Third parties have historically been harmful. The exception was the Liberal Party of 1930, which jolted the Democrats into plunking down for repeal of the prohibition laws that destroyed the economy and caused the Great Depression. The principle, however, is the same: a small but single-minded party pressing a platform the entrenched parties in a mixed economy struggle to evade, gets enough spoiler votes to make the difference between winner and loser here and there. This causes one of the two entrenched parties, eager for spoils, to change its platform or otherwise pass laws to steal that small party’s thunder.
The most striking recent examples have been the Green Party’s determination of the Y2k election outcome, and the quasi-Mohammedan Tea Party (same thing as the Constitution Party, American Party, John Birch Society and Ku Klux Klan) that affected the campaigns leading up to that same George Bush election. Unlike the DemoGOP Kleptocracy, with its 35,000-word spewings, one Tea Party faction takes fewer than 100 words arranged into a 15 Commandments to expound the triumph of superstition over reason within its ranks. The First Commandment is a tautology. Commandment 2 is obscurantist obfuscation. The rest are exhortations and declarative opinions, the most revealing of which is item 5: Gun ownership is sacred.
Ayn Rand pointed out decades ago that conservatives rely primarily on the argument from faith, and the argument from tradition (superstition is good, old is good) as a basis for determining what kinds of things a government ought to do. Their application of Olde Tyme Religion to the physical restraint of men conflicts with the First and 14th Amendments (the free=uncoerced exercise thereof, All persons born, not ova fertilized).
The most typical proponent of faith-based values has been the Colorado Planned Parenthood shooter, precisely the type of individual George Waffen Bush wanted as a spokesman for the Bill of Rights. After all, he issued two Executive Orders packing the federal government with cross-burning fanatics. Any rational person will defend Second Amendment rights as individual rights that make political and economic sense, not antique voodoo totems. Nobody has to vote for the Libertarian Party, but that choice makes a lot of sense.
The whole point of voting Libertarian is that we can’t possibly LOSE! We are voting to repeal prohibition, get the communist manifesto out of the Constitution and enforce the individual rights of everyone–even pregnant women!
Bookies using actuarial math bet their own money 6 to 1 that The Antichoice will LOSE (not elect its gross candidate) and 5 to 1 that the Pro-choice looters will win (lose non-reproductive rights, and elect a Grrrl). There is a huge surplus of Democrat probability, and no remote danger of hordes of Dems defecting and “letting” the Go-Pee keep bullying girls. The GO-Pee is pushing the same greedy superstitious prohibitionism that caused its morons to lose, and if History is any guide, will continue to defend the 1928 Prohibition Platform until dissolved and replaced. Bigots have several antiabortion parties, and fiscal conservatives (if there is such a thing), can vote Libertarian. A libertarian vote packs at least six times (and possibly 30 times) the law-changing clout of a vote for the looter Kleptocracy. The math is simple fractions and proportions.