How do I choose a candidate to vote for?

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With November coming quickly upon us, it is time to start thinking in earnest of who to vote for in November. And if we are all being completely honest, this campaign season seems like choosing between the lesser of two evils. Many people have made their decision on who is the lesser evil, but far more remain undecided. Here are some ways that are common for choosing a candidate and how one might decide to navigate this particularly abysmal election season.

Policy and Issue Voting

Does one issue dominate your agenda? On many issues, be it the debate over abortion or education or immigration, people have things which they are not willing to compromise. Those people have a fairly simple choice, they can figure out which candidate backs their single issue and vote accordingly.

But this is difficult for two reasons 1) both of these candidates change policy and stance often enough that it is difficult to tell what they will actually do once they get into office and 2) most people aren’t dominated by a single issue in this way, making this a bad decision choice for most.

Party Voting

Many people have an idea of their party allegiance, whether from past voting or philosophy of what government should be, and they are going to stick by that party and its candidates no matter what. Many people vote like this, but this is something that is getting overturned in this election, especially with things such as the #nevertrump movement.

Moralistic Voting

With this election, many people are making appeals to religion or morals to get people to vote for or against a particular candidate. I have seen lots of Facebook postings about why Christians should not vote for Trump or something of the like.

Character voter:

Possibly the most popular among “laypeople” and those who are not political enthusiasts, one can vote based on which candidate appears to have the best character or that one “feels” will be the best for the country. It seems as if this is the x-factor that many people vote on, the x-factor being their subjective feelings towards a candidate. While this is not an illegitimate means of voting it may be skewed by media coverage, biased access to information about candidates, and the like and may not be the most reliable way of choosing a candidate.

How to choose this election?

Essentially, each of these ways has its flaws. And this is an election which seems to confound and stand out from most others. How to pick a candidate in this election? Maybe it will be best to choose some “unforgivable sins” and then see which candidate has broken them. Can’t stand corruption? Don’t vote for Hillary. Can’t stand someone who is a bigot or intolerant? Don’t vote for Donald Trump then. Something along the lines of that. Because I feel as if for this election season that there won’t be many people choosing their candidates for the good that they will bring, rather than perceiving their choice being the lesser of two evils. While political experts may be able to make more sense of it than that, this seems to be to be the best way to boil such a complex and disheartening election into a decision point that one can act on – who has done the actions which you perceive as being unforgivable: because both candidates have unforgivable mistakes.

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