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Liberty Blog

What your vote for Trump means...

Anthony McCloskey

There are many people who said they were going to vote for a third party, but at the last minute opted to vote for Donald Trump. Most of these people will tell you that they didn't want to throw their vote away. My message to them is what follows.

It's not okay that you cared more about casting a winning vote than voting your conscious. It's not okay that in your attempt to stop a "liar and a crook" you chose to vote for a sexist, homophobic bigot. All politicians are liars and crooks, but not all of them have publicly cast aspersions upon entire groups of people, many of whom you likely have close relationships with (women, Latinos, gays, veterans, etc.). It is NOT okay that you voted for a man who will make people feel okay with showing their previously hidden bigotry, which makes life harder for my wife and my kids (my wife is Hispanic). It is not okay that you were so interested in "winning" that you violated the trust of so many people. You had other options. You talked a big game about voting third party. But when the time came... You took the path of least resistance. 

Your choice is indefensible, other than to apologize for having been completely thoughtless. Perhaps you thought your vote didn't matter? It is now perfectly obvious that every vote for Trump mattered. Trump received just as much support as he needed to win the electoral college, despite having lost the popular vote. If your reason for voting for Trump was to stop Clinton, then you could have been just as effective by voting for a third party. The advantage of the third party vote is that it also serves to send a message to the establishment.

The real problem with Trump is not that he is somehow going to introduce some terrible changes that makes life harder for women and minorities. He won't, and even if he wanted to making sweeping changes in the U.S. system of government is difficult by design. The real issue is that his victory has sent a message to those who espouse these despicable beliefs that it is okay to do so publicly. Starting on the very first day after the election we saw a drastic increase in the number of racially charged events happening across the country. I hope this dies down, but if it does not, it is because the people who hold these beliefs have been sent the message that it is okay to act on these beliefs in the worst ways. And if you voted for Trump, then you helped make that change a reality.