Edward Packard

October 4, 2016


There are a lot of good and thoughtful people in this country who dislike both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Many of them feel that as a matter of principle they shouldn't vote for either: they should abstain or vote for a third party candidate.

Just sixteen years ago, I watched Ralph Nader on television criticizing both Bush and Gore. He said there was no difference between them. A lot of good people voted for Ralph Nader, almost certainly denying Gore votes that would have enabled him to carry Florida and win the election. The ensuing "preventive" war, authorization of torturing, tax cuts for the rich, and appointment of extreme right-wing Supreme Court justices laid bare that it was misguided to vote for Nader.

In this election, the stakes are far higher. George W. Bush was, and is, a deeply misguided, but fundamentally decent, man. Donald Trump is not. Trump would like to trash the Constitution. He’d like to run the United States the way his role model, Vladimir Putin, runs Russia. If elected, it’s not likely he could be stopped.

The principle that will guide me when I vote is that of saving our country from a con man whose only allegiance is to his own ego. If you feel it would be distasteful to vote for Hillary, please consider this: Not voting for her is like a half vote for Trump. It increases the chances that Trump would win. Voting for Hillary is the principled thing to do.

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