The 2016 Presidential election cycle has been the ugliest, most surprising and most difficult of any so far, at least in my voting lifetime. The two candidates for President of the United States are some of the worst we have ever seen. Both have very high unfavorables, and both have extreme character flaws. I still cannot decide which one is worst or will be worst if elected. Although, I do believe that both are and will be bad for the country just in their own different ways. Thus, I cannot and will not be voting for either Hillary Clinton or Donard Trump. Though I will still be voting both for the down ballot and the presidential one. Here’s the deal that does not mean that I am throwing my vote away and am defacto voting for Clinton, we as a country have to move away from the notion that there are only two choices in voting, and voting for a third is giving it to one of the two.
Here’s the thing for me, in my politics, I am very conservative. I cannot stand the thought of Hillary as President, I totally believe that she is wrong for the country and will take us on the wrong track. My principals and beliefs will not allow me to support her. However, this is also the case with Trump, while I can to a certain extent relate with him or his supporters, unlike with Hillary, again, my principles and beliefs will not allow me to vote for him. Nonetheless, those same principals and beliefs say that I have to vote for a candidate for president. Staying home or just voting for the down ballots is not an option for me; to me, voting is a right but it is also a duty. So I have to vote for the president, but cannot vote for either of the two major party candidates, that leaves a third party ticket.
The thing with this choice for me, and I suspect a lot of others is that there is this misconception that in our two party system, a vote for a third party in a two-party race is just throwing your vote away and allowing one of the two to more easily overcome the other. This is so not true, if one candidate was fated to win, he/she would win no matter how you vote. Two things here, one, in any political race no one is fated to win, and two, the belief that in any race there are only two choices, just because we have two major political parties is so overdone and just plain wrong. In fact, the issue is really a self-fulfilling prophesy, that only comes true because people believe it and thus act upon it.
Over this last weekend, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas has come out saying that he would vote for Trump and in fact endorsed him. Yesterday, on the Glenn Beck radio show he defended his decision to do so by saying that Hillary Clinton was such an unbelievable choice and that Trump was the only thing that stood in the way of her and a “Supreme Court stacked with liberal judges and progressive opinions.” Ted Cruz in defense of his decision also said that “this is a binary choice.”
Again, the ideal that any Presidential election, let alone this one is a binary choice is just plain wrong. We almost always have more than two choices in our presidential elections. There is always another choice to vote for and still vote. Even if you have to decide to vote for just the down ballot, you can do so. But more importantly is that elections are not about choosing the lesser of “two evils” or voting for a ” not this person.” No, voting is about choosing who you think is best for the position, and who you think best represents you and your concerns/values. We need to remove ourselves from this “us versus them” mentality in politics and the notion that “if you don’t vote for him you are by the default voting for her.”
This is not the case for me, I am not voting for either Clinton or Trump; I will in the end vote for who I think best represents my concerns/values. My choice will not be perfect, but then this is politics we are talking about, that does not exist. In the end, we all have to just make our best judgement calls and make do with what we have. But there is always another choice, America and I hope you take that to heart.