This post will not be about why I won’t vote for Hillary or Trump. Suffice it to say that I believe they are both power-hungry narcissists and I disagree with both of them on important political and social issues. There is no guarantee that either will nominate Supreme Court justices who will defend and interpret the constitution. In my estimation, neither candidate is suited to lead this great nation.
Politically, I am a moderate but I’m a social conservative. That means I believe there is a role for government beyond erecting traffic signs and less than outlawing large sodas. My approach to voting has been to vote for the candidate I believe will be able to do the least amount of damage, which means that I have voted Republican and Democrat in the past. This election I have decided to vote for neither since I believe they are both capable of inflicting an equal amount of damage. Here’s why I believe it is important for me to vote for a third party.
I live in California. My state has voted solidly Democrat since 1992 and is considered to be very “strongly safe Clinton”. It is highly unlikely California will swing Republican so in a sense, my vote doesn’t really matter. California’s Electoral College votes are almost certainly going to Clinton. This is frustrating but at the same time liberating. If I vote my conscience I am not giving my state to Clinton no matter what any talking head says.
But in a very important way, my vote still matters. By voting for a third party I am able to register my dissatisfaction with both parties. True, my candidate won’t win but my vote still can. If a large enough portion of the voting public votes third party we can make a third party viable even if it isn’t in this election. The argument against voting third party is that if you don’t vote for X you’re voting for Y. I’ve heard this from both Democrats and Republicans and I solidly reject that reasoning.
We’ve all lived with the only Democrat and Republican parties so we forget it wasn’t always so. The first Republican president was Abraham Lincoln. The political landscape has changed in the past and it can be changed in the future. For too long we have been told that we must choose one of two options presented. My vote can no longer be coerced by a two-party system that has consistently presented poor options since 1992. The unacceptable options presented in this election cycle have finally pushed me to break out of that system.
So how will I be voting? The Libertarian party seems to be gaining steam and may be a contender though I have very little confidence in their candidates. To me, Johnson is the lesser of three evils. The independent Evan McMullin is the first conservative voice I’ve heard in a while. I’m considering voting for him. His Mormon view of America and its “inspired” constitution give me pause but it isn’t like he’s going to win.