Make Your Vote Count in 2016

The election is nearing and you despise both major party candidates. Since last year, you have been trying to decide whom to vote for. If you were planning on voting Republican, maybe you backed Marco Rubio, a relatively moderate candidate who has some experience, or Ben Carson, an outsider with experience as a brain surgeon. If voting Democratic, you might have “felt the Bern.”

But now you’re stuck with two choices. There is no middle ground between the two candidates, leaving the doomed future of our country in between.

You, the undecided voter, cannot make a choice based on policies. You are voting on the personalities and the reputations the candidates have made for themselves over the past 40 years.

Hillary Clinton? She’s a crook. How could someone delete 33,000 private emails and get away with it? She has taken money from Wall Street like it’s nobody’s business. You wouldn’t dare vote for her.

Donald Trump? A fear mongering racist and sexist, among many other things, who has no clue how to run a country. Build a wall and make Mexico pay for it? You can’t be serious. A vote for him is a vote for the end of democracy.

This is what you’re left with. You realize that your friends and associates aren’t exactly voting for Secretary Clinton or the Donald but are actually voting against one of them. They believe that one of these candidates will harm our republic a little less than the other. But you think both of these candidates represent the downfall of this country. What can you do?

You have three choices: Vote Gary Johnson or Jill Stein (third party), don’t vote at all or pick the lesser of two evils.

At this point, either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton will win. Never in the history of the United States has a third party candidate won, and all of the third party candidates are polling under 10 percent in this election. Is a third party candidate even worth your vote? Will it really do anything? Well, as Senator Bernie Sanders noted, it is “not the time for a protest vote.”

You could also not vote at all. But if you don’t vote, you have no right to complain. As stated by Daniel Marans and Kim Bellware in the Huffington Post, “voting is your voice.” You have the right to vote in this country, and many oppressed people across the world would die (literally) for the right to have the same opportunity. Don’t take it for granted.

Then there is the third and final choice, picking between the two major party candidates. Yes, it is obvious that the two candidates have flaws; they have many. But it is necessary to look past their shortcomings and see Trump and Clinton as candidates for the presidency of the United States. Look at the things they’ve said; review the policies they’ve stood for, or stood against. Really understand the major party candidates. After you do that, make a decision.

The small amount of time you take to understand the candidates will not just affect your future, but the future of nearly 320 million Americans. You have the right to vote 3rd party, and you have the right to not vote at all, but at the end of the day, either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton will prevail. In such a momentous election, make sure your voice is heard.

By Jared Freifeld

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