Justin White: The Vote That Matters

Attention Red Staters: No matter who you vote for, Trump will win your state.
In 43 of the 50 states, your vote does not change the outcome of the election because the establishment has branded them “red” and “blue” states. The Electoral College, not the popular vote, will determine America’s next president.
Typically, seven to eleven swing states decide the presidential election because these states change between Republican and Democrat in any given election. The majority of states are so strongly “red” or “blue” that each party already counts on these votes and usually does not even bother campaigning in these states during the general election.
Here’s how the Electoral College works: Each state has a certain number of electoral votes which is determined by the state’s number of senators and representatives. For example, Mississippi has two senators and four representatives, giving the state six electoral votes. Therefore, whoever wins the popular vote in each state will receive all of that state’s electoral votes.
In the “red” state of Mississippi, which has voted Republican since 1980, Trump will likely win by around 175,000 votes and in a “blue” state like California, which has voted Democrat since 1992, Hillary should win by about 2.3 million votes. Therefore, in the predominantly “red” and “blue” states, voting Republican or Democrat does not really matter because the outcome is already known.
To be clear, if you are in a “red” state and vote for Trump, Trump wins; if you vote for Hillary, Trump wins; and if you stay at home and don’t vote, Trump wins. The point is not to convince you that voting is meaningless. On the contrary, voting has the purpose of allowing your voice be heard and you have the power to vote people out of power. In this pivotal presidential election, there is still a vote that will make a difference.
There is only one candidate and one party that is fighting to reduce the size of government, to end foreign wars, and to protect your civil liberties and economic freedom, and he is Gary Johnson of the Libertarian party. Many people’s initial thoughts are “Gary Johnson? He can’t win! Voting for someone who can’t win is a wasted vote.” Seeing as the vast majority of Americans’ votes do not make much of a difference in deciding this presidential election, the wasted vote is voting Republican or Democrat. There is a purpose, however, in voting Libertarian in this election because Gary Johnson is currently polling 13% in the most recent CNN poll, and if Johnson gets 5% of the nation’s popular vote, then the Libertarian party will have automatic ballot access in future national elections. This could finally create another influencing party, the only one advocating for smaller, more efficient government, which would be the antithesis of the two major parties.
Even if you disagree with the Libertarian party, you cannot deny that the two major parties have too much power and have become thoroughly corrupt. It is inevitable that government becomes corrupt because as we all know, “power corrupts, but absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Unfortunately, we have reached the point where our government has absolute power and definitely absolute corruption. The only way to curb the corruption is to decrease the size and power of government, and the Libertarian party and its Gary Johnson is the only party and candidate on the ballot in all 50 states advocating for just that.
The two major parties have given us a $20 trillion national debt, endless wars, and governmental intrusion into every aspect of our lives. Voting another one of their presidential choices will only give us more of the same even if you believe that one of them is worse than the other. The truth is Hillary is a crook and serial liar who will change her views to get more votes, and Trump is a brash bully who thinks he can intimidate you, Congress, and other countries into doing what he wants. Those who are voting for Trump say, “at least he’s not Hillary,” and those voting for Hillary think “at least she’s not Trump.” For most people, a vote for Trump is a vote against Hillary and a vote for Hillary is a vote against Trump. Voting for the lesser of two evils makes us all losers. We should take a firm stand against both and vote for Gary Johnson.

For questions or comments, Justin can be reached at justinwhite@students.belhaven.edu

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