Why I'm Throwing My Vote Away

I hate politics. It's only September and I have already had my fill of political ads. Thank God for Netflix, right? But even with the overwhelming coverage of the election making me hate all things government, I'm still doing my best to stay informed and up to date with all of the candidates. All of them, not both of them. Now more than ever, I'm thinking that I'm heading to a third party and to many people, this is seen as wasting a vote. We are a two party system and I have to vote for a democrat or republican. But why should I settle for two candidates? More and more people seem tired of same politics and I'm hoping that this is the year that a third party candidate can become a legitimate contender.

I don't like Trump. As much as I hate seeing commercial after commercial telling me how horrible both he and his clothing line are, it's hard to look past a lot of the things he's said and done. I'm also no fan of Clinton. I feel like she's willing to pander to any and everyone to get a vote. She's definitely got a Frank Underwood vibe to her. This is where the two party systems becomes a problem. I don't need to spew out the cliches of voting for the lesser of two evils. I truly don't believe that either major party candidate has evil intentions (although Trump pushes it at times). But we do end up in the awkward situation of voting for the one that you hate the least. I don't want to completely rip off John Oliver but how is this still a thing? How have we not gotten to a point where we're tired enough of both major parties to say "I think I'll try something different this time?" There have been notable third party runs in the past, including H. Ross Perot in '92 and '96. Theodore Roosevelt was even able to finish second in 1912 when he was with the Progressive Party. I know that the highest office has never truly been close to being held by a third party, but history proves that enough people have wanted a different choice.

That's all I want. A different choice. I believe that I've found one in Gary Johnson. I am by no means saying that he's the perfect candidate. His comments on Aleppo have taught us that he is far from it. But the perfect candidate doesn't exist. Trump and Clinton have made mistakes just as bad and in some cases, even worse. But he's an alternative to the other two and it seems like he's gaining momentum. While out driving today, I saw a "Johnson/Weld 2016" sign. I don't know that I've ever seen a third party sign in someone's front yard before. This gives me hope that he's able to make it to the debate stage with Trump and Clinton. I think he has to to have a real shot at being taken seriously in this election. I also think that he's chosen a solid running mate. While he's still a long way from winning over the majority of voters, he seems like the most legitimate third party candidate we've ever had.

Now I'm not trying to persuade anyone to vote for Johnson. If you're voting for Clinton or Trump, that's completely fine. Who is to say that I'm making a smart move? Anytime I think about actually voting for a third party, I'm reminded of an older episode of The Simpsons where aliens Kang and Kodos run for president and make fun of a guy who contemplates voting for a third party. I know that it's a long shot. We'll be lucky if Johnson is even able to debate against Clinton and Trump. But if enough of us do in fact throw our vote away, then a third party candidate has a chance. If enough of us choose a third option, then candidates long shot candidates like Gary Johnson, have a real chance for change.

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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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