With the election coming up just around the corner, many Americans are unsure who to cast their vote for. Should Americans vote for the Red Fish or Blue Fish? The systematic tendency to vote for either fish is engrained into our society. Rarely do American voters see or even hear about a 3rd party fish swimming for president—the proverbial “black fish.” So does that mean we ignore the black fish, green fish, new fish and old fish? If you don’t cast your line for the proper fish, would your vote be wasted? Today I would like to dispel the societal myth that a vote for a 3rd party candidate is a vote cast in vain. Note that this article is a means of exploring a new point of view and not a means to push a political agenda.
I would like to start off by defining democracy. Merriam-Webster dictionary defines democracy as “a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections.” In layman’s terms, the point of a democracy is so citizens can vote for their genuine beliefs that can then be represented by an elected official. A government run by the people, for the people. For a democracy to properly function, each individual that belongs to said democracy must exercise their right to vote.
To assume any vote cast for a 3rd party candidate is a “wasted vote” is quite far from the truth. Though it may be unlikely that a 3rd party candidate will win the 2016 presidential election, that doesn’t mean a voter is wasting their vote. The point of voting in an election is so you can voice your opinion on how the country should be run by voting for a corresponding candidate that will represent a voter’s view. So, it stands to reason that if a 3rd party candidate best represents a voter’s point of view on how the U.S. should be run, then the voter should vote for them. The way our political system and media correspond with each other sort of pigeonholes voters into voting Republican or Democrat. Media outlets focus on hot button issues which fire up voters with their inherent controversy. The way the Democrat and Republican platforms polarize issues split the American people 50/50. This creates a duopoly between the two parties.
In my opinion, this is a very dangerous way of going about politics. The use of fear mongering to force Americans to choose either side distracts from the real point of our political system, which is to raise awareness for problems and try and find means to fix said issues. Instead, news outlets spend their time focusing on the bad and how the other candidate will make it worse.
I encourage all people to vote for who they thoroughly believe would be the best possible candidate and not fear that their vote won’t count. So, when November rolls around and you are tossing and turning in your sleep about whether or not you want to cast your line for the Red or Blue fish, just remember, there are plenty of fish in the sea.