Editorial: Don’t belittle third party voters

Americans have been reeling since the result of the 2016 presidential election, where a orange, small-handed demagogue Donald Trump won the race. Non-white and non-binary people across the nation shared their fears and ideas after the results had officially been called and are still actively trying to portray their viewpoints, be it with rhetoric or protest. One of the things that Americans have been venomously vocal about is how those aforementioned people voted.

The West Virginia Secretary of State website broke down the results of the Nov. 8 election as follows — Donald Trump earned 68 percent of the vote, Hillary Clinton garnered 26 percent, while third party candidates Gary Johnson and Jill Stein brought in three and one percent of the vote respectively.

Sixty-eight percent of the vote is a pretty huge chunk of voters. At this point, it seems like it would have been almost impossible for Clinton, Stein or Johnson to overturn the majority opinion.

And it isn’t even the presidential race. The gubernatorial race saw some similar results – Jim Justice took in 49 percent of the vote, Bill Cole earned 42 percent, while Mountain Party candidate Charlotte Pritt got five percent, Libertarian David Moran had two percent and Constitution Party candidate Phil Hudok took in a whopping 0.57 percent.

Given the information above, that anyone can access, voters have been perpetuating the toxicity of the two party system in America by demeaning their friends, families and peers for voting third party.

Third party voters are people who were just as worried about the outcome of the election as Democrats and Republicans were. These are men and women who saw two giants in the political world (albeit one of them was pretty well new to the scene) who, regardless of their ties, both had ideas that some people thought were despotic at best. Trump and Clinton’s sketchy pasts were more than enough for third party supporters to want to distance themselves.

These people, who were already disenfranchised to begin with, felt even more oppressed by the circus acts millions of Americans watched dance around the debate stages like trained monkeys.

To yell at these people, or to leave novel-length comments on their Facebook statuses, detailing why they could not bring themselves to vote two-party, is moronic at best. Attacking these people because of their issues with the political world, or the basic laws and principles that established politics in America, is to ignore the thoughts and concerns these people have that truly, make a hell of a lot of sense.

Before becoming a keyboard warrior on some unsuspecting third party voter, consider the place they could be in. Take a breather. Consider how different politics could be if Americans weren’t subjected to one of the most outdated systems that has ever existed. Think for a second about the possibilities. Then, come back for an educated discussion on why Republicans and Democrats are bad for everyone.