In 1960, JFK received a total of 34,337,096 votes versus Nixon's 34,108,546. This is a difference of 168,550. A third party candidate received 502,363 votes. Of course, Kennedy won handily on the electoral college front, but this was also the result of a lot of nail-biter local counts. So here, if some of those that voted for the independent candidate had shifted their votes, we might have had a different outcome.

Now we stand on the brink of another razor-thin election. If you want to vote for Nader, Buchanan, Haeglin, Brown, LaRouche, or whomever, then do it because you want to voice your support for that candidate or a certain philosophy. Do it because you want to see the Green Party get federal funding next time around.

But don't think that your vote makes no difference. If there's one thing that every politician bases a campaign on, it's poll numbers and voting records. If yours is the one vote that turns a 49.99% rating into a 50% rating, you can be damn sure it will make a difference. Maybe not a big one, but at least you said something you believed in.