Battered Voter Syndrome

First of all, I want you to know that I love you. You are a good and dear friend, and I am saying this to you because I care about you greatly, and I don’t like seeing you get hurt. I certainly don’t like to see you be used and abused the way you have been.

Year after year he has made the same promises, and swears to you that he has changed, and year after year you believe him. Thinking that this time it really is going to be different, you go back to the same Party and vote for the same kind of politician. You want to believe that he has changed; you need to believe that he has changed, and you want to give him just one more chance. I understand. I really do.

But there comes a time when one has to admit that no change is coming. How many broken promises, how many excuses, how many lies does he have to tell you before you realize that you need to get out of this relationship?

Do you remember when he said, “Government is not the solution, it is the problem”? Do you remember when he said, “The era of big government is over”? What happened since then?

This year, your Party has had at least one candidate (or another, or another) who actually lives up to the promises your Party has made. They have promised an immediate end to the war, real tax cuts, constitutional principles, and government out of our lives. But your Party abused them every bit as much as he abused you. He marginalized them, made fun of them, even lied about them–all to make sure that they never had any real chance of being elected, all the while telling you that he can change, he wants to change, just give him a chance. Well, face it, my friend–he just had his chance. It’s time to leave him.

I warn you: he’s going to tell you the same thing he always has. He’s going to say he needs your help, that you should work with him to affect change, that if you leave you’re wasting your vote, that if you don’t support him then someone even worse will come along. When he says these things to you, remember that he has said all of this to you before. Every single word. There is no difference at all.

It’s time to leave him. It’s time to come to a party where you are truly loved. Many of us were once in your situation, and we are here with open arms. I can’t promise that we’ll agree with everything you want, nor can I promise that you’ll come to agree with everything we stand for. But if you’ve been staying with him, hoping that his promises of lower taxes, lower deficits, smaller government, and greater liberty will pan out, then I can promise you that here you’ll find people who truly want this.

We are the Libertarian Party.

I’m sure we’ll have our disagreements. I’m sure we’ll have our arguments. But at least with us, you know we can be relied upon. And if you think we want to go too far, well, help us along for as much as you think is right, and then depart from us. We’ll shake your hand and thank you for all you’ve done. We’ll never abuse you the way he has done. And who knows? When the time comes, you may just decide you want to stay with us awhile longer.

I can promise one thing: your vote will never be wasted. By joining us, you will have shed off the horse-race mentality that his abuse has forced you to have. You will no longer feel you have to vote for the winner, no matter how horrible he has been to you. You will no longer feel dirty afterward, wanting to wash off the stink, but feeling you had no other alternative. I cannot describe the wonderful feeling of voting your conscience; that is something you can only experience for yourself. But I can promise you that it will feel very good, and you will realize that what he told you about wasting your vote is a complete lie. In reality, you have been wasting your vote all along, by continually voting for pretty lies and platitudes that only result in more of the problems you want to get rid of. Make no mistake: even if the Libertarian candidate doesn’t win, your vote will have made a difference.

Look at how desperate he will be to keep your vote. He will keep telling you that this year, it’s different. This year, there’s a lot more on the line. This year, there’s just too much at stake, and if you abandon him now at this most critical time, the consequences will be dire. Remember that he has told you this exact same thing every other election year as well. Why do you think he has been so desperate to keep your vote? Do you really think he was telling you this for your own good, given how much he has abused you?

The truth is, he’s afraid. Because he knows that if you and your fellow battered voters leave him, then he’ll be powerless. He’ll no longer be able to manipulate you and control your life. He’ll no longer be able to force you to give up part of your paycheck, to force his way into your home to make sure you’re living your life the way he thinks you should, to force you into foreign entanglements that only endanger you and those around you.

Just look at how he complains about you behind your back. To others,
you are the one to blame; it’s your fault for how badly his Party is
going. No one should need any more proof of duplicity than this.

The time has come. Come to those who welcome you and your ideas. Come to the Libertarian Party.

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