No matter what happens, Donald J. Trump is going to win the eight electoral votes granted to my religiously red and redly religious state — Louisiana.
Satan himself could win Louisiana if he ran against Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonSuper PACs release ad campaign hitting Vance over past comments on Trump I voted for Trump in 2020 — he proved to be the ultimate RINO in 2021 Neera Tanden tapped as White House staff secretary MORE — and I'm only half-kidding. Logic must not matter here, because surely Trump — on his third wife, mocking the disabled, disparaging everyone, and bragging about sexually assaulting women — would not have Jesus’s vote.
Perhaps Hillary Clinton’s wouldn’t, either. But Trump? Come on, people.
Which is why I’m voting for Gary JohnsonGary Earl JohnsonBiden broadened Democratic base, cut into Trump coalition: study New Mexico lawmakers send recreational marijuana bills to governor Judge throws out murder convictions, releases men jailed for 24 years MORE. My vote in Louisiana — unlike the votes of family and friends in my home state of North Carolina — doesn’t matter.
So I’d rather lodge a protest vote against these two candidates, neither of whom I like, but only one of whom I fiercely oppose. My vote for Johnson will count in his national tally, and if he reaches five percent, the Libertarian party will be eligible for federal funding in 2020.
I don’t agree with Johnson on some major issues (the environment, for one). And his Aleppo slip-up was substantial. But he is, by all appearances, an honest man who holds many common-sense beliefs with which I agree.
Now, even though I’m voting for Johnson, I encourage my fellow millennials in swing states to vote for Hillary Clinton. Donald TrumpDonald TrumpSix big off-year elections you might be missing Twitter suspends GOP Rep. Banks for misgendering trans health official Meghan McCain to Trump: 'Thanks for the publicity' MORE must not become president.
For my pissed off, third-party-leaning, swing state comrades, consider this: Find a friend in a deeply red state who is going to vote for Clinton, and make a trade. If they vote for a third party candidate (Johnson or Jill Stein), you vote for Clinton.
In 2000, Jamin Raskin, a constitutional law professor at American University, discussed a similar proposal in a piece he wrote for Slate headlined “Nader’s Traders.” He mused about the dilemma facing hundreds of thousands of progressive Ralph Nader supporters “in swing states such as Maine, Michigan, Oregon, Washington, and New Mexico.”
Wait, Oregon and Washington were swing states? But I digress.
Should those voters, Raskin asked, vote their conscience and go with Nader, or should they be pragmatic and vote for Al GoreAlbert (Al) Arnold GoreMcAuliffe on 2000 election: 'I wish the United States Supreme Court had let them finish counting the votes' All Democrats must compromise to pass economic plans, just like 1993 Amy Coney Barrett sullies the Supreme Court MORE to help deny George W. Bush the presidency?
It was a novel idea that didn’t gain enough traction. If 538 Nader voters in Florida had heeded Raskin's advice, Gore would have beaten Bush.
For 2016, I’m trying to think of a phrase as catchy as “Nader’s Traders” — something that rhymes with Clinton or Johnson — but it eludes me. Perhaps “Johnson’s Democracy Savers?” No, no, no.
But let's sum it up nonetheless: Johnson supporters who don’t want a gilded, autocratic sociopath to become leader of the free world.
Anyway, in my opinion, this is the best available option for pro-third party swing state voters who don’t want to pull a Nader. It lodges a protest vote against the two-party system, while also helping to ensure that the tangerine madman doesn’t get the nuclear codes.
All joking aside, think about it. Hillary’s probably going to win no matter what, but 538 of you reading this op-ed written by this nobody writer could change history.
Jonathan Walczak is a freelance journalist in New Orleans. Follow him on Twitter at @jonwalczak.
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