According to the general population, the choices present for the presidential candidates of the current election are looking pretty bleak. On the Republican side, Donald Trump seems to have emerged as the lone, unopposed candidate, with his only obstacles being the ineffective criticisms of the mainstream media and the Republican Party as they attempt to stop the beast they have created. On the other end of the spectrum, the Democratic Party seems to have found a nominee in Hillary Clinton, though Bernie Sanders still attracts his fair share of support.
Unfortunately for these final two candidates, there is still great divide. When Trump being considered a fool by most and Clinton under scrutiny for her email scandal, her support of big banks and her rewriting of her policies just to take the vote away from Bernie, it seems that Americans have no reason to vote between two equally unqualified choices.
This sentiment should not be adopted by those who feel discouraged by the two main choices for president for this year’s election. Everybody’s vote matters, and the power to democratically vote for a new leader is one of the few powers that the average U.S. citizen realistically has when trying to change our government to make it more efficient. It was because young voters were too lazy or indifferent to cast a vote that many elected officials who can be considered at the very least ineffective have gained positions of power, such as our current Congress after the congressional elections and the Bush presidency before Obama.
Even if both candidates are horrible choices in the mind of a (mostly young) American voter, ultimately there will be one whose policies are more favorable than the other; if voters remain uninterested and do not cast their vote, than it is very possible that the less-qualified candidate could win the presidency.
On top of that, if a voter is absolutely dedicated on not voting for either main-party candidate, then they should at least vote for a third party candidate. For example, according to poll data from RedAlertPolitics for Sanders supporters, about 18 percent say that they will be voting for a third party candidate instead of Hillary or Trump. Doing this may not be directly helpful for this year’s election, but it will encourage more Americans to go out, vote and keep this habit until the 2020 presidential election, where hopefully there will be a larger voter turnout.
Bernie Sanders gains the most traction in getting young people to speak up and show support for a presidential candidate; it is because of these people that Sanders went from an unknown candidate who would never have stood a chance against Hillary to Hillary’s main competitor in getting the Democratic nomination. If this same passion is maintained by still going out and voting instead of sulking on Sanders’ loss, then the 2020 election can see a candidate with similar ideas also be propped up by the same people who supported Sanders, which may result in a win for this candidate.
To refrain from voting is to keep quiet as an American citizen while louder, more radical Americans prop up their candidate. Going out and voting for the candidate you feel is most qualified will not only help support the better candidate for presidency, but also get a voter into the habit of voting for a presidential election and showing the same passion and voter turnout for future elections, as we are seeing with this year’s election. If both candidates stink, don’t hide at home and stink: go out and vote.