Now Is Not The Time To Take A Political Stand
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Now Is Not The Time To Take A Political Stand

Why a third-party vote is a vote for Trump

Now Is Not The Time To Take A Political Stand

This election has been, for lack of a better word, a total shitshow.

The top two candidates hold the highest unfavorability ratings since the ratings were introduced. In polls since July 29, Trump has been viewed unfavorably by about 60 percent of respondents and Clinton has been viewed unfavorably by 53 percent of respondents. Gary Johnson and William Weld, former state governors who are currently on the Libertarian Party ticket, are nearing the 15 percent needed to enter primetime presidential debates while Jill Stein of the Green Party is rallying anti-Clinton liberals and diehard Bernie supporters.

This election is definitely an outlier for other reasons, too. An ex-CIA chief has accused Trump of being an "unwitting agent" of the Russian Federation. Clinton was undergoing federal investigation for her emails until July 5. For the first time since 1968, it is possible that a third party candidate will win electoral votes. It's been theorized that the Libertarian Party could win the southwestern states of Utah and New Mexico, midwestern Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, the notoriously libertarian havens of New Hampshire and Alaska, along with independent Maine. In the (admittedly unlikely) event this occurred, Gary Johnson would have won the most states of any third party candidate in American history.

In the few weeks following the Republican National Convention, things have gotten... well, weird. Trump had a continuous feud against the Khan family, whose son was killed while serving in Afghanistan. His pro-Russia isolationist stance and request that Russian agencies continue to infiltrate the Democratic Party's intelligence raised eyebrows, to say the least.

While I can't tell you how to vote, I will say this: voting for a third party candidate is not the best option in an elections with stakes this high.

Trump has fallen behind far in the latest polls. But he is still, bar none, the scariest candidate in American history. His election would be a disaster on the economy, destroying jobs while ballooning income inequality, wealth inequality and the national debt. It would legitimize racism and bigotry on a scale unseen since the 1950s, similar to the racism seen post-Brexit. It could even lead to large-scale nuclear war, if his comments on nuclear proliferation and nuclear weapons in general are serious. I could go on and on about his total lack of temperament and unpreparedness for the most stressful and important job in the world, but this link will do a much better job than I could.

To anyone who is in a potential swing state: please vote with your conscience. Clinton is far from ideal, but she will not potentially cause a nuclear war. She has not made numerous statements alluding to an authoritarian streak. She is a well-educated, well-trained official who will represent America well on the national stage and improve the lives of many Americans. Think of her being elected as essentially a third term for Obama. Trump being elected would be like if Andrew Jackson's authoritarian streak, Andrew Johnson's racism, FDR's infringement on civil liberties for Japanese Americans and George W. Bush's economic ideas had an orange baby with a potty mouth, a bad temper, and notoriously small hands.

This is not the election to throw a vote away on "sending a message," especially since the Green Party and Libertarian Party both need to develop a national infrastructure and build from the local level on up, rather than from the Presidency on down. Even aside from that, there are several issues for both candidates in my book. What is Jill Stein's highest elected office? Meeting representative for the town of Lexington. Aside from her lack of governmental experience, she also appeals to anti-vaxxers quite frequently, is extremely opposed to nuclear energy (which produces almost 20% of our power), and is okay with testing homeopathic medicine. Homeopathic medicine is a quack, a crock, and does not work. Period.

For liberals who are considering Gary Johnson as an anti-Clinton measure, hear this: Johnson wants a flat tax of 23% while eliminating the estate tax, capital gains tax, and income tax (big money saver for the wealthy). This tax would balloon income inequality since it puts a 23% tax on the poorest Americans while the wealthy will get huge tax cuts. This plan also decentivizes people from purchasing, or purchasing things legally, at least. This would likely lead to huge black markets and leave the government starving for revenue. Not that Gary Johnson would care.

Johnson wants to eliminate the Department of Education (say goodbye to Pell Grants), the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the Affordable Care Act (this would literally cause the death thousands of our fellow citizens, but who cares apparently). He also wants to cut national defense, something that we agree upon, and entitlements such as Medicare and Social Security. He doesn't want to implement energy regulation to help mitigate climate change, but he does believe in it. Strange. Oh, and he wants to abolish federal wage standards so that the "free market" can determine your value as an employee. This is economic hocus pocus and it is an awful idea. Don't just take my opinion; take theirs. And theirs. And theirs.

So your choices are shitty. I'm sorry, and obviously I'm not to blame. But the two options who have a chance to win are a former Secretary of State with a decades-long history of public service and who is noted as a policy wonk, against a 4-time bankrupt real estate magnate with no political experience who has been denounced by many within his political party. Your backuo, "personal pride" votes can go to an inexperienced doctor who panders to anti-science leftists who has an unrealistic platform (coming from a Bernie supporter, that's a harsh indictment. But a guaranteed job for everyone? 100% renewable energy by 2030? C'mon now) and an effective former governor who either doesn't care about or outright loves income and wealth inequality, thinks that balancing the budget is more important than improving the lives of our fellow citizens, and won't do anything to fight climate change. The options may not be optimal but I can tell you that one is pure trash, one is unprepared for the presidency and is unrealistic (no, I don't care if the Green Party gets public funding), and one is just a choice for young Republicans with tolerant social views and weird leftists who think that an efficient and safe foreign policy will make up for domestic economic policy that's out of the 1890s.

Happy voting, folks!

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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