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An Open Letter to Anyone Voting Third Party

Dear anyone choosing to vote third party,

Listen, I get it. This election has tried everyone’s patience. We’ve all sat back and watched all of the “oh my god” moments unfold. We’ve seen it all from the emails to the scandals, racial slurs, sexist bigotry and hate speech. Honestly, I, too, am ready for this terrible nightmare to be over. However, it is hardly over and we all have a big responsibility when it comes to electing our future president. I am sure you have heard it all and you are above picking between “two evils,” but this is my last minute plea to not ruin this country.

As idealistic as it is to elect someone outside of the realm of Republican or Democrat, it will never happen. Historically speaking, it has only caused political divisiveness. For example, Teddy Roosevelt who split the votes for the Republican party and granted Woodrow Wilson the presidency. I cannot fail to mention, Ralph Nader who collected 100,000 votes in Florida, which was the swing state that determined the 2000 election. So, with this upcoming election, it is essential that we do not make the same mistakes. The fact is, this election is one of the most influential of the century and we cannot throw away our votes on anyone polling under 10 percent. With this upcoming election, two supreme court justices will be chosen and with Republican candidate, Donald Trump we will inevitably be set back 20 years. Trump has openly stated that he is going to appoint the most conservative justices, which could mean a repeal of not only Roe v. Wade, that allows abortion, but also Obergefell v. Hodges, that allows gay marriage. With current issues regarding climate change, ISIS and the economy, we cannot throw away this election.

Now, I could understand voting third party if the two other candidates were viable and qualified. However, under a close lens, both candidates simply are not. Let’s begin with Jill Stein, the green party member and former physician. Stein’s main platform stance is to cancel student debt, but she has no practical plan to accomplish said goal. Stein has stated that she will do so through quantitative easing. When further questioned, Stein stated the president has the power to do so and it is simply a magic trick. However, it is not the role of the president, but one of the Federal Reserve. For her to do this “quantitative easing” the United States would have to print money which would only lead to inflation. This would be detrimental to our economy. Also, I don’t know about you but I cannot bring myself to vote for someone who was a member of a punk-folk band that sang about the virtuous nature of biking.

Now, on to the more, well known Libertarian candidate, Gary Johnson who is polling at six percent. Frankly, the only thing crazier than Gary Johnson polling at six percent is Gary Johnson himself. Any quick Google search can tell and show you the off the wall things he has said, but if that is too much to do then let me explain it to you. Gary Johnson stated that he did not know where Aleppo even was or what was even going on. First of all, this should be concerning considering it is an important current event and worldwide issue. Breaking this down, I know more about the current situation in Syria than Gary Johnson and I am not running for the presidency. Then, Johnson could not name a world leader that he admired. Honestly, I do not believe Johnson cares about anything. Johnson’s basic policies include getting rid of the Department of Commerce, the Department of Housing Development and the Department of Education; however, when asked why, he could not give a reason. These government departments are beneficial to our country by providing free housing, public schooling, along with but not exclusively the Census Bureau. Not only that, but Johnson also wants to do away with the income tax, the business tax and get rid of the IRS. Johnson’s economic plan known as the Prebate is the largest entitlement program ever which is ironic considering Johnson’s party platform is for small business. With that being said, this plan would lead to savage government cuts and he claims at taxes at 28 percent; however, economists speculate that taxes would be even higher.

If your main reason for not voting is because you do not like either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton then we should at examine why that is true. With over 45 percent of the population claiming that they do not trust either candidate it is essential to break down each candidate’s flaws and then weigh them against the other.  Beginning with Hillary Clinton, most agree that Benghazi and her emails are credited for her unpopularity. However, after Benghazi there was eight separate investigations and although, they claimed it could have been handled better, there was no evidence that they could find that stated Hillary Clinton was negligent. Clinton testified for 14 hours and still was found not at fault. Regarding her emails, Clinton has turned over more of them than any other politician in history and they have not found any signs of foul play. The whole email fiasco began with the fact that Clinton used a private email server instead of a government issued email because when given a Blackberry, at the time, she could not link two emails at the same time. Although the FBI did find that 113 of those emails were classified, only three of them were marked classified. Although these acts are careless, they are not criminal. I understand that these scandals appear bad but the more you look at them the less you find.

When comparing them to her opponent, Donald Trump, they seem minuscule. To begin, Politifact has reviewed all of his statements and has found that 53 percent of them are false. The amount of scandals Trump has faced is incredible from his tax returns to his sexual assault charges. Let’s begin with his tax returns, shall we? Trump claims that he cannot release his tax returns because he is being audited; however, the IRS stated that these two events are completely unrelated. So, the country cannot see how much he has made or how much he has paid in taxes. Which, he later stated in a presidential debate that he in fact did not pay taxes because of his bankruptcy loophole. Regarding the Trump Foundation, Trump has not given money to his foundation since 2008 which means the charity functions off of donations. Trump spent a quarter million of these donations to settle lawsuits against him. Trump also spent $10,000 to buy a portrait of himself. This would not be as scummy if he had used the portrait for charitable attributes but instead, the portrait hangs in one of his hotels. On top of it all, Trump was given over $3.5 million by his father through the illegal buying of poker chips at one of Trump’s casinos. To further the amount of scandals Trump claims to not be racist but the KKK endorses him and has made several lewd comments about people of color. Trump claims to not be sexist but has been caught on camera admitting to sexual assault. Not to mention that he is currently being accused of sexual assault with 14 women coming forward.

When considering this year’s election, it is important to consider the importance of this election and who is the most highly qualified. Yes, I agree that every candidate has flaws and in a lot of ways, it is like choosing between not just two evils but four. With that being said, this is not the year to vote third party. This is the year to vote for the person with the most experience and who has the best plan. So, that leaves you with Jill Stein, the idealist with no viable plan; Gary Johnson, quite possibly the craziest individual in the political scene next to Vermin Supreme; Hillary Clinton, the scandal magnet and the quintessential politician; or Donald Trump, the human equivalent to hot, seeping garbage. I know the circumstances are bleak but please don’t throw away your vote. Please, for the sake of the future decide what is best for the nation because a third party vote is a vote for Donald Trump.


The Fate of America    

photo credit

Emily Holter is a Freshman at Virginia Commonwealth University. She studies Mass Communications with a concentration in Print and Online Journalism. She is an avid reader of books, a lover of all things Cher, and a flower enthusiast. Most days, she is tucked away in a coffee shop, sipping on her black coffee and enjoying light conversation.
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