I am offended and appalled over the ignorance propagated in the recent article “Young Indiana voters unhappy with choices” by Maureen Hayden, bureau chief for CNHI newspapers, found on page A4 of The Tribune. I am not going to get into the attitudes of pro or anti one candidate or another, it’s not my point.
Here is my point — the article looks into the views of six students of IU Bloomington who belong to the IU Civic Leaders Center program for students who are “political geeks.” The article concludes with a statement offered by one of the kids that “it really comes down to who you hate less,” and it is that very statement that appalls me.
Throughout the article, they cite the views of the kids and how they feel disenfranchised; that they’ve somehow been cheated by the candidates they can vote for. Welcome to adulthood.
What is totally missing from the article and the views of the professed “political geeks” is any mention whatsoever of the third choice for President, the Libertarian ticket of Johnson/Weld. It is as if the Libertarian candidate doesn’t even exist. There is no mention of them in the article, nor on the CBS Evening News which I just happen to be watching on Oct. 12, 2016; not a single peep about the Libertarian alternative.
Why is mainstream media (MSM, an entangled beast that includes The Tribune) so loathe to even bring these alternatives up? Could it be because the American public has also lumped them into the group that “… you hate less” as the geeks put it? I don’t see how this could be true, considering how little the mainstream media has shared when it comes to Libertarian candidates.
Why the omission Tribune/Hayden/MSM?
When using the statistics provided in the article that 31 percent support Clinton, 26 percent support Trump; leaving 34 percent available to support someone else. Folks, 34 percent of unclaimed voters in this group is a majority. How could this possibly have been overlooked? The article doesn’t say that 34 percent are undecided; it doesn’t say how the 34 percent is accounted for whatsoever. It is entirely possible that a big chunk of that 34 percent could go to a Libertarian candidate.
Getting back to the article — the new voters can complain that their choices are less than optimal, and I am not going to argue on whether that’s true or not. However, it is a huge disservice to the public to completely disregard and ignore a third alternative when clearly the first two are so strongly disliked.
One might believe that the third alternative does not have a chance of winning, and this also is moot. This doesn’t change the fact that there is an alternative out there, and as such, the alternative deserves some exposure and respect by the mainstream media.
One would have liked to hope that “political geeks” would have had the intelligence to at least mention the existence of a third choice, especially when they’ve reached the conclusion that if they are going to vote they will vote for who they hate less; but not even a peep out of the geeks about a Libertarian alternative. Nothing from the geeks and nothing from the writer. Zero. Nada. Nothing.
I am not going to argue that voting one way or another is helping/hurting another candidate or that voting a certain way is tossing your vote away. What I will argue is that there are more choices than just Democrat and Republican; and it is a horrible disservice to readership and the American public in general that a third choice; a Libertarian choice, is out there. The important thing is that you vote for whomever you think will be the best person for the job.
The American public is clearly starving for an alternative to Hillary and Trump; yet MSM is keeping mum on any other choice. To that I say “shame on you” because we expect and deserve better information to help us choose the next best president. I don’t want my vote for president to be cast for “who I hate less” because this is not the way I was raised. I want my vote to count for the person I think best for the job. I think most Americans agree with me.
Steve Freeman is a real estate agent and broker and owner of County Realty. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.