Letters to the Editor: Third-party candidates can defend democracy by dropping out

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. announces his presidential candidacy with several people sitting behind him.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. announces his presidential candidacy in Boston on April 19, 2023.
(Josh Reynolds / Associated Press)

To the editor: John Anderson. Ralph Nader. Ross Perot. (“California poll reveals how minor candidates could throw 2024 presidential race to Trump,” March 1)

Those three men were independent presidential candidates at some point during my life, and all three siphoned enough votes away from a major-party candidate to change the outcome of the election. None was close to winning the Oval Office.

This trend could continue with Jill Stein and Cornel West, who together barely muster 5% in polls. Even Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has slightly more than double the support that those two have ... combined.


While I certainly support any qualified person’s right to run for president, the presence of third-party candidates nearly always results in being little more than a way for a minority of voters to express their dissatisfaction. That sentiment should not be allowed to skew the single most important election we have in any four-year period, even though I cannot — and would not — attempt to legally preempt those candidates’ rights.

But unless Stein’s, West’s and Kennedy’s actual goal is to take enough votes away from President Biden to enable former President Trump to win, they have a moral obligation to do the right thing for democracy and end their campaigns.

Kymberleigh Richards, Van Nuys


To the editor: We have nine months until the election. A lot can happen in nine months.

As a centrist Democrat, I would cross over and vote for former Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney in a heartbeat. She is smart as a whip, honest, sincere and one of the very few Republicans who aren’t crazy as a hoot-owl.

It absolutely blows my mind that there are so many voters out there thinking Trump is anywhere near a viable candidate for reelection. That has to be the most telling sign that our country is in dire need of a major reawakening.

Roger Krenkler, Westlake Village



To the editor: Do we still need the electoral college to choose our president and vice president? Those office holders represent the entire country. Shouldn’t we have a federal election for those offices using a popular vote?

Currently, when we vote for president and vice president, do our votes count directly for those offices, or are we really choosing state electors? And, are those electors bound by law to represent their states’ majority, or can they go rogue?

In other words, does our vote actually count?

Mary Sikonia, Manhattan Beach


To the editor: What is wrong with these people? Do they not realize that a vote for anyone other than Biden is a vote for Trump?


Don’t give me that “I wanted to send a message” baloney. The message you are sending is either “I want Trump to win but I can’t admit it,” or “I’m stupid.”

Lorraine Knopf, Santa Monica