It is beginning to become clear that more than a few likely voters are having a hard time committing to vote for either Trump or Clinton.
In most polls, the Libertarian and Green candidates—Johnson and Stein—draw around 10% of the vote, apparently taking primarily from Clinton. Their unexpectedly strong performance indicates that many people are saying that they want anybody BUT Trump or Clinton!
Unfortunately, that is not the way it works. One of two people—Trump or Clinton—will be elected president. The others have no chance. Our two-party system might not be to everyone’s liking, but it is not going to change before November.
I think I understand how these voters feel because I believe I feel much the same way. I acknowledge that Clinton is smart, experienced, and qualified for the office she seeks, but I also have reservations about her character. If there was any other reasonable candidate in the race, I would probably vote for that person. However, there is none.
Many of those who claim to support Johnson and Stein might simply be registering to pollsters their displeasure with Clinton and Trump. By election day, those voters may “wake up” and vote for whichever candidate they see as least worst.
If there was some way to vote for Clinton and simultaneously register a reservation (anonymously, collectively, and visibly), we could help ensure that Clinton defeats Trump while sending a clear message that there are voters who expect her to do better.
If she were to win by a huge margin, Clinton might forget that people don’t trust her. She might not address the issues she sorely needs to take care of. Something as simple as creating a website—www.votedhillarybut.org—could allow voters to register their displeasure with her doubtful behavior while also doing their part to ensure that Trump is kept out of the Oval Office.
Though anyone could indicate on such a webpage that they had voted for Hillary, the downside of giving people at large a way to express their reservations are vastly outweighed by the looming peril of a Trump presidency.
In a perfect world, it would not be necessary to put an asterisk on this election, but in such a world, we would not be faced with this imperfect dilemma.