‘Last Week Tonight’ Explains The Problem with Voting Third Party in This Election

     October 17, 2016


Whether Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump gets elected, they’ll be making history by being the most unpopular candidates ever voted into office. It’s a cruel, ironic twist that two ridiculously unpopular people have to face off in our nation’s biggest popularity contest, but here we are.

There are some who feel that they have an obligation to make a moral call and vote for third party. These people believe that Clinton is in thrall to the establishment and won’t change the status quo, and that Trump will change the status quo, but replace it with nuclear winter. Since it’s our patriotic duty to vote as Americans, this leaves the door open to third party candidates, and the ones who are most successful at the moment are the Green Party’s Jill Stein, who’s polling at 2%, and the Libertarian Party’s Gary Johnson, who’s polling at 6%.

But are Stein and Johnson really superior options? Last Week Tonight with John Oliver dug into both candidates’ platforms, and found that neither option is better than what the two main parties are offering this year.  Stein is pushing a load of bullshit about how quantitative easing is a “magic trick” that will eliminate student debt, and Johnson, setting aside his ability to recognize Aleppo or name foreign leaders he admires, would also casually eliminate entire government agencies without any real understanding of what those agencies provide for America.

Surprisingly, Last Week Tonight doesn’t touch on the main problem with third parties, which is that they only seem to surface in national elections rather than doing the unglamorous but essential work of trying to get in at the ground level of government like school boards, city councils or even a little higher with state legislatures.

Setting that aside, while there’s nothing inherently wrong with voting third party, this video explains why this year your choices are abysmal.