Third Party Vote? What a Waste
The 2016 presidential election has been tumultuous to say the least. Like a cheesy horror film, United States citizens have been forced to choose between “the lesser of two evils.” Nonetheless, there are still some voters saying that this does not have to be the case, as there are two other candidates running: Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party, and Jill Stein of the Green Party. That gives us four choices, doesn’t it? Why not just vote for a third party candidate?
Because you are throwing away your vote, that’s why.
The reality is that neither Jill Stein nor Gary Johnson have the slightest chance of winning the election. People might say “but if all of Bernie Sanders’s supporters vote for Jill Stein!” It’s still not going to happen. Bernie Sanders has already stated that his supporters should not vote third party, stating that, “this is not the time to protest vote.” Others have argued that it is the end of democracy when we are forced to vote for leaders that we do not want. Admittedly, the two-party system could use some fixing, but now, during the presidential election, is not the time to have a test run. It might sound a little harsh, but it is important to realize how much is at stake with this election. The course of history is going to be defined by whoever wins the presidency, so it is not necessarily in our best interests to take any chances. Speaking specifically to more liberal voters: a vote for a third party candidate is a vote for Donald Trump, as terrifying as it sounds. Take the 2000 election for example between George W. Bush and Al Gore. Ralph Nader was running as a third party candidate, and the Democrats who did not like where the party was going voted for him instead of Gore. The result? Bush won the electoral votes in the swing states, because those who could have voted for Gore, voted for Nader instead.
I know that this election is especially devastating for millennials, who typically don’t favor Clinton or Trump. Yeah, it sucks that those are the options for a lot of people’s first time voting in an election. But realize that the third-party candidates aren’t an option either, because the chance that voting for them will make any difference is virtually nonexistent. Gary Johnson has barely made a dent in the polls, especially given that he hasn’t even demonstrated qualities of a good leader. Same with Jill Stein, who truly only says what Bernie supporters want to hear, without any plan to back it up. Does this mean your vote doesn’t count? Of course not. In the two-party system that this country runs on, it’s priceless. Especially to the African-Americans, Latinos, immigrants, LGBT individuals, women and other minorities whose humanity is at stake with this election. For them and so many others, there is no “taking a chance” to vote for third-party candidates.