By Associate Editor Ana Delgado
If you’ve considered voting for a third party candidate during this divisive election cycle, you’re not alone. Those who voice their desire to vote third party are usually met with an eyeroll and a “then you’re just wasting your vote” or a “well then you’re really giving your vote to XYZ candidate.” Wrong. Don’t listen to these people. The whole point of voting is so that each and every voice is heard, so when people vote for the lesser of two evils, they’re doing themselves and democracy a disservice. Voting for the Democrat who you don’t like or the Republican you don’t like instead of the third party candidate that you do like is voting defensively. Since when is striving for the less crappy option the American way of doing things? I’m not sure when this happened, but it needs to be reversed. The American people need to return to voting offensively-really standing behind a candidate who they’re proud of. Instead of selling out or compromising your beliefs, it’s crucial for people to vote their conscience. Imagine if a third party candidate got the votes and coverage: Even if they didn’t actually win the presidency, their electoral success could not be ignored. It would give the next President and Congress an idea of what the people actually want.
Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump represent extreme beliefs that don’t really represent the majority of America. Yet, most Americans feel forced to pick between the two out of fear that the “worse of two evils” will win. Do we really want the polls showing a 51/49 divide either way? Do we really want statistics proving that Americans stand on these two opposite spectrums? I’d like to think that we want to strive for a little more integrity than that. Voting third party isn’t a waste. Voting third party isn’t handing Clinton or Trump the presidency. Voting third party is standing up to the horrific divide that fear has created within American politics and saying, “THESE are my actual, personal beliefs. I didn’t want either of you. Now, you can hear my voice. Now, you need to pay attention to me and make America the country I deserve.”