No matter how you vote, you will be voting for Trump or Clinton. A third party vote is still a vote for Trump or Clinton.
This is REAL Life. And how real life works is that while we might want things, we cannot always have them.
Certainly you can vote for anyone you want. However, voting for a third party will necessarily mean that you didn’t vote directly for either Trump or Clinton. This means that if you would ordinarily have voted Democrat or Republican you are hurting that party and providing a one vote advantage to the other. Its simple math.
Your vote for a third party may seem like a marvelous way to protest. But it has a real world secondary consequence. No matter how you vote, you will be voting for Trump or Clinton. So if one of the candidates is standing on ground you cannot tolerate while the other one isn’t that can be bad news for you.
The third party vote will certainly be a statement to the particular party you are angry at. But it is ALSO a vote for their opponent. That’s just how the math and first past the post elections work.
The result is that most people vote strategically. Because we don’t live in a magical kingdom where we all get what we want. And in my life, I spend more of my votes voting against people than for them. It’s the nature of our system.
You should do what you want. But don’t do it imagining you will be changing much of anything. 3rd party voters have killed a candidate’s chances before and we still have this really broken system.
Politicians are heavily invested in this system. Its rigged and so broken that it backs itself into the kinds of ridiculous choices we now face. But politicians are the ones who control changing it. We don’t. They know we don’t.
We can certainly make them uncomfortable by not voting for them. But the system of politicians as a whole, liberal and conservative is united in keeping the status quo. So even if you managed to piss off your party by voting them out with a third party vote, you won’t change much. Because the system itself is the thing they need to protect and it’s the thing that created current unpleasant choices that you hate so much.
They won’t change it. It’s the teat they feed off of. The most they will do is change the rhetoric or the window dressing. But that’s not the real problem. The real problem is that the system is not controlled by the voters but by the politicians.
And that problem does not have any solution that is better than the status quo. Because without a violent overthrow I don’t see how you could so systematically change the way our government works. And violence is not a better solution than just accepting what is. Even if it were possible, which it is not. However idealistic the 2nd amendment may be, the US long since passed the possibility of having its citizens overthrow its government.
So we are left with what is. And we have to make the best choices inside this framework.