When A Binary Choice Creates A Singular Conclusion

During the 2016 presidential campaign, much has been made of this election as a “binary choice.” The idea is that if a person does not vote for one candidate it is automatically a vote for the other. This is not only atrocious math but a false equivalency. In an election with over a dozen presidential candidates, to not vote for a specific candidate does not automatically give that vote to another. Each ballot is cast for the person selected. Hillary Clinton doesn’t get extra credit for Jill Stein votes any more than Donald Trump gets a piece of each vote cast for Gary Johnson.

This stems from the idea that there are only two viable parties in the country: The Republicans and the Democrats. Since these are the two major parties, who is responsible for the corruption in Washington? It must be these two parties. That corruption will not change with this election. Hillary Clinton is the most corrupt politician in generations. Donald Trump has spent the last 40 years bank rolling the corruption for his own personal gain. To think either of them will challenge the status quo is folly at best. If there was ever a time to look for a third party, this is it. If not now, when? In four years, there will be another Republican and Democrat. Each side will make the “binary choice” argument. “You can’t vote for ‘fill in the blank’, you know what they’ll do?!” “The country will never recover from four years under ‘fill in the blank’!” It never ends.

Consider this example: In 2008, the Republicans said “If we get control of Congress, we will be able to stop President Obama.” In 2010, they got control of the House. Then the narrative became “We can’t do much with one house of congress. We need both the House and Senate to really make a difference.” In 2014 the Republicans got control of both houses. They then said “In order to really do this right, we need Congress and the Presidency.” It is never enough. If the Republican wins in 2016, the narrative will be “We now need to retain both Houses in 2018 to make a lasting change.” When will we learn it’s not about what is right for the country, but rather what is right for the given Party? It is long past time for the people to seek a genuine alternative to the two major parties. I can’t tell you what that alternative will be, but if this mess doesn’t spur us to seek a change nothing will.

There is an old saying: Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Maybe it’s time we do something different.


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