What Do You Have to Lose?
If you're voting for the GOP candidate this is not for you. If the information that's out there hasn't convinced you he shouldn't be president of the United States I doubt there's anything I can say that will change your mind. However, if you're uncomfortable, uneasy or maybe even horrified by the prospect of his potential presidency, and you're planning to vote for a third party or not vote at all—please hear me out before you vote—or don't vote. You have nothing to lose. Or do you? Bernie Sanders is the strongest grassroots candidate I've seen in my lifetime. Even with the huge momentum he built, he didn't win the primary. There isn't one third-party candidate in this general election—on the ballot or as a write-in—who even has the name recognition of Bernie, let alone support or momentum going into the election on Tuesday. So whether you like it or not, if you vote for a third-party candidate, your vote will not get that candidate elected. Notice I didn't say your vote won't count. It definitely will count. But when all the tallies are added up, your vote (or lack of vote) may very well be the difference between Hillary Clinton or the GOP candidate becoming president—because it will be one of them. Your vote could actually be a spoiler vote. Don't believe me? If you voted for George W. Bush you may have third party candidate Ralph Nader to thank for his win. If Nader's voters had voted for Gore, Bush would not have been president—that's how close the election was. But as hard-fought and contentious as that race was (before and after the election), I don't know if there's anyone who considers the stakes to be the same in this election—including Bush and Gore.
Is the risk worth it? Can you live with four years of the GOP candidate as president? Is voting for someone you think lines up more closely with your values but has no chance of winning—worth the risk for this specific election? Not one pundit is saying a third party candidate or write-in has a chance. It's a non-story for this election except as a spoiler helping the GOP candidate. Is it worth having the GOP candidate represent America to the world for four years? Is it worth having someone with his temperament dealing on your behalf—on our behalf? Making decisions about war and nuclear weapons? Is it worth him having four years to try and run America the way he's run his businesses? Breaking treaties, and bankrupting America the way he's broken contracts and bankrupted his companies? Is it worth having someone who incites violence against those who disagree with him? If he thinks his celebrity has given him the right to sexually assault women, what is he going to think if he becomes president? Is it worth having someone hold the highest office of our land who doesn't respect women, people of color, people with disabilities, American prisoners of war, or anyone who goes against him? Is the risk really worth it?
50 former GOP national security leaders slammed the GOP candidate in an open letter and stated he would be a "dangerous president and would put at risk our country's national security and well-being." Is the risk worth it? All the former living presidents refuse to endorse him and it appears will be voting for Hillary Clinton. Is the risk worth it? Nearly 400 leading economists signed an open letter denouncing the GOP candidate. They described the GOP candidate as a "dangerous, destructive choice for the country." Is the risk worth it? The majority of the GOP party is not willing to endorse him. Governors, senators, and congressmen. Many have said they are voting for Hillary. These are the same people who've spent decades investigating her. The few who have begrudgingly given their endorsement to the GOP candidate won't campaign for him, nor do they want him to campaign for them. This is his own party.
Where is your conscience in this choice? If you don't want him to be president, why would you be willing to risk it by voting for a virtually unknown third party candidate who has no chance of winning or by not voting at all when the polls have them so dangerously close?
I get it. Your views on various policies don't all line up with Hillary. But no matter what else you think of her, Hillary Clinton has a proven record of working in public service on behalf of children, women, and the less fortunate going back to her college days. After all the media hype the past 32 years you may not trust Hillary, but the unbiased, non-partisan, Pulitzer Prize-winning, Politifact says she's the most honest candidate running for president this year of ALL the candidates. Even the majority of her political adversaries say she has the experience and they trust her to do the job.
Please for your sake, for my sake, for America's sake, for the world's sake—please vote for humanity by casting a vote for Hillary Clinton because we all have a lot to lose if the GOP candidate is put into office. Please.
**Update: I came across the article below minutes after publishing this post.
"I can afford to throw away my vote. I’m a middle-class, straight, white American Christian man. I have a lot of margin for error. I can afford to throw away my vote."
"I won’t get deported. I won’t have members of my faith barred from entering the United States. I won’t receive “some form of punishment” just for making my own health care decisions. I won’t get waterboarded. I will be neither stopped nor frisked. I won’t ever be asked to show my papers. I won’t worry about my village being bombed because my mom’s second cousin was maybe photographed near someone who said something critical about the United States."
It's definitely worth the full read: http://madison365.com/third-party-vote-height-white-privilege/