• Why I’m Voting Third Party

    November 8, 2016

    Tags: , ,
    Posted in: Democracy


    I’m going to vote for a third party candidate on November 8. I don’t think I’m alone in my decision, and I don’t think it is the wrong one. Here’s why: I’m looking past Clinton or Trump.

    I am pretty sure most people considering third party candidates are/were potential Clinton voters. I’m guessing that because I don’t hear a word from the Republican side chastising me for my choice, or anyone right of center claiming a vote for a third party candidate is a de facto “vote for Clinton.”

    I do hear loud and clear Democrats, from Obama on down, along with independent Bernie Sanders, telling me in various ways I am wrong to vote third party, maybe naive, clearly a closet Trump supporter.

    Trump, if president, will have the nuclear codes, so I will literally be responsible for Armageddon. I guess one vote does matter.

    In one of the most horrible of the ten presidential elections I have been eligible to vote in, I guess one vote does matter. At least eventually, because after months of ignoring issues that matter to many now voting third party, the Democrats are down in the polls and suddenly very interested in my one vote.

    I am not casting a protest vote. I am not voting for Hillary Clinton because she has not earned my vote.

    She has refused to substantively explain her private email server and what to anyone who has held a security clearance (as I did for 24 years) are clear violations of national security. She has refused to substantively address the tangled relationship among many State Department decisions, access to her as Secretary of State, and the Clinton Foundation. She refuses to substantively address the vast sums of money she earned from the Wall Street firms she promises to reign in. She has not explained the hypocrisy of accepting large sums of money from foreign governments in general, and in the specific how her claimed support for the rights of women and girls can coexist with millions of dollars of Foundation donations from Arab nations with some of the worst human rights records toward women.

    Her core argument — none of that was illegal — ignores the more important questions of what kind of honesty, ethics, and transparency I want to vote in favor of. I believe I should judge a candidate not just on examples of past competency, but with an eye toward the core things of character, values, honesty, humility and selflessness. “I am not a crook” as a core excuse went out of style with Nixon.

    I’m as cynical as the next person, but this election instead of even nominally selfless public servants who care about our country, we instead find a government, Republicans and Democrats equally, full of self-serving men and women who exist only as appetite. They see “public service” only as a stepping stone for their own advancement, either in terms of money, power, prestige, or all of the above. The most significant cause they support is themselves. They are cynical about it, openly mocking the democratic process with flip-flops, fact-free personal attacks, and shoddy fundraising.

    Clinton has set up a loss scenario that involves Putin hacking our election systems to the benefit of the other candidate. And each major candidate is supported by patrons who have so, so much money already but somehow still want more.

    Choosing the lesser of two evils means I am still choosing evil. That seems a limp thing to do in a democracy.

    I would not look forward to a Trump (or Clinton) presidency. But America having survived other dangerous and unqualified presidents in office (you pick your favorites, I have mine, the argument beyond the scope of this article), I worry more about the longer term than the medium one.

    This election cycle makes clear that our system is broken. A global-record setting long primary season produced the two most disliked major party candidates in modern history. A significant number of voters see both as dishonest. The campaign since the nominating conventions has been flooded with mud slinging, literal name calling and personal attacks. Money from a very small number of Americans dominates the process.

    The first debate devoted less than two minutes to climate change, no minutes to America’s longest war (15 years and more in Afghanistan), no solutions to Islamic State other than bomb more, and little specific about creating jobs, confronting racism, militarized police, and fixing the developed world’s only health care and education systems where money determines how smart/healthy you can afford to be. These are critical issues of our time and neither major party appears ready to address them.

    I have heard “A vote for Hillary is a vote for Trump.” Well, let’s try “A vote for Hillary or Trump is a vote against the possibility of ever having a viable third party.”

    Like many, I would prefer stronger third party candidates for 2016, and why Bernie Sanders chose not to run as an independent will be a topic of undergrad poliSci classes for many years to come.

