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Jim Martin

An open letter in re the 2016 election.

To My Neighbors-

With the 2016 Presidential campaigns coming to a head, the major parties are leading us to believe that we must vote for their party's nominee. Because if we don't, the other (and worse) candidate will be elected and destroy the nation. By the way, everyone in America is either a Democrat or a Republican: all those "independent" people are just a small group of squeaky-wheels whose ideals are absent-minded and full of broken philosophies. Though I'm not running or in the public eye this election cycle, I want to tell you that this lie being told by our major parties is hurting America.

Lucky for us, Gallup called people's houses and asked Americans their thoughts on this subject. According to Gallup, at least 40% of people in each of the last 5 years identify as being independent of the major political parties. That's opposed to not more than 31% of people identifying as Democrats and not more than 28% identifying as Republicans. If you are a Trump-basher or Hillary-hater, 7 in 10 people don't want your candidate to win. In further polling, Gallup found that at least 57% of the public believes the two major parties are doing such a poor job that a third party is needed. In other words, if you identify with a major political party, you're actually in the minority. Contrary to what the two parties say, the majority of America doesn't want to side with either of them.

As you can imagine, the picture our major political parties have been painting in their advertisements and rhetoric is more than non-sequitur. As a matter of polling, nearly 3 out of every 5 people want to vote for a third-party candidate. But, we all have been duped into believing that if we don't vote for the lesser of two evils, the greater evil opponent will prevail. According to ABC, 59% of the public said they are worried votes for a third-party candidate would cause their least preferred candidate to win the presidency. Clearly, the fear mongering of the major parties is working.

But this fear is irrational. If the 3 out of 5 Americans who want a third-party in the White House voted for a single third-party, both of the major party candidates would loose. (Actually, only 2 out of those 5 votes are needed to win.) So, a vote for your first-choice is still a vote against the major party candidate you want to loose. Clinton is beating Trump by several percentage points, so your one single vote is not going to decide this election. If you continue to choose the lesser of two evils and vote for your second-choice, you're going to get just that: a second-best America. Contrary to what the major parties would have you believe, your voting for them is actually a wasted vote.

Voting is your chance to tell America about your version of society. By casting your vote for someone you don't like, you are telling your countrymen, "I will settle for a mediocre America that I don't really want." Stop wasting your vote on subpar candidates and creating a country that 7 out of 10 people don't want. Do your civic duty and vote for your first-choice: tell your countrymen that you want the best America possible. I implore you to cast your vote in favor of your first-choice third-party candidate. Only then will we be "Stronger Together" and be able to "Make America Great Again."

-Jim Martin
17 October 2016

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