Do you know any anti-Trump types who might pick a third-party candidate or not vote at all this year? Perhaps they’re not in a swing state, and figure their votes therefore won’t affect the electoral college. Or maybe they dislike Hillary, or just can’t be bothered to cast their ballots.

Regardless, please consider sending them this great piece by The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank.

Milbank’s main point? “Donald Trump is running against democracy itself.”

Trump’s charges of vote-rigging and threats to deny his likely loss make this an election unlike any we’ve ever witnessed – as do his blatant bigotry and misogyny. As Milbank maintains, it’s crucial to humiliate him in order to take the foul wind out of his post-election political sails.

That means achieving as crushing a Clinton win as possible.

There’s another huge reason to give Hillary a maximal mandate: the near-certainty that many Republicans will seek to sabotage her presidency as soon as she’s elected. A bigger mandate makes that job harder – not that it will stop them.

Many more factors weigh against voting third party. They feature Libertarian Gary Johnson’s climate change denial and reactionary, Gilded Age conservatism. Arguments against the Greens’ Jill Stein include her pandering plan for college debt relief and her representing the political party that, via Ralph Nader’s 2000 campaign, helped usher in the George W. Bush presidency.

If you prefer a funny, acerbic video critique of these third-party options, check out what John Oliver has to say.

Now, there are lots of positive, progressive reasons to pick Clinton on Election Day. And of course, voting for Hillary is important because we can’t afford overconfidence about her winning, regardless of what the polls tell us.

But back to Milbank’s message: While Trump will surely not slink away even if he loses by a landslide, it’s still essential that his loss be as lousy for him as possible. Whether seen as taking a stand for democracy or against bigotry, misogyny and everything else Donald embodies, every vote everywhere counts this year.



Based in Oakland, California, Stephen Golub writes, consults and teaches about international development, with a particular focus on justice, democracy, human rights and governance issues. Currently teaching part-time at Central European University in Budapest and previously at the University of California at Berkeley, he has worked in over 40 countries and with such organizations as Amnesty International, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the Ford and Open Society Foundations, the U.K. Department for International Development, the U.N. Development Program and the World Bank

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