On Thursday, New York Times opinion writer Charles Blow inked his latest essay, this time arguing against the protest vote, which has gained some popularity in light of the unpopularity of the two front running presidential candidates.
There are three important points that Blow makes, points that make it difficult to justify a protest vote — either voting for a third party or not voting at all.
First, Blow argues that this election is not just about two very unpopular candidates, implying that perhaps if that was the only dynamic playing this election season, a protest vote may have some justification. He echoes what many– particularly an unprecedented, wide spectrum of experts and political leaders — have said. In this election, on one side, there is an unpopular candidate with a long and very public history of public service with experience in governing and in being president unlike any other candidate who has ever run for the presidency. On the other is a
“demagogic bigot with a puddle-deep understanding of national and international issues, who openly courts white nationalism, is hostile to women, Mexicans and Muslims, and is callously using black people as pawns in a Donnie-come-lately-kinder-gentler campaign.”
Second, Blow argues that it is a foregone conclusion that either Clinton or Trump will be elected president come November. The third parties simply have a zero chance of winning. He then correctly argues that there is one factor that makes this not just about a four year presidency, but one that will surely and significantly impact the nation for multiple terms and even decades. What Blow, correctly, is referring to is the Supreme Court vacancies that are sure to come — obviously, there is one vacancy already — and the many federal judgeships that have to be filled by the next president.
Those judges — and the role of the ‘non-SCOTUS’ judgeships should in no way be underestimated — will determine various social and civil rights issues for decades to come. He argues that for those who are now concerned about civil rights — particularly the African American community — a protest vote would be a vote against those interests without question.
Ultimately, regardless of her unpopularity, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are not otherwise equal. Donald Trump’s significantly divisive policies — if they can even be called that — his long record both before and after this campaign of racism or at the very least, extreme racial insensitivity, his unquestionable adherence — in fact, being a puppet for — to the Alt Right, and his clear buffoonery and lack of any knowledge, completely disqualify him as a presidential candidate.
The thoughts and opinions expressed here are solely those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the views of Citizen Slant.