Letters to the Editor

Consider the consequences

Douglas Mason’s letter (CDT, 8/5) encouraged voting for the Green Party. Admittedly, there is personal satisfaction in exercising one’s freedom to vote for a third party candidate.

The larger perspective is that your choice will have consequences that you may not like. In Pennsylvania, where the election will be very close, votes for the Green or Libertarian candidates will be especially impactful. Despite their appeal, neither Green candidate Jill Stein nor Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson has a chance of winning any electoral votes. So which major party candidate is more likely to benefit from this scenario? While Mason was concerned with Donald Trump’s fitness to be commander in chief, he is the one likely to benefit from the votes that go to the third party candidates in a close election.

What are you willing to gamble in order to express your freedom to vote according to your conscience? Will you risk the appointment of the next Supreme Court justice and therefore decisions on voting rights and civil rights; the upheaval of foreign relations with our allies and closer ties with Vladimir Putin? As Trudy Rubin (”Why Clinton must be elected president”) wrote, “... anyone who cares about foreign policy and national security has no option but to vote for Hillary Clinton. Even if you don’t like her.”

Consider the consequences of skipping the election or voting for a third party. It is important to decide whether the Republican or Democratic candidate is, on balance, better suited in terms of knowledge, experience and temperament to be president.

Renee Steffensmeier, State College

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