Everyone knows that this election season has been one of the slimiest, craziest, most embarrassing cycles our nation has ever seen. But it seems that almost nobody knows that there are options beyond the Hillary-Trump dynamic that’s been shoved down our throats.
That’s right, here’s the dreaded third-party plug. Why?
Because, Obi-Wan, it might just be our only hope.
I’ve heard a lot of arguments against voting third-party. Here are a few:
“Voting third-party is the same as not voting at all.”
“Isn’t it better to put your vote somewhere it will count? Voting for the lesser of two evils will have more effect than voting for some obscure candidate with no chance.”
“Even if a lot of people voted third-party, there are too many candidates. The votes would just get split up, and Hillary or Trump would take office anyway.”
I understand these arguments (really, they’re essentially the same argument), and the authentic concern behind them. But the reality is that they’re defeatist and fail to take into consideration the power of the masses. Allow me to explain:
“Voting Third-Party Is the Same as Not Voting at All”
Any time someone votes, they’re voting. By voting, there is no way someone can fail to vote.
Of course, that’s not quite the point of this argument. Instead, the argument defines the value of the vote by the effectiveness of the vote. In other words, the argument is this: if a vote won’t reasonably result in a desired candidate’s election, the vote has essentially been thrown away. Another way of wording this is….
“Isn’t It Better To Put Your Vote Somewhere It Will Count…?”
…so let’s just wrap the two of them together.
This argument is common, understandable, and even logical. By all means, we want our votes to bear maximum weight during the election. This, however, is no ordinary election. Such an argument fails to acknowledge the desperation of countless people in our nation and power in numbers.
It’s true that if only one person votes third-party, that candidate has been helped very little relative to the vote-bloated giants that are Hillary and Trump, our mainstream candidates. In such a case, the only real effect of this solitary vote will be on the conscience of the voter. He or she can honestly say that (s)he is not responsible for putting a terrible candidate into office. In this situation, it’s true that said vote could have gone to a “lesser evil” mainstream candidate in order to help prevent the presidency of the “greater evil” candidate. While I think that voting by one’s conscience is infinitely more important than any theoretical musings as to whether MY vote put MY candidate in office, I do understand the logic there.
However, this is not a typical election cycle.
If people who don’t want Hillary/Trump are blessings, then it seems that the cup of the Internet overfloweth. Overall, the InterNation is pretty fed up with our current mainstream options. And if the sample on the Internet is reflective of society as a whole, we have one heck of a lot of voting power that’s hesitant to pick a poison.
And that’s why this year is different.
Adults older than me who have voted more times than me (adultier adults, if you will) have said that elections are not always this bad—that this is one of the worst seasons they’ve ever seen. In other words, we’re experiencing a relatively unique phenomenon; a Ticked Off Majority has been born.
If only one person votes third-party, it’s true that the affect will largely only be felt by that individual. But if Ticked Off Majority votes third-party, the two-party system is effectively overcome. This isn’t a promise of third-party success, but it increases the likelihood of a Hillary/Trump-free office by a large margin.
Which brings us to the next argument:
“Even if a lot of people voted third-party, there are too many candidates…”
Theoretically, this is true. But Reality doesn’t often function based on theory. Not all of the available third-party candidates are strong enough to gain a substantial following. We won’t see the Ticked Off Majority going in a hundred different directions—only two or three. As it comes down to the wire and people see the strength of limiting the number of viable third-party candidates, we may even see that number reduce to one or two.
And while the support of the Ticked Off Majority behind one or two strong third-party candidates is by no means a promise of a Hillary/Trump-free office, it will greatly increase the possibility of such an outcome.
Right now, that chance is better than anything else we’ve got.
Third-party voting makes room for miracles. Mainstream voting means picking your poison.
I’ve included a few names of third-party candidates below so that you, dear reader, may have somewhere to start. Research can be hard, but it’s worth your liberty and it is your obligation as an American. Don’t let laziness put either mainstream twerp into office.
“May your choices reflect your hopes and not your fears.” – Nelson Mandela