What does your vote mean in 2016?
We all agree that every citizen has the right to vote their conscious and to have that vote counted. In lower political offices other than for the President of the United States voting major party is not the only option as many 3rd party and independent candidates have run for and won their elections, so voting your conscious even if it is 3rd party or independent makes complete sense.
History tells us for the office of President of the United States only a Republican or a Democrat will actually win the national election even though there will be other choices on the voter’s ballot. No 3rd party or independent candidate has ever won the election and polls say that this includes this election year as well. Knowing this fact makes voting your conscious a more complicated process for each voter considering voting 3rd party or independent.
Despite the fact that no 3rd party or independent has ever been elected, voting 3rd party or independent can make sense. It may make sense because you agree with a candidate so completely on all issues and policy or it may make sense because it lets you the voter make a statement about a certain issue important to you however the most often reasons voting 3rd party are that it is for making a statement about the control that the two major parties have over our political choices and/or the lack luster candidates they have offered up for that election year.
This Presidential election cycle is unlike any other that we have ever had in our countries history. Donald Trump and his supporters vision of American is such a stark departure from what has been our democratic values, that you either must be for them or against them in very absolute terms. We are not talking about liberal vs centrist or conservative values or one party vs another party values but the very fabric and definition of democracy in the United States of America.
There have been many election years that those who chose to vote 3rd party or independent had no actual impact on the outcome of the Presidential election but then there have been a few times in a Presidential election year where it has actually changed the entire outcome completely. In the latter a 3rd party vote or independent vote was not just a vote for their chosen candidate but in reality a vote for or against the 2 major party candidates. In reality the 3rd party or independent voter is the one who actually elected the President for that election cycle. The credit or blame, depending on your point of view and history’s view, falls squarely on their shoulders.
In this election year there were far left and far right candidates that gathered ardent supporters within each party’s primaries. Both of these ended up not being their respective party’s nominee however in the end we still ended up with two highly polarizing candidates. The polls are so erratic because of the nonstop media sensationalizing anything and everything about these two candidates. The choice being a candidate running on total inclusion of “others” and the other candidate running on total exclusion of “others”. All these factors have caused voters to be all over the place with their support that is either strongly for or against candidates. For a larger number than normal of voters there is not going to be that “preferred or perfect” candidate. Okay in most elections the reality is that there is never a “perfect” candidate for most voters.
This has caused a large number of voters to seriously consider other options other than voting for either of the two major party candidates. Some or threatening to not vote at all by just setting out and that is sad in a “we the people” government. Others are choosing to vote for a 3rd party candidate of some kind because neither of the major party candidates is their “choice”. What will all this mean for the 2016 Presidential election?
What it means in this election is that those who choose to set out or vote 3rd party will be the voters that will choose our next President of the United States. This is one of those election years where it really will matter. In real terms the larger this number of sit outs or 3rd party voter means Donald Trump is President and the smaller that number means Hillary Clinton is President.
If you are a voter that is thinking of either of these options, while certainly as a citizen you have the right to vote your conscious and for the candidate of your choosing but do so in the full knowledge of the cause and effect of that vote. Be absolutely sure you are going to be good with your vote after election day when the very real end result is Donald Trump becoming President and Commander in Chief of our military might? Yes, your vote is that important. In this election year anything other than a vote for Hillary Clinton is a vote for a Donald Trump’s America