Letters to the Editor: You don’t have to like Biden or Trump, but voting for a third-party candidate puts America at risk

Ross Perot
Some Times’ readers remember voting for Ross Perot in the 1990s rather than a major party candidate, but feel that voting for a third-party candidate now is too risky.
(Mark Lennihan / Associated Press )

To the editor: I fully understand the attitude of the person described in Mark Barabak’s column who doesn’t want to vote for either Joe Biden or Donald Trump. I felt the same way in 1992 when Bill Clinton was running against George H.W. Bush. I voted for Ross Perot. Perot’s arguments made sense to me and he was not a politician. He advocated for the common man. He received 19% of the popular vote but not one single electoral college vote.

Fortunately enough, in that election, either major party candidate would have made decent presidents and Bill Clinton went on to become a better than average president.

Fast forward to 2024. We can’t make the same equivalence between Biden and Trump as we did with Clinton and Bush. And like it or not, Biden or Trump will be inaugurated as president next Jan. 20. RFK Jr. has zero chance of becoming president.


Trump is a severe risk to the democracy of this country. Trump and his sycophants have created doubts in the minds of millions about Biden but
have few facts to back them up. Whether you like Biden or not, he or Trump will be the next president. Don’t be naive! This country may not
survive another Trump presidency.

Rod Keller, Santa Barbara


To the editor: I want Mark Barabak to know that Victoria Thompson and I only have a few differences. While I have been a Democrat and voted for Democrats all my life and she has been a Democrat “most” of her life, I too voted for Ross Perot the first time he ran. The other main difference between us is that I am 78.

I am not a “hater.” My mother said, “Never hate people; instead, hate their actions and their behaviors.” I do have a great disrespect and disdain for both Biden and Trump. If those guys were smart, Trump would run as Biden‘s vice president and Biden would run as Trump‘s vice president. Since they’re both so old and both mentally, emotionally or behaviorally compromised, each of them as a vice president would have a good chance of ending up becoming president again anyway.

Like Victoria Thompson, I also am strongly supporting RFK Jr.

Charles R. Buchanan, Mountain Center


The one good thing I hoped would come out of all the election denial and the ongoing political circus is that people would become more aware and familiar with our Constitution, and how it guides and constrains our political process, including our choice of presidential candidates.

No one has any obligation to vote for any specific candidate, but I believe that we all have an obligation to understand the three branches of government, what each does, and how, together, they make our government work. The president is in the executive branch, but the president is not the Easter Bunny, or Santa Claus. Thompson may be dismayed because Obama did not deliver all he “promised,” but neither he nor any other president can simply order a change like universal healthcare. What Thompson wants has to come from all three branches working together; at their best moderating and modulating one another.

Thompson is right that the system is broken. But the remedy may well lie in areas she knows little or nothing about: amending our Constitution for greater clarity on the insurrection or disqualification clause, and amending the electoral college.


Both are Herculean tasks, far harder than just lamenting “the choice facing the country in November.”

If she really wants to be able to put her head on her pillow at night and sleep with a clear conscience, she needs to learn a lot more about how our democracy works. Or how it doesn’t.

Catherine Cate, Irvine


To the editor: Thompson has a right to vote for whomever she wants. However, if she wants to keep that right she should be careful not to vote for a man who thinks he won the last election and who wants to control the next election by any means that he can. I am sorry to say, but a vote for Robert F. Kennedy is a vote for that man.

To lump Biden and Trump in the same basket is ridiculous. Only one of them has been impeached twice and indicted for criminal offenses several times. Trump and his followers have tried to find something to impeach Biden for but have not been able to come up with evidence of anything. Biden is three years older than Trump but 100 years wiser.


Lorraine Knopf, Santa Monica


To the editor: “Double hater” Victoria Thompson says she’ll sleep with a clear conscience voting for a third-party candidate, even if that helps elect Donald Trump, who she says she despises. Is she really so uninformed as to believe there’s no difference between Biden and Trump and the policies endorsed by these diametrically opposed candidates?

How soundly will she sleep when women are denied not just abortion access but birth control as well? How about when the Social Security eligibility age is raised, or clean air and water protections are eliminated, or billionaire taxes reduced and services that benefit all Americans like infrastructure, health and safety nets, and education and scientific research are subsequently slashed to make up for the reduced income?

Thompson may sleep soundly tonight, but failing to stop a second Trump presidency will surely lead to a lot more sleepless nights in the future.

Greg Seyranian, Redondo Beach