Don’t waste your vote on a Democrat or Republican

RANCHO SANTA FE, Ca., November 5, 2012– On November 6th, the presidential auction will be over and the Office will be awarded to one of the two highest bidders. The word “auction” seems eminently more appropriate than “election” because we have forsaken the sacred trust that the Framers created for us. The Party duopoly, which currently masquerades under the Democrat and Republican names that used to have real meaning, will spend several billion dollars to purchase your vote. The question is: Do you care and, if so, are you willing to do something about it?

Let’s do a reality check.

President Obama and former Governor Romney are willing pawns in the auction. They have already surrendered their ability to lead independently to the Parties in return for the enormous sum of money and the huge infrastructure the Parties have provided to place a “reserve” on the Office that no other candidate can reach.

They have been molded by their image consultants and taught to read the carefully scripted words that appear on their TelePrompTers. We may never know what they really believe. We only know how their professional writers have prepared their lines based upon the direction of their strategists, who have diligently sifted through poll data, keeping only those facts that are favorable to the candidate and his Party.

After the election, the “winner” will be paraded around the country for four years to fill the seats at Party fundraisers and at rallies for other Party candidates. He will be required to appoint Cabinet Members, Senior White House staff, and United States Ambassadors as directed by his Party in repayment of the massive political debts that were accumulated during the campaign. The President will also be obligated to rail against the other member of the duopoly; claiming that all problems emanated from the other Party or that the “opposition” blocked every effort to make progress.

This is not to suggest that either of the major Party candidates is sinister in any way. It is simply to state the truth.

One need not look further than President Obama’s schedule this year. Has he spent that 25 percent of his term working diligently on the People’s business, or has he been distracted and relatively ineffective because of the demands of the campaign? That’s what the winning Party commands from its President.

What about your President? How would you like to see him or her behave while in office, and what can you do about it? Let’s examine the current system to determine your options.

As the leading independent candidate for the Office of President of the United States, I can offer some personal insight.

I immediately recognized that neither I nor any other Third Party candidate could meet the billion-dollar “reserve” of the presidential auction. Until meaningful campaign reform is secured, that will continue to be a reality.

As I addressed in The 1st Amendment and the failure of a Free Press, the ever-escalating price tag of the presidential auction inures to the benefit of the traditional media. So, the media has declined to tear down the economic communication barrier that has been put in place by the duopoly. 

The Parties have also worked hard to erect other obstacles at the State-level to preclude any legitimate “bidders.”

Ballot certification (the process of securing one’s name on the ballot) is essentially provided for free to Democrats and Republicans and certain other well-established third parties. However, it would cost independent and alternative Third Party candidates tens of millions of dollars to have their names printed on the ballots of the 50 States.

In lieu thereof, one can pursue ballot qualification as a write-in candidate. You might think that this should be relatively easy and uniform throughout the States when it comes to the Presidency. You would be wrong.

Almost every State has a different set of requirements and filing dates, which makes the process more difficult and expensive.

Several States celebrate Liberty and embrace FEC-registered write-in candidates for President with minimal filing requirements.

Eight States (Arkansas, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, Oklahoma, South Carolina and South Dakota) do not permit write-in votes under any circumstance. In other words, you apparently have lost the right to exercise free speech or to petition the Government for a redress of grievances in the form of a vote in these eight States.

Many other States are either unaware of the Twelfth Amendment or simply choose to ignore it. I say this because these States require a presidential candidate to file a Declaration of Intent that also identifies a Vice Presidential candidate and provides his or her address and signature. This would not be unreasonable except for the fact that the Twelfth Amendment specifically requires the States to provide separate ballots for President and Vice President. Of course, the Parties would prefer to have you believe that you have to vote for these positions as a ticket, but the Twelfth Amendment says otherwise.

I raise this point because, as a non-partisan candidate who recognizes that I would have to work with members of every Party, I chose to entrust the Vice Presidential decision to the People. In States that required the name of a Vice President, I filed a Declaration of Intent that clearly indicated that I would serve with whomever the People elected to that Office in accordance with the Twelfth Amendment. Many of these States returned my Declaration because I “failed to name a Vice President.”

When I contacted these States, they pointed to their State law that made the name, address, and signature of my Vice Presidential candidate a requirement. In return, I pointed to Article VI, Clause 2 of the Constitution of the United States that states: “This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.”  Also known as the Supremacy Clause, many of the State officials acknowledged that the Twelfth Amendment would take precedence over their State’s law but told me that they would need a legal opinion, which they couldn’t secure until after the election because they were “busy.”

It’s time to wake up, America!

I am ballot-qualified as a write-in in a large number of States. However, for those who want to know whether I am ballot-qualified in their State, the truth is that it is irrelevant. The same can be said for any other ballot-certified or ballot-qualified candidate who does not have the surname Obama or Romney. None of us will be honored to serve as the next President of the United States. However, if you have taken the time to become informed, you should honor our country by voting for the candidate you believe has the best ability and ideas to lead our great Nation.

The Parties have conditioned you to believe that voting your conscience is a “wasted” vote. They will tell you that your only option is to vote for “the lesser of two evils.” If you are frustrated by the Parties and/or their candidates but are paralyzed by the fear they have created, allow me to introduce you to another alternative.

For those of you who have the courage to vote your conscience, simply vote for whomever you believe is the best candidate.

For those who are frustrated but still driven by fear, here is a strategy just for you:

If you are a Republican living in California, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, or Washington, vote for me (T.J. O’Hara) because, within the context of the Electoral College, your vote for former Governor Romney really won’t count.

If you are a Democrat living in Alabama, Alaska, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, or Wyoming, vote for me (T.J. O’Hara) because, within the context of the Electoral College, your vote for President Obama really won’t count.

If you live in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, or Wisconsin, please feel free to vote out of fear because your State is still in play.

For all other States, they either preclude write-in candidates or there is an outside chance your vote (either way) might make a difference.

I still won’t be elected, but my campaign will have been a success because I will have created a more informed and empowered electorate. You will have won because you will have sent a strong message to the Parties. In the words of fictional news anchor, Howard Beale, in the 1976 movie classic, Network, it’s time to tell the world, “We’re mad as hell, and we’re not going to take it anymore.”

Voting is an incredible privilege that is undervalued by many of our citizens and desecrated by others. It is a freedom that too many of us have taken for granted and allowed to be compromised by the major Parties. On November 6th, please go to the polls as an informed member of the electorate and experience what it’s like to vote your conscience.


T.J. O’Hara is an internationally recognized author, speaker, and strategic consultant in the private and public sectors. In 2012, he emerged as the leading independent candidate for the Office of President of the United States and the first nominee of the Whig Party in over 150 years.

This article first appeared in T.J. O’Hara’s recurring column, A President for the People, in the Communities section of The Washington Times.