The ‘wasted’ vote: Voting third party

Voters cast their ballots at Morton Middle School in Lexington, Ky.,on Tuesday, November 4, 2014. Photo by Michael Reaves

Dalton Stokes

“A vote for a third party is a vote for Trump” is all I’ve heard from strong democrats and Clinton supporters during this election, or seen in a wide variety of internet memes. “Voting third party is a wasted vote” and “There’s no way they can win” are also among the arguments circulating that are against voting third party.

What some people don’t understand is that most of us voting third party do not expect them to win. But even so, that it is not a wasted vote. A vote casted toward a third party strengthens that party, giving it more leverage and pull to make it possible for it to inch its way into the spotlight.

This election has shown our political system’s true colors. It has shown that our country can no longer survive off of just two dominant parties, especially when they give us the candidates that get the most likes on Twitter or win because of voter fraud. 

Some people say it is more important to stop “blank” candidate than to protest the system. Others say, “There is too much at stake to vote in protest,” but there is already much more at stake than this election. 

Our freedom as voters is at stake. It has been for the past century. For the past century, and even before that, we have had two choices for president. Just two. The U.K. has four main parties, giving them four options. 

In fact, the founders of our country, including our very first president, warned against a limited party system. George Washington said, “However (political parties) may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.” 

Washington warned us against this system, and no one since has seemed to listen. 

With every coming election, the two parties get a stronger hold on our political system and this has slowly and painfully encroached on our freedoms, making it less and less possible for us to reclaim them. 

We as Americans have to stand up against these terrible candidates being shoved down our throats. We have to stand up against the fear mongering of these two candidates and refuse to be bullied into voting for someone that we don’t believe in. When election day comes, people need to realize that voting third party is not a wasted vote.

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