Forced to pick a political side

Illustration by Trevor Moore

Hello, my name is Megan and I’m a Republican.

My choice of political party is shocking, right?

I mean, what woman in her right mind would back the same political party that tries to control her body and make it impossible to receive certain medical procedures and services?

Apparently, this one.

Now, I’ll be the first to admit that the Republican Party has its problems. Seriously, a Republican from the South Dakota House of Representatives just compared Planned Parenthood abortion services to ISIS executions.

But no matter how socially ignorant and stunted the party may be, I happen to agree with many of the economic ideals it perpetuates.

For one, I don’t agree with heavy taxation or regulation for small businesses and farms.

Yes, there needs to be some regulation and taxation, but not so much that it’s almost impossible to open a small business.

Ultimately, it’s my conservative economic views that keep me from choosing a political party that matches my liberal social views.

But really, I’m more of a Libertarian than a Republican.

For my readers who haven’t taken a political science class (or slept through it), the Libertarian party almost exactly represents my political views.

They’re conservative in economics and liberal in the social aspects of government.

So why don’t I identify as Libertarian or vote for Libertarian candidates that are running for office?

Because I know that voting for a third party is the equivalent of throwing my vote away in any election.

When I took my general education political science class my freshman year, I remember the professor saying the exact same thing.

She explained that the American public has this notion that there are only two major political parties, and that there isn’t enough interest or people backing third parties to have majority vote during elections.

And you know what? She’s right.

Many people aren’t even aware that America has third parties. Some may be able to identify the Green party, but that’s probably only because the TV show “American Dad” did a whole episode featuring it.

Personally, I actually know a lot of people who identify more as Libertarian than Republican.

So you’d think that we’d all band together and rally the troops to get enough Libertarian votes during elections, right?

Unfortunately, everyone I’ve talked to has said the same thing: They don’t want to waste their vote on something or someone who isn’t guaranteed to have even a quarter of the votes the other parties get.

So, until Americans break away from the age-old notion of a two-party system, there will remain a line in the sand, and the following question will have only two possible answers.

Republican or Democrat?

Megan Mann can be reached at [email protected] or @meganisthemann on Twitter.