    A strong showing for third party candidates will be a wake up call to both the Democratic and Republican establishments they have to deal with real desire for change, not ignore voters, or try to scare us into abandoning our conscience and principles by trading (again) short term goals for long term progress.

    For those who truly support Clinton, please, vote that way. But don’t disparage the rest of us for believing we can do better, even if that road is a long. Too many have accepted, election after election, the long con of no third party.

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    Copyright © 2020. All rights reserved. The views expressed here are solely those of the author(s) in their private capacity.

  • Recent Comments

    • teri said...


      Wow, I just left a comment and it didn’t post. Something wrong with the site this morning, Peter?

      11/8/16 4:58 AM | Comment Link

    • teri said...


      The gist of my disappeared comment was that voting for whom you think will do the best job is called “democracy”. Being coerced into giving your vote to someone you don’t believe in, trust, or whose ideals you don’t support is called “throwing your vote away”.

      And I also pointed out that I had never heard that a “vote for Hillary is a vote for Trump” – is that a typo? Maybe you meant you have been told a vote for Stein (or some other third party candidate) is a vote for Trump?

      11/8/16 5:03 AM | Comment Link

    • teri said...


      While I’m at it, I’ll add this, since it is already determined for us that Clinton will be the next president: this ain’t a monarchy. We should not have accepted another Bush or Clinton running in the first place.

      And before it starts in earnest from the pundits and media once she “wins” (as if we haven’t heard enough of this drivel up to now), can we quit with the “first female president” crap? It’s as meaningful as saying “the first blond president” or “the president with the largest feet”. Margaret Thatcher, Angela Merkel, Madeleine Albright, Victoria Nuland, the Samanthas (Power and Rice), and Medusa are/were also females – where’d that get anyone? As a woman, I find it offensive that the lethal and demented Clinton is held up as some kind of coup for womankind.

      11/8/16 6:09 AM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...


      Not voting Third Party is Evil. I’m with her… Jill Stein. Can’t wait to see if I can wear my “I’m with Wikileaks” shirt in the polls! Vote often…

      11/8/16 7:03 AM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...


      Morning, on the first day of the Apocalypse.

      Teri, I have had that happen before. My guess would a comments format timer would need to be modified up.

      Peter and Teri.

      Very eloquent way of saying what we are all feeling.

      And… Medusa fits.

      Teri, do you know my wife? You sound just like her.

      Yesterday, I heard the ultimate statement.
      “just because your angry at the system, is no reason to break the system”

      Speaker is a state rep.

      Personally, I’m thining a non-op. Was thinking Crump….til Peter’s statements… Crump would have launch codes.

      He’s right. Not something I want responsibility for.


      11/8/16 7:09 AM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...


      I’m voting for me. My platform.,.free beer for everyone, no income taxes, which means no more wars. And anyone can come to the White House and have a beer with me. Furthermore, I’m advocating for a new Amendment. There should be THREE presidents. One white, one black, and one green. Oh, and I’ll write a new EO, disbanding the CIA, and creating a panel of 51 citizens, who’ll vote whether or not any scumbag Congress Criiter who takes contributions from a corporation, gets tarred and feathered on live TV. Hmmm..what else…oh yeah, I’ll turn the FBI into a child daycare center. Let’s see, what else was I thinking? Oh, nevermind..it’ll come to mind after I’m elected. Between beers of course. Speaking of which..did I mention free beer for everyone? Ok, now…go vote for me. I promise to make you rich, happy, contented …and ..well…nevermind. See? Make Murika GREAT again. Easy as pie.

      11/8/16 8:38 AM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...


      Damn Pitch, I already voted. Next time… PitchForks/2020

      11/8/16 9:52 AM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...


      oh, one other thing. I PROMISE, to prosecute every scum sucking war criminal in the land. Including THESE maggots…


      As for their punishment.. they’ll get the same treatment as their victims.. at the victims hands. At least..those that are still alive and able to move.

      Now…go vote for me.

      11/8/16 10:01 AM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...


      and did I mention… free beer?

      damn… beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeer…. After all this campaigning I’m thirsty.

      bartender.. after voting for me… rounds for the house…and put it on Trumps tab.

