If I Hear ‘Protest Vote’ or ‘Lesser of Two Evils’ One More Time…

It’s the age-old mantra used on both sides of the aisle every time an election year approaches November: “Vote for the lesser of two evils, kid. We can’t have (fill in opposition here) running the country.”

I called b.s. in my first eligible election in 2012, and I am voting third party again in 2016 because I believe that in a representative democracy we, as citizens, have a duty to vote for a representative we believe in and not against one we don’t.

This election cycle has been particularly bad with respected journalists boiling anything but a vote for The Donald or Hillary as a naive “protest vote.” Most of these voices are shilling for Hill against the evil guy who’s going to paint the white house gold, and look, I understand their concern, but they are poisoning the ethosphere while grossly marginalizing the people who have a spine to vote with their conscious.

Instead of championing those who stand up for what they believe in, the media paints them as being dumb and missing the bigger picture. Even the demi-god of the Bernie or Bust movement has betrayed them and sold his soul against Trump. Since when did acquiescing and cowering to the status-quo against something “scary” become a favorable American trait? Why are the citizens who have taken the time to understand the issues important to them — and actually want to invoke real change — being told their voice doesn’t matter? That they’re helping the other candidate win? That they’re candidate has no chance so why bother?

I say to those spewing that nonsense, from the bottom of my heart, Sincerely, Fuck Off. It is you that is missing the bigger picture. It is you that is so averse to real change that you cower behind a corrupt two-party system that has failed the American people.

When you think about it, just two options for President is laughable. When you think about the fact that the two options that have been forced down our collective throat have the highest disapproval ratings of any candidates ever, it becomes disturbingly insane. In today’s society we have hundreds, if not thousands, of choices for essentially every decision we make. Yet, when it comes to who’s going to steer the country for the next 4–8 years we have two? That’s absurd, and every rational American should rebel wholeheartedly against that. Parlay that with another fact that third party candidate Gary Johnson is polling at record numbers but won’t be in the debates due to an arbitrary rule by the Election Commission requiring him to receive an average of 15% in polls that only sometimes include third parties, and it becomes Joker Terrorizing-Gotham insane.

Essentially, these so-called journalists are saying your candidate has no chance because the system for electing officials is rigged…so you better just accept that and buy-into that rigged system. That’s what their asinine logic boils down to. Don’t call our votes protest votes. Don’t call our votes wasted votes. Don’t tell us to vote for the lesser of two evils. Most importantly, don’t marginalize an entire group of educated individuals who actually want to invoke change.

To all my fellow freethinkers out there, please vote for who you believe in. It doesn’t matter if that be Jill, Gary, writing in Bernie, or even Hillary or Donald. As long as you vote for a candidate and not against one, we have a chance to make a difference.