You do realize that, every year, a list of candidates that are not republican or democrat runs for office, yes? Yet our media will not even acknowledge their presence. Jill Stein showed up for one of the debates and wasn't even allowed on the premises for this reason.
This is because, IIRC, you need to have a specific percentage of the popular vote. Stein was trying to get in despite knowing this limitation and was polling behind Gary Johnson, who also didn't meet the criteria for minimum popular vote to be eligible for the debate.
It's not specifically a case of not knowing about any alternatives. It's a limitation in FPTP voting period. A Tea Party Republican has no reason to vote Gary Johnson if Johnson has <0.1% chance to even win any electoral college votes. He'd prefer to see Trump in office any day of the week over Clinton. So he swallows his pride and goes Trump. Same with many people who'd naturally gravitate Green but can't stand Trump. As unfortunate as it is, strategic voting is a part of FPTP voting. A system I absolutely despise and wish was gone from politics...but still a part of the system as it exists. I mean, Stein's ~5% of the poular vote, IMO, should count for something as should Johnson's 6%. But the system is so fundamentally screwy that anybody but the two major parties will get destroyed.
Everyone I saw this election, everyone I talked to about the final two candidates had this very mindset. "Well, I'm voting for x because the other is awful." I tried to talk to them. I tried to tell them that there were other choices, but they ignored me. Wouldn't even acknowledge that I said anything. Just kept going on about how x is awful and how they're voting for the other because of it, despite the other's flaws.
See above. Strategic voting is why this keeps happening.
This is also one of the worst elections for candidates period. Even the third party candidate are horrible. I think John Oliver put it best: it's not the worst of 2 evils, but the worst of 4 evils.
The president was either doomed to having some combination of zero knowledge about how policies actually work, being far too cozy with special interests groups, being hawkish, being hypocritical, being an overall horrible human being, and pandering to the conspiracy theory group.
If everyone. EVERYONE. who didn't like either candidate had voted for an independent, Donald Trump would not be in office.
First, there's nothing to say that everybody who didn't like either candidate would vote for an independent. If you rated Clinton 4/10, Trump 2/10, Stein 3/10, Johnson 1/10...you'd still vote Clinton even though you think she'll be a bad president.
Additionally, I kind of feel that likely would have ensured a Trump presidency assuming no massive shift to the House of Representatives.
The role of determining the president goes to the House of Representatives if the electoral college doesn't have a majority winner (270 voters), a likely situation if we saw voting by popular vote. Let's even be generous to the third parties and say for sake of argument that it was a bit better than the popular vote for them. Clinton gets ~45%, Trump ~43%, Johnson ~6%, Stein ~4%, remainder 2%. And let's say they got exact proportional representation in the Electoral College. Then you end up with a hung College and the House of Reps gets to decide, as 50 states, who wins. And Trump, who won a majority of the states, likely would take that.
@lesser of two evils: ...was either one the "lesser evil" in this case? and i'm not trying to be contrary here at all. there wasn't really a clear worse candidate to me. both of them are horrible people that should be in prison, and not in any kind of political position. they both had faults, but when i took a close look it was more of a lateral shift of evil between voting for one or the other. i really couldn't bring myself to vote for either. i gave it plenty of thought, believe me. i was in support of gary johnson for awhile(mostly because not trump/hillary rather than i actually like johnson), but then he flaked out hard. doing stupid crap all over the place. Jill stein has ok ideals i guess, but i can't see half of them coming to fruition.
I think there was. From an economics point of view, Trump is poised to do some serious damage. He preaches small governance but his promises are likely to add on way, way more debt than Clinton's ever would.
From a tax point of view, he'll reduce income tax across the boards. This might sound good at the start but creates a massive government income shortfall which he doesn't make up for in spending cuts (~5 trillion over a decade). Even accounting for increased investment in the US due to lower tax rate, this is sill a massive amount of money the government must borrow. The vast majority of the benefit also goes to the extremely wealthy (top .5%). This is one of his biggest platforms and it falls apart at the most basic of analysis.
From a policy point of view, I don't think I need to say much. Trump's policy is basically "we've got the best policy". He's already showing signs of flip flopping all over by doing 180s on the Affordable Care Act and his stance of the USA generals.
Not to mention everything else about him ranging from setting race relations back, spending on a fence (now that he's changed his mind) across Mexico, pandering to conspiracies about media out to get him, and the fact that I don't think I'd trust this man with the nuclear football given his handling of his Twitter account.
Not saying I like Clinton's policies either. She basically is the same as Obama and does nothing to solve the current failings in US budgeting. She's also hawkish and seems all too willing to drop the US military hammer. Not to mention, she has very little policy in many areas and only gets ignored on that front as Trump is just as ugly for lack of policy.
Johnson is ugly as well. His tax policies are better than Trump, sure. But it's shocking to find out that Johnson has a foreign policy knowledge even less capable than Trump. I mean, all you had to do was name a politician. Any of them. And his estimates are really far off the mark too in terms of how much a consumption tax you'd need to mark off stuff...and he has no clue which departments will actually be relevant.
Stein...well...I can't even get through a sentence on her without stating her lack of knowledge on quantitative easing. No, it's not an easy thing to understand. I basically got an hour session with my economics major brother and I'm not sure I get it yet based on our conversation. But I already got to the point where it's clear that this isn't how she claims it works. It's not some magic wand but a very uncertain art which had economists shaking in their boots because they were concerned it would do extremely serious damage to the nation (thankfully, there was no currency to really change to at the moment so nothing happened...but many were wondering if the US dollar would turn into the Peso in terms of value). Then her AMAs on Reddit...what a nightmare. No, Reddit is typical Reddit. I expected that. Her answers were horrible. She cozies up to the conspiracy theory crowd by hedging her answers on 9/11, autism/vaccines, and phones/wifi causing cancer. You're a goddamn doctor. The first one is defensible, if only slightly. The last two...you just finished working in the field. Don't go pretending you don't know what the truth is. And her response to the very public calling out by John Oliver? Just keep repeating the same points that got her in trouble with him to begin with.
I'm only half kidding when I'd have voted for Cthulhu over any of the above if I were to pick the best candidate. At least then I know I'm getting the greatest evil.