This year’s election is pretty scary. I understand; no one really wants either candidate to win. Trump seems a little excessive. He acts with so little forethought it’s terrifying to think of what he would do with the power of a U.S. president. Hillary isn’t very trustworthy; her name is connected to so many scandals. How can we expect her to be completely honest with the American people? I’ve seen enough about how people would rather we have a whole new selection of candidates than vote for the current ones to know that I’m not alone in this thinking. When the SNL parody of the debate isn’t actually too far off from what happened, you know times are grim. This leaves people with the question, should I vote for a third party candidate? The simple answer would be no.
It’s understandable to want to vote for someone else; it’s just not a good idea. A third party candidate will never have enough votes to actually win. We have a two-party system for a reason. If you look at it logically, third parties have no power. They struggle to raise the funds and to accomplish the things that the two main party candidates can do easily. The largest percentage of votes a third party has ever received was for Ross Perot. He received 20%. It can be argued that voting for a third party will change how our two party system works, creating more of an inclusive vote, but there will never be enough people behind that idea to actually make a change, not in my lifetime at least. Voting for Jill Stein or Gary Johnson may align better with your morals, but would it be worth it to choose a candidate who has no chance of winning? Voting for a third party is essentially throwing away your vote.
Although you shouldn’t vote for a third party, please still vote. It is important; your voice is important. It is the active participation of voters that makes this government a democracy. Without it people have little to no voice.
Voting is important. It determines who will run our country, who will be making the tough decisions. Voting for a third party just throws away your vote, your voice. Even though you might be voting for the lesser evil, one candidate has to align more with your values than the other. One has to be seen, in your mind, as a more capable president. Although you may not be fully behind your candidate of choice, it is still important to cast that vote and make your voice heard.
•Brenna Hildebrand, firstname.lastname@example.org