The Lesser of Two Evils…

Polling by the Pew Research Center indicates that voter satisfaction with Presidential candidate choices is as low as it has been since 1992 when Ross Perot entered the fray. Only 43% of Democrats and 40% of Republicans are satisfied with the available choices. 41% say it is hard to choose between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton because neither would make a good president.


Moreover, there is a great deal of interest in the election. According to Pew, fully 80% of registered voters say they have given “quite a lot of thought” to the election. That is the highest share since 1992. By comparison, only to 67% said they gave the election a lot of thought in 2012 while 72% did in 2008.



The depth of voter dissatisfaction with the race is made clear by the proportion of people who say they are voting against the other candidate. On the Republican side 55% say they are voting against Hillary Clinton rather than for Donald Trump. On the Democratic side, 50% are voting against Donald Trump rather than for Hillary Clinton.


Which brings us once again to “the lesser of two evils” gambit. Those making this argument should consider the following. (1) The lesser of two evils is still evil. (2) There is virtually no chance that an individual vote will be decisive. (3) There are plenty of alternatives to the major party candidates.


Combined, these indisputable premises lead to exactly one logical conclusion. A vote for either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton actually represents a voter’s true preference compared to all other choices, not just one other choice. When confronted with this conclusion the vote against brigade, like Hamlet’s mother Gertrude, will surely protest too much.


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