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If you genuinely believe that Gary Johnson is the best choice for America, based on his policies, then it’s not a wasted vote at all, and I encourage everyone who feels that way to support his candidacy. However, much of the “wasted vote” rhetoric is not aimed at people like you, who genuinely support what the third-party candidate represents. It’s aimed at people who, because of personal emnity for one or the other of the main party candidates, don’t necessarily identify with any of the third-party options, but will vote third-party (and not be specific about which third-party) as a giant F U to the established parties. “Wasted” vote might be an exaggeration, but it certainly isn’t a good use of their voice. It’s next to impossible for a third party candidate to win this election, even if they manage to reach double digits. History tends to forget protest votes, but if you want to push for genuine change in your favor, not represented by either of the major parties, the most effective use of your voice is not to focus on presidential elections but on local and state. A theoretical third-party president, while symbolic, would be useless in the face of a Democratic or Republican Congress. Coalitions are stronger than single candidates. Build up, not down.

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