Let's discuss the "throw away" vote. This is the idea that if you vote for anyone other than the two candidates that represent either the Republicans or Democrats then you are throwing away your vote, meaning – it doesn't count. It's also called a protest vote. In this election and for the Bernie Sanders disenfranchised who are now anti-Hillary and are voting Trump because Bernie didn't get the nod It's my humble opinion that you never understood what Bernie was running for or about. But that's just my humble opinion.
If we stop and look at what our fore fathers set up, we'll notice that our political system had more than two parties. There were three political parties when all this nonsense started: The Whigs, The Federalists and the Democratic-Republicans. So, the idea that three parties could complete for the same prize is kinda what our nation was built on. But of course, you morph this forward and having anything other than a Democrat or Republican in the White House is inconceivable. Our best shot to get an independent in there was Bernie Sanders and even he had to pledge his allegiance to the Democratic Party to have a shot. Which in and of itself is ridiculous.
So here we are on the precipice of an election the likes of which we've never seen. On the one hand Hillary Clinton, on the other hand Donald Trump. Sure, there is Jill Stein and Gary Johnson and I'll get back to them in a moment. But let's look at the two "non-throw away" votes. Hillary Clinton is your prototypical career politician who is so much a part of the establishment that people love to hate her. Then you have Donald Trump, who has at the very least a bizarre way of greeting women and a mentally challenged frat boy approach to world problems who always wants us to believe him ("believe me"). Those are our candidates. Then of course there's the "throw-away" vote parties, Green and Libertarian. Neither are brand new, they've been rattling around the hallways for a while, but nobody is going to vote for either because they can't win. Well, unless you get a third party in I truly believe this kind of craziness won't stop. A viable third party candidate would add some substance, keep people focused. Look at the primaries, things were crazy but at least they talked issues. The more the merrier.
The poster child for all of this is Ralph Nader, who many believe cost Al Gore the election and started eight years of Bush rule. You can make the argument that it's true, you can make the argument that it's not true. I would make the argument that a lot of people don't want establishment so they vote that way. If there were only Bush and Gore running and that was it, probably Gore would have won. But Nader was running and he had every right to. Truth be told, Gore should have run a stronger campaign knowing that the like of Nader was going to leech votes away from any left leaning candidate. We as the United States just needed a scape goat. So was Nader a factor – yes. Was he the reason – no.
Here's the deal, we are fed up, frustrated, afraid, we don't know who we can trust and who we can't and it seems like the only way to break that cycle is vote third party candidate. Which, if you want to send a message, you cast enough votes that suddenly they become a factor. But what about this year? What does casting your vote for a Libertarian or the Green Party do? Here's what it does: It gives you the right to exercise your civic duty and uphold the constitution. We get the president we deserve every time. Sometimes that's a good thing, sometimes that's a bad thing, but the one thing it is every time is American! So remember, if you are voting for Clinton, Johnson or Green you vote on November 8th, if you are voting for Trump – he would like you to vote on the November 28th! What the Hell is up with that?
Fish is the opinionated morning jock on Classic Hits 92.7. He offers up his opinion at 7:50 a.m. every morning (Monday through Friday). Let's start the revolution. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. The opinions expressed by columnists do not necessarily reflect the views of the Brattleboro Reformer.