It’s surprising that in an election with two candidates so universally disliked, more attention isn’t being paid to the third party candidates. That could, in large part, be because despite all the flaws of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, the third party candidates are worse.
The two major third-party candidates are the Green Party’s Jill Stein and Libertarian Party’s Gary Johnson. Stein’s platform practically reads as self-parody. The woman wants to pay off all outstanding college debt by printing money, thinks that nuclear power plants are “weapons of mass destruction waiting for detonation,” thinks 16-year olds should vote, and thinks its dangerous to expose children to wifi signals.
Gary Johnson isn’t insane, but he did blow his chances during the little media time he’s received. The gaffe of the election came from Johnson, when on MSNBC he couldn’t identify Aleppo – during a discussion on the Syrian refugee crisis. Not long-after, he blanked out when asked to list a single world leader he admires on CNN. While such gaffes are forgivable, in an election where Trump has brought immigration and border security center stage, Johnson completely blew it on immigration. In an interview with Townhall’s Guy Benson, he exploded after Benson dared use the phrase “illegal immigrant,” which should dissuade most conservatives from considering to vote for him.
Of course, just as in every presidential election, there are literally thousands of “third party” candidates, most of which you’ll never hear about. The remains of the “Never Trump” crowd have even put forward their own conservative candidate this year – Evan McMullin. Unfortunately, he’s more happy to stop Trump than advocate for conservative principles. As Breitbart reported: Third-party candidate and former GOP Hill staffer, Evan McMullin, says he is in the race to defeat the GOP’s official candidate, Donald Trump.
“What we’re trying to do is earn enough electoral votes [in the Electoral College] to block Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, if the race between both of them is close that we are able to do that by winning one or two states … if not that, then we will be, you know, happy to have prevented someone who I believe is a true authoritarian from taking power in the United States and that is Donald Trump,” McMullan told Austen Petersen, a libertarian activist, journalist, media consultant and entrepreneur.
McMullin announced his run for president in August. He’s a Utah-born Mormon, a former employee at the CIA and at Goldman Sachs, an advocate for free-trade and an advocate for using immigration to help U.S. companies.
McMullin’s admission that he’s seeking to defeat Trump came in an Oct. 6 interview: “We’re on the ballot or registered as write-in in 34 states. By the time we get to November 8, it will be 40 to 45, and that’s plenty for our strategy, which is not a conventional strategy. We’re not trying to win 270 votes — of course that would be great, but it is just not going to happen. This is a three-month presidential campaign, so what we’re trying to do is earn enough Electoral Votes to block Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump if the race between both of them is close that we are able to do that by winning one or two states. So that’s the idea, but if not that, then we will be, you know, happy to have prevented someone who I believe is a true authoritarian from taking power in the United States and that is Donald Trump.”
In other words: yes – a vote for a third party candidate really is a vote for Hillary.
[Note: This post was authored by Matt Palumbo. Follow him on Twitter @MattPalumbo12]