I’m not going to attempt to offer a substantive debate about the pros and cons of the libertarian party. For information about what they stand for you can turn to page 5.
However, there is an important discussion to be had about messing with the two-party system.
Political parties have an interesting history in the United States considering the founding fathers never intended them to exist. In fact, John Adams once wrote political parties, “are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.”
Before modern political parties were a set fixture in politics, they often arose in the early history of the US when political beliefs clashed. They become a permanent system during the Jacksonian era, but to save you a history lesson, almost all of the political rivalries in the US that brought about effective change in our country happened under a two-party system.
Why? Well, despite the divisiveness and distrust caused by pitting half the country against the other, splitting the country into two interests instead of three or more is much more efficient when it comes to actually accomplishing political change.
During an election cycle a third party becomes even more than just an annoyance to the political machine, but can be destructive to the campaigns of the two major political parties if they steal votes away from the primary candidate.
Of course, the problems mentioned above occur on a national level, and so it would be easy to think that because the libertarian party is only just now taking root in rural semi-conservative states that having a third party here would not do any damage to the greater functioning of the country at large. However, this is an issue in which you would have to look more carefully at the state of Oklahoma itself.
Consider for a moment just how long Oklahoma has been dominated by the Republican party. So long and so fervently some might say it has been the only active political party in Oklahoma.
Also take into account the general activism of the Libertarian party recently, like taking the initiative to get themselves permanently and legally established and actually showing up to the polls on Super Tuesday to vote for Sanders.
With the sheer willpower of the libertarian party and the lack of effort on the behalf of Oklahoma’s Democrats, the third party is poised to come in and sweep up the crucial position of being the second party in the state.
Of course this may not mean anything to the rest of the United States since our reputation for breaking the rules precedes us, but it could mean a whole lot to other grassroots libertarian parties.
If they choose to view the success of the libertarian party in our failing state as a sign of the merits of the party itself, they might begin to mobilize elsewhere, creating unnecessary political complications all over the US.