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Thursday, July 21, 2016

The Lesser of Two Evils vs. Third Party?

Either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump is going to be president next year. It's now a tactical, logical decision we must make when deciding who to vote for. We must each weigh the magnitude of our difference in preference between the two candidates against the impact of your vote.
In swing states or closely polling states, we should vote for the lesser of two evils. In "decided" states, feel free to make your idealistic protest vote. I did this 4 years ago when I voted 3rd party. Similarly this year, I will make my decision the week of the election based on my state's polls. Either the lesser of two evils or a third party (or maybe abstain from voting), based on how much my vote will matter. That's being tactical.
There's nothing magical about voting. Don't be idealistic. It's putting a check on a box. It's not saying you agree with everything a candidate stands for, it's not saying "This individual is the best possible president for the United States". It's simply saying "I would rather have this one individual be president than that one other individual". Don't treat your vote as a hallowed action that defines your character.
Bernie Sanders is being tactical by endorsing Hillary today. Bernie doesn't just have a single vote, he has a voice, an endorsement which is worth many thousands of votes. Therefore if he has even a SLIGHT preference for Hillary over Trump, it's logical for him to endorse her, as this has a non-negligible chance of shifting the vote. He's not a sellout, he gains nothing (or at least less than he loses) by withholding endorsement.