Monday Matters – Why vote for a candidate you don’t like?

Monday Matters graphic

Presidential election years are always a little wild, taking over the media and everyone’s thoughts and conversations, but the 2016 race has been the most divisive in my lifetime. Hate and anger are coming from both sides of aisle, so to speak. Republicans and Democrats, liberals and conservatives…the label doesn’t really matter. The behavior is the same. Both sides consistently claim the other party’s candidate is a liar, corrupt, can’t be trusted, etc. Neither candidate is popular. The last numbers I saw showed somewhere around a 70% disapproval rating for both major party candidates.

So why are the 70% of people who disapprove of both candidates voting for them? I know the standard claim that if you don’t vote for the one you hate less, the one you hate more will win. But here’s the thing. You’re still voting for someone you can’t stand. Presumably, this is a person you don’t trust and don’t particularly want as president. So why are you helping this awful person get into office?

Contrary to popular opinion, there are other options than the Republican or the Democrat. All fifty states also have the Libertarian on the ballot. Some states have other people on the ballot as well. If you don’t like any of them, there are also candidates you can write in. And if you can’t stand any of the presidential candidates, you always have the option of abstaining from voting for that office. You don’t have to refuse to vote completely. Contrary to the majority of what we’ve seen on the news, there are other races going on in the general election. Local, state, and federal offices are up for election this year, and those candidates need your vote as well. No voter is required to vote for every single office. You can skip any office you can’t in good faith vote for.

At this point, I’m sure a lot of you are having serious doubts about what I’m saying. Not about voting for more than just president, but who your options for president are. It is difficult for a third-party or independent candidate to get elected to such a high position, but it is theoretically possible. All that has to happen is more people vote for that candidate than one of the major party candidates.

With a 70% disapproval rating for the major party candidates, that shouldn’t be a problem. It’s simple math. The majority of Americans don’t like the major party candidates. If those Americans would vote for a candidate they do like, regardless of party affiliation, we could easily have a third-party or independent president.

Let’s think about that for a minute. People have been complaining for years about being stuck in a two-party system. Every time an election rolls around, I hear about how people wish they had an option other than the Republican or the Democrat. Well, you do have another option. If you truly want to break the cycle of the two-party system controlling the country, speak up with your vote. Don’t follow the crowd and vote for a major party candidate you don’t like. Vote for a candidate you believe in, the person you would be proud to call your president.

We, the people of the United States of America, have the power to change things. Yes, it can be scary to vote for a lesser known candidate, but the only way effect change on the government is with your vote. Instead of giving it to someone you don’t trust or don’t like, why not give it someone you think is actually worthy of the job?

Don’t fall into the trap of voting for the lesser of two evils when you can opt to vote for good. Follow your conscience, and vote for the candidate you truly want in office.

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