Here's a deal: You vote Clinton, I'm voting Johnson
© Moriah Ratner

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 ClintonDemocrats ask judge for quick ruling on McGahn subpoena Hillary Clinton: 'Every day Stephen Miller remains in the White House is an emergency' The Memo: Centrists change tone of Democratic race 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.

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Perhaps Hillary Clinton’s wouldn’t, either. But Trump? Come on, people.

Which is why I’m voting for Gary JohnsonGary Earl JohnsonThe Trump strategy: Dare the Democrats to win Trump challenger: 'All bets are off' if I win New Hampshire primary Scaramucci assembling team of former Cabinet members to speak out against Trump 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 John TrumpDem senator says Zelensky was 'feeling the pressure' to probe Bidens 2020 Dems slam Trump decision on West Bank settlements Trump calls latest impeachment hearings 'a great day for Republicans' 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 GoreWarren goes local in race to build 2020 movement The Memo: Democrats confront prospect of long primary Krystal Ball hits media over questions on Sanders's electability 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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