The Protest Vote


Let us now turn an eye toward Brexit.

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Brexit was, and remains, a very stupid idea. The United Kingdom continues to be subject to a great many EU regulations regarding trade with the continent (their largest trading partner), and once they step away from the EU, they won’t have any control over those regulations. It weakens the UK on a fundamental level and will make the country poorer in about every way you can think.

Many people who voted for it, though by no means all, did so as a sort of protest. They were unhappy with certain things going on in the UK, often things involving immigration and a perception of job loss and wage cuts, and they believed that the only way to send a message to Parliament that they wanted some real change. They didn’t really want to lose all the benefits of being in the EU. They didn’t want to lose the right to travel and live where they wish within Europe, they didn’t want to lose the financial benefits, they just wanted to send a message.

Message sent. Within a couple of years, the United Kingdom will almost certainly no longer be a part of the European Union. The people who cast their protest votes protested so hard that they ended up getting something they didn’t really want.

So it goes in the United States. I’ve heard liberals who’ve said they dislike Hillary so much (usually because they view her as insufficiently liberal), that they plan to vote for Jill Stein as a form of protest. That’s just wasteful. The dangerous ones say they plan to vote for Trump as a form of protest.

The lesson we learn from Brexit, and to a lesser extent other “successful” protest votes, like the one against the FARC treaty in Colombia, is that a protest vote against Hillary could end with Trump being protested right into office.

Not only can a protest vote have a very negative outcome, it’s also a violation of your duty as a citizen to cast your vote sincerely. Throwing away your vote on a protest is a sad, pitiful waste, and you and your country deserve better.

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