“You know, there are other people running for President other than Clinton and Trump,” is a statement I myself have said one too many times in this “democratic election.” This is usually followed by someone saying “Oh, they will never win,” or asking, “Why would you throw your vote away?” My least favorite one is, “A vote for third-party is a vote for Trump.” It’s my least favorite because people who are voting for Clinton say this while the people who are going to vote for Trump say, “A vote for third-party is a vote for Clinton.” Which one is it?
Check this out: if a person votes for Ronald McDonald and not Clinton, the vote does not go to Trump, it goes to Ronald McDonald, period.
I will admit, this late in the election, Jill Stein (Green Party), Gary Johnson (Libertarian Party) and Darrell Castle (Constitutionalist Party) have a small chance of winning compared to Clinton and Trump. However, an American can still vote for them.
This election has been largely driven by mainstream media. A recent Harvard study concluded that during the month-long period from the week before the Republican National Convention to the week after the Democratic National Convention, the presidential candidate’s policy has only made up eight percent of media coverage.
Since this is the first election I will participate in, I started researching different issues that mattered to me personally and how the different candidates propose to fix them. After a while, it soon became apparent to me that Stein and I agree on a lot of things and. because of this, she will be receiving my vote this coming November. Guess what? This is how democracy works. You look at the candidates, their policy proposals and their experience, and you vote to best reflect your voice and not anyone else’s.
Statements such as, “Don’t vote third-party” and, “Don’t throw your vote away,” actually silence those who truly want to exercise their right to vote. The statement of, “vote for the lesser of two evils” also does not best convey its intended message.
I characterize this argument as voting for either Lex Luthor or the Joker; both of them are evil in people’s opinions, so what’s the difference between voting for either one of them if they are “evil?”
As a citizen of America, you are guaranteed the right to vote in elections. The right to vote does not have a party requirement, a ideological requirement or even a “lesser of two evils” requirement. It is an individual’s decision based on their beliefs and what issues are most important to them.
Don’t vote for a person just because you think they have the best possible chance of winning. Don’t vote for a person just to prevent their opponent from winning. Vote for a person because you actually want them to win. Vote for them because you believe that they have the best plan to help you out. Vote for them because they best represent your political views.
If you believe that Trump would best represent your political views, vote for him. If you believe that Clinton would best represent your political views, vote for her. If you believe that Stein, Johnson or Castle best represent your political views, vote for them. It’s your right, so use it no matter what other people may tell you.
Robert Dinkins, a Contributing Writer for the Voice, can be reached for comment at RDinkins19@wooster.edu.