voting third party

  • what you say: i'm voting third party
  • what i hear: i have a fundamental misunderstanding of how american politics work and also enough privilege to realize that my life won't be that bad should trump actually win

These two maps show the exact same thing - results of the 2016 presidential election in the lower United States. The upper map seems dire to people like me, who believe Donald Trump is a bad person in general and a horrible person for this most important office in the world. It looks like almost the entire nation choose Trump over other candidates. 

However, if you look at the lower map, things change a bit. Blue color is more present and although some places seem clearly red, others are more mixed. This is because circles, which represent counties, were scaled to total number of votes casted in a given county rather than geographical area of such county (as in the upper map). 

Nevertheless, Donald Trump won, even though more people voted for Hillary Clinton. This is because of a very strange U.S. presidential election system, where there is an intermediate body between popular vote results and election results - the electoral college. In effect, even though difference in votes in key states such as Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin was very slim, Trump got all electoral votes from those states. This electoral college system is also why third-party candidates rarely get much attention - people fear if they vote for a third party candidate, they risk the candidate they strongly oppose could win. 

As a person living in Europe, I find it surprising that the Americans have not changed their system to be up with times. Even if they want the electoral college to stay, there is still a matter of second turn. In Poland and many other democracies, presidential elections are often unresolved in first turn because no candidate has gained more than 50% of all votes. A second turn is then called, in which two candidates who got most votes in first turn can compete. 

It’s best to explain it on an example. Suppose you have 100 voters and three candidates. Candidate A got 32 votes, candidate B got 33 votes and candidate C got 35 votes. In the U.S., candidate C wins even though 65% of voters did not for this candidate! In Poland or France, since no candidate got 50%+1 of all votes, candidates B and C are invited to second turn. It might happen that candidates A and B had similar views and candidate C is someone like Trump. So in second turn, all candidate A voters casted their vote to candidate B and that candidate won with 65% of the vote. Clearly more democratic than the American system in my opinion.  

If you still think HRC lost because of Jill stein or because of the third party votes in general please check out Wall Street Journal’s*** analysis on some of the ‘close’ states HRC lost. In order for her to win she would’ve had to gain pretty much all of Jill stein’s votes and at least 50%-70% of Gary johnson’s votes. This idea that third party candidates cost her the election is just not rooted in reality at all.

If I give you an apple and an orange and I tell you to choose, how many choices do you really have?

Two? Nope. You have FIVE, minimum.

  • You take the apple
  • You take the orange
  • You take both
  • You take nothing
  • You take something else

And this works EVERYWHERE. 

“Are you with us or with them?”

  • I’m with you!
  • I’m with them!
  • You both have good points!
  • You’re all insane!
  • I’m going with that other group over there!

“You need to vote Democrat or Republican!”

  • Democrat!
  • Republican!
  • I switch depending on the leader and the issues!
  • I don’t vote! 
  • I vote for a third-party!

“Are you Christian or Muslim??”  

  • I’m Christian
  • I’m Muslim
  • I think God is one and the same and follow good doctrines of both
  • I’m atheist
  • I’m Jewish

And it’s often more subtle

Like a salesperson handing you two products and pressuring you to buy one of them, making you forget that 

  • You don’t have to buy anything if you don’t want to
  • You can leave the store and buy something elsewhere

And sometimes it can be as important as

“Are you gay or are you straight?”

  • I’m gay
  • I’m straight
  • I’m both? So Bi?
  • I like no one, I’m ace. 
  • I’m anything else, really, this is a spectrum and I define my own orientation.

So remember- If someone if pressuring you to pick between two choices, they’re probably trying to manipulate you by making you forget you also have another three options.

