Typically the election contests of the Presidential System in the United States are between two major political parties. Minor parties with no hope of election do not figure greatly in US elections unless a minor party is created by dissatisfied members of one of the two major parties. In that case the new temporary party draws voters away from the parent party.
Though there are always minor parties in the mix, a voter’s choice in most Presidential elections boils down to either the candidate from the Republican Party or the candidate from the Democratic Party. Historically, people who vote within the confines of either party continue to vote for that party’s candidates in election after election. Though sometimes there is a clear choice between two candidates, occasionally voters must choose between candidates whom they do not like and, holding their noses, cast an unenthusiastic vote for the “lesser of two evils”.
The 2016 election for me falls into this model. As I have always voted for candidates from the Democratic Party (the party of FDR) this year’s election is for me of the “hold your nose” variety. The choices are limited to four candidates: Mr. Trump, Mrs. Clinton, Gary Johnson (a Libertarian pothead millionaire) and Jill Stein M.D. (Green/Rainbow). A fifth option is to write in a name. A sixth option is to abstain.
Though I probably agree more with the Green/Rainbow party, to vote Green/Rainbow under the Presidential system becomes a vote for either Trump or Clinton. If the US had a Parliamentary system it would be a different story.
Being in the position of “having” to vote out of fear against a candidate rather than enthusiastically for a candidate seems like no choice at all. I’m not sure what I will do.
(I could go on and on)