Tired of status quo politics? Vote Third-Party

Anything you can do, I can do better. I can do anything better than you.

No, you can’t. (Yes, I can).

No, you can’t. (Yes, I can).

No, you can’t.

Yes, I can—yes, I can!

Anything you can be, I can be greater. Sooner or later, I’m greater than you.

No, you’re not. (Yes, I am).

No, you’re not. (Yes, I am).

No, you’re NOT!

Yes, I am—yes, I am!

This theatrical song from Annie Get Your Gun foreshadows the 2016 presidential debates, only this time we’re not watching entertainers in a lover’s quarrel. Instead, America wound up with 69 and 70-year-old political prospects locked in an elementary school argument.

This election’s divisive politics have led us to this: our two ‘best’ people to lead America featured on television yelling, making personal attacks, and engaging in pointed name-calling on the other candidate (Don’t believe me? Check out the first debate). Ultimately, our candidates seem to present themselves as the solution—or even just as the better option—rather than presenting sound policies.

Do we really want either of these people for president?

If you too are frustrated watching the debates, if you too cringe at the sight and sound of Trump or Hillary, you’re in luck: you have another choice. Really, other choices. You’re in America, and you don’t have to vote for either of the two traditional parties.

Voting for a non-traditional, non-Republican or Democratic candidate sends a message. Voting third-party expresses dissatisfaction with politics as is, and if there’s a time to do it, it’s 2016. According to a Reuters/Ipsos poll this past July, roughly 22 percent—nearly a quarter of Americans—wanted an alternative to the two leading Republican and Democratic candidates. (That many Americans voting third party, by the way, could prevent a leading candidate from taking enough electoral votes to win the White House, leaving the presidential decision to Congress).

Late-primary surveys back in March put nearly two-thirds of Americans disliking Trump alone, and polling in May had the majority of Americans not liking either candidate (nearly six in 10 either “disliked” or “hated” Clinton, while slightly more — 63 percent — expressed similar negative opinions about Trump. Aside: I’m particularly concerned about Trump). American politics being such a spectacle has only increased our dissatisfaction, especially as the flaws of our major party candidates become more and more publicly apparent.

You can make a difference in 2016.

Once you’re done throwing your hands up in the air, go vote! Your vote counts (but technically, only as long as you vote before next Tuesday, November 8—so get on it!).

National party leaders may snub late-coming, underdog candidates, but voters don’t have to. Contrary to what they’d have you believe, you’re not trapped by a restrictive and everlasting political process that has churned out terrible candidates for president. In fact, your options are much wider (but likely limited to registered write-ins. In case you’re curious, here are state-by-state specifics). The time has come for Americans to send the message that we’re tired of status quo politics.

Who to vote for? That depends on you.

  • Perhaps this year’s Democratic candidate isn’t progressive enough for you(sorry Bernie lovers)—you want living wages and want more social welfare. You can still have a voice. Take a look at the Green Party’s Jill Stein.
  • Maybe you’re sick of federal overreach—making a drastically smaller central government and deregulation your thing. Check out Libertarian Gary Johnson’s ideas.
  • You prize morals and want a principled leader who upholds traditional American values like liberty, hard work, and trade. You’re worried about national security and foreign affairs. Evan McMullin is your man.

Make your vote and your voice count this November—vote third party, and make Washington listen. 

Not convinced? A few arguments I enjoyed: this mathematical analysis of voting, how to make your protest vote countThe wasted vote myth (“Remember, you never decide the winner”—i.e., one vote can’t change an election as big as the presidential election); and food for thought on a voter’s so-called Prisoners Dilemma.


One thought on “Tired of status quo politics? Vote Third-Party

  1. Well stated! Everyone should be voting. These two major candidates do not reflect any of the important values that made our country great.


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