"You might as well not vote if you're going to vote third party." Does this sound familiar?
If so, you may be finding yourself in the middle of a political guilt trip. But here's the good news! You don't have to feel that way. You have every right to vote for whoever you want, whether or not they have a solid chance at winning the presidency. Here's why:
1. Not everyone likes Biden or Trump.
There's no denying the excitement—or perhaps panic is the better word—for this election. There is an immense amount of hype going on this year, for the two major American parties and for their candidates.
But the truth is, not everyone likes one candidate or another. Not everyone works with one uniform mind, so it makes sense that we will not always be able to choose one of two people as the person we want to put our vote behind.
Sometimes, it feels a lot more reasonable to choose between a pool of candidates larger than two. That's where third party voting comes into play.
2. It is okay to vote your political beliefs, however unpopular they may be.
If you believe in an individual's platform to the extent that you have voted for, or have considered voting for, them, consider how much you must connect with that individual. That shows just how important their beliefs and their stance is to you. And if you believe in and trust someone that much, that is a perfectly valid reason to vote for them.
America was built on people standing up for themselves and their beliefs. Looking back to our origins, the American Revolution, the country was split between patriots, loyalists, and those who chose neither major group. And guess what? There was a massive number of people who didn't choose one side or the other.
Did they face scorn? Absolutely. But they chose not to stand for someone in which they didn't believe. And that is something to be respected.
3. It is better to vote for a losing party than no one at all.
If you are an American, consider for a minute how fortunate you are to live in a country where you have the right to vote. Most people in the world have nowhere near the choice we do in our governance. It is sometimes easy, in the midst of turmoil and unrest, to remember how truly fortunate we are to be able to elect our officials, as well as speak and vote freely.
It is not only our freedom, but our right, to use our votes to voice our opinions. And your voice is no less valid and important than anyone else. If you voted third party, you voted. Period. Your third party vote counts. By voting, you have the right to voice your opinion on the president's actions. If you choose not to vote at all, you hardly have a right to complain, considering you took no action to elect someone other than the current person in office.
By this point, you may be thinking, "this is absurd."
And if that is your stance, then you likely already support one of the two major political parties and their candidate. If that is the case, I hope you did vote for them. This is not an argument to vote for a third party candidate even if you like Biden or Trump.
By all means, if you support either the Democrat or Republican candidate, that is who you should vote for. I have no argument against your choice, as your vote will contribute directly to the election of the next president.
This article is solely for third party voters who have found themselves in a difficult place, socially.
As someone who knows a couple people, personally, who have voted third party, I do understand the difficulties that come along with it, but I hope you find some comfort in knowing you made the right choice. There is no need to regret your decision if you are an informed voter who investigated your candidate.
Speaking of which, I have never met a third party voter who isn't thoroughly informed. And it's no wonder, considering there isn't exactly a whole lot of information readily available on third party candidates.
All in all, there is nothing to be ashamed of if you believe you made the correct decision. The bottom line is, you are entitled to your opinions. Your vote is not up to your friends. It is not even up to your nosy relatives. Remember you have the right to keep your vote to yourself too. If you don't want to talk about who you voted for, no one can force you to do that. Do not let someone have that power over you. Stand up for yourself.
Remember the golden rule.
Simple as it may be, please remember to treat others the way you want to be treated. For instance, keep in mind that others may feel an aversion to speaking about their voting choice, and that is okay. You can still have a comfortable discussion without forcing them to reveal their candidate. Just use common sense, and be decent to one another.
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
© 2020 Brooke Nelson