Protest votes are a privilege. One that is most enjoyed by people who are privileged. When you wake up the next day and Trump won, nobody poor or disadvantaged will thank you for your protest vote. If you are progressive and care about the rights of minorities and the other, vote for someone who at least lends their ear to their concerns. Otherwise I will just assume you are selfish. Perfection is often the enemy of greatness. If you are still stuck in the period of your life when you expect there will always be a more perfect and more viable option, maybe you just haven’t matured enough. Life honestly involves compromise in even our most basic decisions—and especially in politics. That’s simply how our country has gotten as far as it has.
—  Janelle Monaé via Instagram

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again until motherfuckers start to listen:

Outside of things we can’t control (voter suppression, gerrymandering, legally questionable voter roll purges, racially driven ID laws, the goddamn electoral college, etc.), the main reason the right keeps winning in spite of the fact that there are way more left-of-center people in this country is that the right always votes.

People on the right will support the person they want to win the most in the primaries, and then line up behind the winner basically no matter what. They’ll then call and write and e-mail and tweet and leave facebook comments for the winner until it’s beyond clear what they want and the politician has no choice but to do at least some of it to maintain whatever position they’ve won. People on the left will support the person they want to win (if there’s one close enough to whatever level of ideological purity they demand), and only show up to vote if that person wins the primaries. Otherwise, they stay home and get mad that the horrible right-winger won, in spite of having had a chance to help stop it and choosing not to.

Not voting does not send a message, or at least not the one you intend to send. Politicians care about winning elections, meaning they care about the people who actually show up to vote. Not just for them, either. They’re more concerned about flipping swing voters and voters on the other side who might be convinced of enough common ground to switch sides (at least for that one politician in that one election). The people who don’t show up–especially the ones that never show up, have never shown up, and probably will never show up–are a non-factor.

I don’t like the whole “lesser of two evils” thing any more than anyone else does. But the thing is, millions of people’s lives at home and abroad are affected by who we elect, and while it does suck that our system essentially forces complicity whether or not we vote, those people’s lives are more important than being “ideologically pure.” As well, the Overton window moves right as the people who vote do. The more we stay home, the more both parties move to the right.

That’s largely how we got Bill Clinton. The Third Way Democrats rose in response to the fact that the left didn’t show up to support Carter’s reelection in ‘80, Mondale’s run in ‘84, or Dukakis’ run in ‘88. The party establishment at the time was far to the left of what it is now. But they had to ask themselves, “What can we do to get the people who actually vote, the ones who voted Reagan/Bush or third party or stayed home for the first time, to come back? What can we do to get some disappointed Reagan/Bush voters to come to our party?” And the answer was to move right.

You know why the Democratic Party adopted so many of Bernie’s positions for the overall platform, and why Hillary adopted them for hers? It wasn’t because we were loud or posted a lot about it on the internet, or because they were so moved by his charm or dedication or rally turnouts. It was because enough new people actually showed up to vote in the primaries that the party saw an opportunity to convince those voters to show up again in November for the general. And you know what? The fact that so many of us didn’t is why they seem to be ignoring us again (e.g. Perez getting DNC chair over Ellison). They’re like, “Oh, okay, I guess these people are still not going to actually show up, so why cater to them instead of the people that will?”

If we lose again in 2020 (or lose seats in any but the toughest districts/states in 2018), it won’t be because of the party’s shortsightedness, but because we keep showing them that we can’t be depended on to vote and thus shouldn’t be relied on for support. If we start always showing up and then holding our elected officials’ feet to the fire, we might actually make some change in the party. Or at least make it happen faster than if we continue to just hope another Obama or younger Bernie comes around.

To all the non-white, non-straight, non-christian non-cis male Americans: I love you and I’m so sorry you have to go through this. I can’t imagine what it must feel like to see your country vote so hatefully. You don’t deserve this, you are important and I hope that you stay safe after this election, whatever the result.

Donald Trump wants to eliminate the Department of Education.  That’s not a joke, I’m not being misleading.  More than once he said he wants to make this happen. Please click the read more below to see just some of the consequences.

