The candidates the two-party system has given voters for this presidential election are both unsatisfactory options. It’s time to refuse to choose the lesser of two evils.
In an article published earlier this year by FiveThirtyEight.com titled, “Americans’ Distaste For Both Trump And Clinton Is Record-Breaking,” the fact that the candidates are historically disliked was shown using statistical analysis of presidential candidates from 1980 to now.
Voters are seemingly stuck choosing between two candidates they hate, but we don’t have to wonder why, in light of this disdain, a person would vote for them anyway. This story has been told before.
The lies that voting for an independent is wasting your vote and that one must be loyal to a political party are rampant in American political discourse.
In fact, there is a third option, but first a voter must devote themselves to thinking like a swing voter.
There is incredible value in being a swing voter. Ignoring the fact that swing states receive more attention from candidates, swing voters are a valuable asset for the way they approach an election.
By refusing to avow an affiliation to a particular party and allowing every candidate an equal amount of attention, an engaged swing voter avoids the fighting of the two-party system. They make decisions based upon reasoned arguments and productive debate instead of mud slinging and the “us vs. them” mentality.
And with both parties presenting candidates that voters do not like breaking away from this two-party system is a necessary step our country needs to take.
For the 2016 election, though, we are stuck. November is rapidly approaching and with Gary Johnson and Jill Stein barred from the first presidential debate, it doesn’t look like any remarkable change is going to occur this year. Or is it?
If you can’t trust Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump’s foreign policy makes you nauseous, why not vote for Johnson or Stein? Stuck between two undesirable options, why not vote for the third?
Though it may just be a symbolic move, voting for a third-party candidate in this election would send a strong message.
If we all acted like swing voters, throwing our support behind the candidate that best reflects our values instead of the one who has been endorsed by a particular party, the political system we live with could change.
We’ve been told we have to choose between two terrible options. It’s an egregious lie. 2016 is the year for change. A vote for a third party is not a wasted vote; it’s a vote to abolish the two-party system.