Don’t split the vote

We are now less than two weeks from an election that will arguably be one of the most historic most of us will ever experience.

Although I was not originally thrilled when I realized that the only way to get President Donald Trump out of office was to vote for Joe Biden, I needed to remind myself that voting isn’t marriage. It’s not about waiting around for the perfect candidate because if I did, by then I’d have grey hair, six cats, and be spending my entire day watching “Jeopardy.”

And trust me: I love “Jeopardy,” but I can only get the answer wrong so many times until I get fed up and switch the channel.

Many argue that voting is like public transport. The bus route might not have the exact destination you want to go to, but they have ones close to it. So, you get on that bus and you go to the closest spot that you can and hope that one day, there is a bus spot at the exact location. 

But over the past couple of months, I have heard from multiple people saying that we do have choices other than Biden if we don’t want to vote for Trump – Jo Jorgensen, the Libertarian Party’s Presidential nominee and Howie Hawkins, the Green Party Presidential nominee. 

Now I would never force anyone to have the same political beliefs as I, but if you do not want to see another four years of Trump, please do not vote third party.

Voting for a third-party candidate is just another vote for Trump as it will split the votes among Biden, Jorgenson, and Howie Hawkins, and Trump will win.  

This happened in 1912 when Teddy Roosevelt, the cowboy president, decided to run as a candidate for the party he established, the Bull Moose Party.

Roosevelt originally tried running as a Republican but lost the nomination to friend and Republican, William Howard Taft. So, Roosevelt did what he thought was best and created a third party.

Although Roosevelt believed what he was doing was what was best for the country, his choice to run as a third party split the Republican vote between Taft and Roosevelt and ultimately, Democrat Woodrow Wilson won the 1912 election.

Although I understand that Biden is not the perfect nominee and that many do not want to vote for him, a vote for anyone but Biden is a vote for Trump and a vote to take away the rights of millions of individuals living in America.

Many people see voting for someone like Jorgenson, Hawkins, or even Kayne West – I can’t believe it, either – as a protest vote. A protest vote is a vote cast in an election to demonstrate dissatisfaction with the two parties’ nominees or with the current political system of two parties. Many argue that voting third party allows them not to choose the “lesser of two evils” and to protest the two-party system. 

However, this is not the election to try to dismantle the two-party system. Dismantling the two-party system is going to take years of work and unlearning the current mindset our country has that we can only have two parties.

Our founders warned us of the troubles that would create, and surprisingly, we didn’t listen.

This election is not about making your dislike of the two-party system heard through your vote when your vote decides if I will have a right over my reproductive system and who I can and cannot marry.

This election is bigger than just the individual person.

This election is about…

Women.

Immigrants.

People of Color. 

The LGBTQ+ community.

And the millions of other people whom Trump has repeatedly put in danger the past four years and will continue to do for the next four if elected again. 

This election is about protecting our entire country.

We need a president who will put the people first and a vote for anyone but Biden will jeopardize that.  

We don’t need a Democratic or Republican president.

We need an American president.

So please, before you vote, remember your vote is more than just a filled-in bubble.

Your vote helps determine our future.