      11/8/16 10:04 AM | Comment Link

    • b. traven said...


      Our democracy is on the precipice of disaster no matter which candidate wins. This is the price we will pay for allowing both parties to become the whores of Wall Street and our media to become the mouthpiece of the privileged. .
      With a megalomaniac priming his devotees with the “wisdom” that if he doesn’t win it is because “the system is rigged” against him there is every indication that violence and social disintegration will follow this election.The state will then pass draconian emergency laws that will lay to rest what little remains of constitutional law.

      11/8/16 10:25 AM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...



      Changed my mind….. I want the free beer.

      But…… If you offer free wine…. I’ll vote three times.


      11/8/16 10:31 AM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...



      No need to pass ” Draconian Emergency Laws”.

      Search and read an un-Redacted copy of ‘operation gardenplot’.

      Draconian does not even come close as a discription.

      It is the USG’s plan for nationwide rioting.

      I’m sure you will find the part about ” strategic bombing”. Most interesting.


      11/8/16 10:36 AM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...


      Looky, looky….

      Pitchfork’s girl is now saying…. Protect Obama’s legacy.

      Can’t make this shit up!


      11/8/16 10:39 AM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...


      Vote for Me, I’ll set You Free. Change starts in 24 hours. It will be interesting. Shit stinks. Have a nice day! Power to the People.

      11/8/16 11:06 AM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...


      Wrote in Manning for Supreme Court in NY. Hope she wins (deleted)! Not sure my vote for Assange is valid. Not sure u.s. is valid. The People Are…

      11/8/16 11:09 AM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...


      Imagine… When we have info that no one reports on “We Publish” (J.Assange/2016). Keep on… Truth

      11/8/16 11:39 AM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...


      correction… Julian Assange today quote. Free the Embassy Cat!

      11/8/16 11:42 AM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...


      PVB, are you going to the Javitts Center to protest “With Her” Party in NYC?!!!! Thanks for all your education for voters , and continue please.

      11/8/16 11:45 AM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...


      Mitch said…

      “Looky, looky….

      Pitchfork’s girl is now saying…. Protect Obama’s legacy.”

      Pitchfork’s girl? Phuuuuuuuuuleese. Spare me.
      As for Obama’s so called legacy. Phuuuuuuuuuleese. Spare me.

      11/8/16 12:06 PM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...



      To quote Bill Murray, from the real Ghostbusters….

      When confronting the EPA man….

      ” that’s what I heard!!!!”


      11/8/16 12:53 PM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...


      are u a fool?

      11/8/16 2:05 PM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...



      Nope…. Just making lite of a real bad situation.


      11/8/16 2:08 PM | Comment Link

    • Bruce said...


      Machts NICHTS! Been doin’ that since namesake Anderson, in ’80; then straight Green, even writing in Gorbachev !
      Viel Glück Mit DAS !!

      11/8/16 3:36 PM | Comment Link

    • jo6pac said...


      Green myself but I like free beer so 2020 I could change over to the party of the Pitchfork;)

      11/8/16 4:11 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...


      Well we are close to early “predictions”. My wife and I voted for Stein, my daughter for Clinton, my son in law for Trump my daughter in law Clinton and my son who is the RSO for State in Helsinki, Finland is not saying.

      11/8/16 4:45 PM | Comment Link

    • Kyzl Orda said...


      Peter, thank you for being the voice of reason and conscience.

      Looking forward to the 2020 Presidential election already

      11/8/16 9:09 PM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...



      Anyone But Clinton


      11/8/16 9:41 PM | Comment Link

    • US gov. whistleblower: “Choosing the lesser of two evils means I am… | Dr. Roy Schestowitz (罗伊) said...


      […] US gov. whistleblower: "Choosing the lesser of two evils means I am still choosing evil." https://wemeantwell.com/blog/2016/11/08/why-im-voting-third-party/ […]

      11/13/16 8:11 AM | Comment Link

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