Reed Schimmelfing: Third party reality

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Published: 05-28-2024 4:21 PM

Modified: 05-29-2024 2:33 PM

On the May 22 opinion page, the Gazette published a letter expressing distress over the issue of third-party candidates for president [“Party disenfranchisement is not what democracy looks like”]. The writer referred to the May 13 opinion page cartoon that took the position that voting for a third party for president in this year’s election would be a wasted vote. The writer saw this as an assault on democracy.

To support a third-party candidate for president in 2024 is to directly help Donald Trump get back into the White House, this time with far fewer checks to his authoritarian plans. To ignore this is to deny Trump’s own words and the Republican Party’s Project 2025, which they shamelessly embrace.

Trump has said he would not be a dictator “other than day one.” When was the last time a dictator gave up power and peacefully stopped being a dictator? That’s right, never. That does not happen and it’s not going to start next Jan. 21.

The way to create a viable third party is not by starting at the top, it is by building a party from the ground up. If the writer really wants to have a viable third party, she will focus on recruiting candidates for town and city councils, etc. But in the meantime, if third-party votes in 2024 help Trump win back the presidency, there may not be any presidential elections in the future where we can actually choose who to vote for.

Reed Schimmelfing