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Jill Stein and Gary Johnson


After GOTV, this election hinges on how many people on either side throw away their votes on third-party candidates.

Call me an idealist, but I believe the real work of change comes from an involved, energized citizenry. Call me a cynic, but I think we need to vote for candidates who have a snowball’s chance of being elected, and who present the fewest obstacles to our hopes for the future.

If you’re thinking about voting for a candidate who matches your ideals more closely, take a moment to savor that feeling of righteous indignation.

Then set it aside, and think clearly about the consequences. Imagine that the candidate who wins the election is the one who is farthest from your values. Imagine the real-world impact on real people.

Then vote. Vote your conscience. Your thoughtful, considered, pragmatic conscience. Not your outraged gut.


2 thoughts on “Jill Stein and Gary Johnson

  1. My thoughtful, considered, pragmatic conscience tells me both of our major parties are out of touch with what people want, and purposefully shove aside any third parties attempting to sit at the table of power. Maybe more people would bother to vote if they felt they had a wide slate of true choices. I, for one, am tired of the advice “hold your nose and vote for the lesser evil”.

    • Hi, “JMP.” I’m not against having more than two parties (and I don’t know that I’m in favor of it, either). I just don’t think spoiler candidates are the best, most effective way to move in that direction.

      I can understand that people who want a many-party system see presidential elections as an opportunity to get some visibility. But what are they doing—what are you doing—to work for this kind of change between elections? Are you engaging in thoughtful conversations with friends, family, neighbors? Are you raising awareness in your community? Are you educating yourself about the differences between two-party systems like ours, and systems where people have more than two electable choices? Are you sharing your thoughts publicly—letters to the editor, a blog, etc.?

      If you’re not doing this kind of ground-up work, then voting for a third-party candidate in a presidential election is a reactive, feel-good choice. And when enough people make that choice to affect the election, it creates a backlash of ill-will toward third parties.

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