—Using official budget figures from the Department of Education, CAPAF’s full analysis shows just how far reaching the impact of Trump’s proposals could be on students, teachers, and families. Our analysis examined the largest programs that the agency runs in order to demonstrate what their elimination would mean for the country and for each state. Nationally, according to that analysis:

  • 8 million students every year would lose Pell grants
  • 490,000 or more teacher positions could be eliminated
  • $1.3 trillion in student loans would be at risk
  • 9 million low-income students would lose $15 billion of Title I funding annually
  • 5 million children and students with disabilities would lose $12.7 billion used every year to ensure that they receive a quality education
  • 750,000 or more students from military families, Native American students, students living in U.S. territories, and students living on federal property or Native American lands would lose $1.1 billion per year for their schools
  • 4,000 or more rural school districts would lose more than $175 million used annually to help improve the quality of teaching and learning in many hard-to-staff schools
  • $700 million used by states to support the 5 million English language learners currently in public schools — representing close to 10 percent of all students — would be cut

I want to point out, 750,000 or more students from military families.  Soldiers and their children will struggle because of this.

I want to point out 4,000 or more rural school districts would struggle. 

The working class.  The military.  The farmers of America.   These are the people who supported Trump.  And he’s going to drop them in a heartbeat, because he doesn’t even understand how the education system works.  Or he does, and he doesn’t care.  

I'm not kidding

If the cheeto troll becomes president I will cry. This isn’t a ironic or funny or relatable post, I’m being serious.

I don’t think you quite understand just HOW bad things will be if he becomes president. If you don’t want to vote do it anyways, it’s not just about you, people’s lives are at stake. It’s not just about people’s rights, people are gonna get hurt if he becomes president. If you are able to vote you NEED to, you need to make sure the next Hitler doesn’t become president.

For the love of everything that is good, don’t vote Trump, don’t vote third party, don’t not vote, VOTE HILLARY. She is our only hope, I don’t care if you don’t like her, I don’t care if you don’t want to vote for “the lesser of two evils” it’s not about you it’s about the effects of the result and if Hillary doesn’t win the effects will be devastating for every member of a minority, every member of the LGBT+ community, every woman, and so many others.

I am literally begging you, if you think you don’t need to vote you are so WRONG. Please, please, please, vote Hillary. I don’t want to live in a country ruled by someone like Trump, DON’T LET HIM WIN. VOTE HILLARY.

I’m just 17, my future is up to you. The future of kids like me is up to you, don’t fuck it up for us.

I don’t care if Hillary Clinton is corrupt. I don’t care if she lies, if she cheats, if she eats bowls of newborn chipmunks for breakfast.

She is literally the only thing standing in the way of a fascist dictator becoming President of the United States with a Republican majority congress that guarantees he can do anything he wants and nothing will be able to stop him.

I was and still am a Bernie supporter, and I hate a lot of things about Clinton, but none of that matters anymore. If Trump is elected, people are going to die. Women are going to die when Roe v Wade is overturned and Planned Parenthood is defunded. LGBTQ people are going to die when conversion therapy is further legalized and more bathroom bills are passed. POC are going to die as Trump rounds up Mexican immigrants, gives more power to the police, and fuels the fires of Islamaphobia. Poor people are going to die as Obamacare gets overturned and further cuts are made to welfare programs. And that’s just in this country. That’s not even taking account the all-too-likely outcomes of Trump starting new wars in the Middle East and having control of nuclear bombs that he’s said he ‘would not rule out’ using.

This is no longer even about ‘the lesser of two evils’. This is not ‘scare tactics’. This is literally life and death. Don’t fuck around and tell me you’re voting third-party or not voting at all, because you don’t have that luxury. 

Tbh the grumbling resentment in liberals over Clinton not winning because “stupid people don’t know she’s the most qualified candidate” shows how little they care about “the people” beyond a talking point to gain votes or shame those who don’t vote/voted third party. This doesn’t make sense but idk the way they come off as “if those dirty poor people and stupid leftists just voted how we told them to they would see that we’re always right” irks me