When I tell people that I’ll be voting for a third party candidate this November, I get some pretty strong reactions. People call me stupid, tell me I’m throwing my vote away or that votes like mine could cost Hillary the election. Luckily, I’ve got a thick enough skin to stay committed to this simple truth: I am voting for a third party candidate instead of Hillary Clinton to support real change in our rigged political system and also because I’m very fucking pissed at my mom right now.
The idea that Americans should only choose between two parties is a myth, just like the idea of unconditional love for your family. In previous political eras America saw the rise of multiple different third parties, and their efforts forever changed our national discourse. One has only to look at most European democracies to find at least three major political parties bringing competing ideas to the table. But try telling that to my dumb mom and she’ll freak out on you. I mean this is a woman who’s never even been to Europe and only paid for half of my trip to Amsterdam–how can I expect her to understand?
The most common argument people throw at me as to why I’m wasting my vote is that I could be handing the Presidency to Donald Trump. This is a complete fallacy on par with my mom claiming she loves my brother Steve and I just the same, no matter which of us managed to finish college. By casting a vote outside of the major parties, I’m showing the Donald Trumps of the world that their messages of hate and corporate greed will not be tolerated. I’m also showing my mom that I’m voting for a third party for political reasons, and not because she and Hillary have similar haircuts.
If you’re a brave political dreamer like me, you’ll likely have people trying to “talk some sense” into you. Maybe your co-workers or your parents will tell you to “foster real change by voting third party at the local level” or “engage in politics in a real way instead of just online grandstanding” or “get to the bottom of your anger towards women.” Ignore them. They don’t understand that the future of this country is at stake.
But definitely vote for Gary Johnson over that weirdo bitch Jill Stein. She’s a fucking joke.
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