This year’s Presidential Election is unprecedented in a number of ways. Most notably, both of the major party candidates are remarkably unpopular. Mr. Trump has the highest negative rating ever achieved in the history of American political polling. Mrs. Clinton has the next highest! Both candidates’ negative rating far exceeds front-runners of the past and most Americans have never felt so disinclined to vote for either major candidate.
These two candidates were chosen by the most extreme and partisan elements of their own party. Neither of them is likely to get their legislative program enacted by both the House of Representatives and the Senate. Therefore, you may ask yourself, “Why vote?”
This is an error. Even if you cannot vote for either Mr. Trump or Mrs. Clinton, you should go to the polls and cast a ballot. Very important contests are going on below the presidential level. Your city, state and national representatives will be chosen. Well-known names like John McCain and Marco Rubio are being seriously challenged—as they should be. Control of the United States Congress will be decided directly and the balance of the Supreme Court indirectly. Your interests at the local, state and national level are at stake.
If you cannot bring yourself to vote for either Clinton or Trump, you may want to consider one of the alternative candidates on the ballot in many states. Polls indicate that the Libertarian Party candidate, Mr. Johnson, may get as much as 9 or 10 percent of the votes cast. There is no chance that he or any other 3rd party candidate will win, but by voting for one of them, you can show how little you think of the major party choices. Possibly, just possibly, this will motivate our two major political parties to reform the way in which they choose their “leaders”.
The fact is that it is in your selfish, self-interest to vote. The programs that directly benefit you, Social Security, Medicare, Veterans Benefits and others are under increasing pressure. You have a personal interest in electing a president, representatives and senators who will care for these programs in a responsible way.
Hundreds of thousands of your fellow Americans have stood in harm’s way to earn and keep the right to vote. Freedom is not free and thousands of them have died in the process. This right, the right to vote, does not mean anything if the free men and women who enjoy it do not take the trouble to exercise it. Democracy does not guarantee anything except that, eventually, the people will get what they deserve. That includes each of us! As an American Citizen, Get out and VOTE!