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Staff Editorial: Going third party in the season of Trump

Jill Stein announcing her candidacy in June of 2015. (Photo Courtesy of Wikipedia Commons)
Jill Stein announcing her candidacy in June of 2015. (Photo Courtesy of Wikipedia Commons)

The Campanil decided to tackle an issue that’s been particularly contentious with voters of our generation: third-party voting. While none of us disclosed any hard-line political affiliations, most of us admitted that we were disillusioned with the electoral process and were not excited about the prospect of electing either major party candidate. This level of indifference is disappointing, to put it mildly, as this is the first presidential election that many of us are eligible to vote in. We feel that the expectation of allegiance to Hillary Clinton just to prevent a Donald Trump presidency, is anti-democratic, leaving voters without any real choice at all.

Most of us at The Campanil expressed some degree of reservation about voting for Hillary Clinton, a candidate whose actions have been described as untrustworthy and politically expedient. The Clinton campaign likes to emphasize her decades of advocacy for women and children. We feel that this focus omits the fact that her work has historically neglected the issues of women of color. One staff member raised concerns about Clinton’s ambivalent political stance on raising the minimum wage, an issue of particular importance to women of color, especially those of whom are raising children.

Despite our varying degrees of opposition towards both major party candidates, none of us expressed any particular desire to vote for Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson or Green Party candidate Jill Stein. Stein’s campaign has become a sort of “option B” for Bernie Sanders supporters after the Vermont Senator was defeated by Clinton in the Democratic primary in July. Still, some Campanil staff members who supported Sanders during the primary expressed concerns about Stein’s trustworthiness, reflected particularly in her use of social media. We are concerned about supporting a candidate who expressed support for issues – such as Brexit – on social mediaonly to retract or delete all evidence of those statements when she was met with backlash.

Several of us do not intend to vote at all in November. When some on staff expressed concern that a vote for a third party candidate is essentially a vote for Trump by default, others were quick to point out that because of systems like the electoral college, individual votes in deep blue states like California are extremely unlikely to tip the scales in either direction. The apparent futility of our individual votes is further reason why many of us have been left jaded by the current political climate.

In any case, it’s clear that this election season has pushed many of us into a state of mind that makes us unlikely to participate in any major political process for a long while. The widespread disillusionment within our electorate is obvious and it doesn’t bode well for the future administration – whoever is at the helm.