Washington take heed-or will we have to send a stronger message next time?
Originally published here.
Mary J. Ruwart, Ph.D., is the author of Healing Our World, a liberty primer for liberals, Christians, New Agers, and pragmatists. She also wrote Short Answers to the Tough Questions: Sound Bites for the Libertarian Candidate after her Internet column (www.self-gov.org) of the same name.