From time to time, I often ponder on what things could be like if people were a bit wiser in the decisions made in the voting booth. What would happen if all Americans who profess a belief in limited government made their decisions based on who was the best candidate, rather than relying on whether there’s an (R) next to their name? I suggest that we’d be far better off.
I won’t lie. I long for the day that election ballots are void of party affiliation. If I had my way, there’d be no (R), (D), (L), (I), etc. next to the names of candidates we have to choose from. There would simply be the applicable offices and names of the candidates competing for the voters’ support. In theory this would force more people to figure out who they’re voting for and where they stand on the issues. I think a more informed electorate is a good thing. But I digress.
Unfortunately, too many people have let establishment politics convince them that voting for the best candidates isn’t always wise. Instead, we’re told – either indirectly or directly – that we must support Republicans. And then when the political dust settles, they sit around wondering why we get more of the same.
I’m aware of no better example of this than Fargo businessman and former U.S. House candidate Jack Seaman. During the 2014 and 2016 election cycles, Seaman made his case state-wide that he should be North Dakota’s lone Congressman. Whether it was his pro-life stance, opposition to out-of-control spending, desire to abolish the IRS, support for the 2nd Amendment, concern for privacy, advocating for the Free Market, and a myriad of other issues; Seaman was excellent.
Even aside from the issues themselves, Jack Seaman was great. He was thoughtful, well-spoken, principled, likable, respectable, and overall just a phenomenal candidate. I’d dare say that he is one of the best candidates ever to run for political office in North Dakota.
Seaman’s biggest problem really shouldn’t be a problem at all— he’s a Libertarian. But since so many North Dakotans have allowed themselves to be convinced that Libertarians aren’t a viable option, Seaman was handily defeated both times he ran. In 2014 he garnered 5.8% of the vote and in 2016 he upped it to 7%.
As you’re aware, Kevin Cramer was the winner of both the 2014 and 2016 U.S. House races. And while I mean no disrespect to Congressman Cramer, based upon his record, Jack Seaman is a better Republican than he is. If you don’t believe me, you should read North Dakota’s Republican Party Platform. Yet, too many Republicans stuck with the party line, instead of supporting the best limited government candidate.
In the 2016 election, Cramer ended up with 233,980 votes. Democrat Chase Iron Eyes came in second with 80,377 votes. Seaman garnered 23,528 votes. Now think of this… if half (116,990) of the people that voted for Cramer would have voted for Seaman, he would be our Congressman. This is fascinating, because so often we hear that voting for a third party candidate will only split the vote and cause Democrats to be elected. But when it came to Jack Seaman in 2016, that just wasn’t true.
So, as I recently pondered on the 2016 candidacy of Jack Seaman for U.S. House, it was evident to me— North Dakota screwed up. We could have shocked the political establishment by electing a Libertarian. We could have sent a message to Republicans to start acting like Republicans. We could have sent the best candidate to Washington, but we didn’t.
At some point, the electorate must come to recognize that change in Washington will not occur any faster than we demand it. When people continue to opt for those who are not the best candidates, we can expect to get less than the best in Washington— the recent omnibus bill being a good example of this. And so long as people opt for less than the best, we’ll always have more of the same.
I believe North Dakota history will ultimately remember Jack Seaman as the man we should have sent to Washington.
(NOTE: I recently contacted Jack Seaman and he is not running for office this election cycle.)