Voting Third-Party Means a Second Term for You-Know-Who

When I first arrived at the 2020 Iowa Caucus, I was left waiting in line because there were so many people updating their political party affiliation from Libertarian or Green Party to Democrat. These people recognized that, in elections where so many people’s basic rights were on the line, now is not the time to make a political statement against the two-party system. Now is the time to vote for a viable candidate who will condemn hate crimes rather than support them.

When a citizen makes the decision to vote for a third-party candidate, they are indirectly helping President Trump win a second term. Biden is obviously the only candidate able to unseat Trump come November and when you don’t support him, you are allowing Trump to remain in office. When you vote this November, you will be either supporting Trump or actively trying to put a stop to his tyranny. The 2016 election was a close electoral race; only 107,000 people in three states ultimately decided the outcome of the entire election. That also happens to be about how many people died of COVID-19 in the U.S. by May 28, 2020, when Trump was quoted saying “It’s fading away. It’s going to fade away.” This election is close once again and it’s one where both candidates are viewed poorly by a large portion of voters (48 percent according to Pew Research). People may be tempted to vote for a third party candidate because of it. Five million people voted third party in the 2016 election, and if they had voted differently, the past four years would’ve been astronomically better for BIPOC, members of the LGBTQ+ community and literally everyone except white supremacists. 

Third-party candidates are often to blame for splitting the vote and allowing the other party to win. I’m sure you heard Kanye West endorse Trump and then run for president himself. He is hoping to draw votes from the Democratic Party to support Trump. Don’t vote for Kanye and don’t vote for any of the other third-party candidates, no matter how much you hate Biden. Here’s why.

If you vote third party, you are helping a man who is responsible for 220,000 COVID-19 deaths, 20 million unemployed Americans unable to support their families and the number of violent hate crimes in the United States reaching new highs. 

According to The Atlantic, if Trump were to win a second term, “U.S. alliances would likely crumble, the global economy would close and democracy and human rights would be in rapid retreat.”

Americans were able to play off the 2016 election as a fluke of the electoral college, but if we are unable to get Trump out of office this year, other countries will no longer let us slide by. Trump has been breaking alliances left and right and America might be separated from its allies in a way that will take years to fix. The people of other countries look down on Americans because of Trump. This is our chance to change that, so use your vote to get him out of office.

Trump winning a second term would change everything. He has already tried to suppress the vote in order to win and he has brought in the military to dispel peaceful protestors. These are not just the behaviors of simply a racist president, these are the behaviors of a wannabe dictator. He entirely disrespects democratic norms. Though any third-party candidate would make a better president than him, they have no chance of winning. You must use your vote wisely. 

Being able to use your vote to make a statement is such a privileged perspective to have. Looking at the next four years and not seeing your life at stake must be so serene. Knowing that if a natural disaster hits (and it will) you have enough funds to make it through without any support from the government must be so tranquil. Knowing that your race does not make your life exponentially harder and that police officers will not kill you or your family on any given day must make you feel safe. Knowing that you won’t have anyone else making decisions for your body must help you sleep peacefully at night. Knowing that your family will not be forced to leave this country because the president is a xenophobe to everyone but his wife must be reassuring. Being able to vote third-party when your neighbors, friends and family’s rights and livelihoods are on the line requires a level of entitlement and alienation from the population that you must recognize and acknowledge before filling in your ballot. 

In the future, when more states have a voting system similar to Maine’s rank-choice voting in which third-party candidates have a chance of winning in a two-party system, you can vote third-party as much as you like. For now, third-party votes help Trump stay in office and allow more people to die. 

Every single vote matters and to waste yours on someone who won’t win is selfish. You may not like Biden and voting third-party is your right, but one of  the two parties will win on November 3 and there is only one option that isn’t Trump. At the end of the day, you have to decide what matters more: a meaningless display of privilege, or getting rid of Trump.