There’s No Such Thing As A Protest Vote
Clay Shirky

Any reasonable discussion on this topic needs to take into account the actual math of the electoral college. If your vote has no chance of changing the election result, you voting for a third party is not “wasted”. 48 of 50 states use a winner-take-all election, which means if you live in a “safe” state that we know (by Haloween) is definitely red or blue, you can vote for a third party with no concern whatsoever about letting the “greater evil” win — for example, in California Hillary’s victory is sealed already. If you live there, your vote makes no difference.

Besides, it seems like the more I read about ’em, the less I like ’em. Clinton is a hawk at the center of the traditional establishment that everyone hates. As for Trump, he has so many personality flaws and so few qualifications to be president, I can just let you pick your favorite reasons not to vote for him. Whoever you think is the lesser of two evils, is one really so much better that it’s even worth voting for one of them — and giving up your opportunity to do a protest vote? I’m on the fence. Many people say “no”.

One thing’s for sure. You absolutely shouldn’t stay home on election day. Sure, we can’t get a good president. But some congressional primaries aren’t over yet and there really are a few candidates that deserve to be elected. And come November, third-party presidential votes in the double digits will send a clear message to the establishment. It’s a shame the people themselves are too divided to unify behind a single third party, but hey, we still have 2020, right? I doubt the nation will completely fall apart by then.

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