Two weeks ago, I asked readers what voters should do who find Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump unappealing, but who don’t want to abandon their obligation as informed citizens to participate in our democracy.

Their responses have been edited for length and grammar, but are otherwise intact.

First, some who thought my diagnosis was in error:

Faye wrote: “I would like to see a person from each party who is honest, sincere and knowledgeable declare themselves as candidates. That is highly unlikely. Do I still plan to vote? Yes. For whom? The lesser of two evils, Donald Trump. Hillary Clinton is a liar, a cheat and a murderer. I deplore the thought that our men and women in the military would be required to salute her as their commander in chief.”

 Ken disagreed, with equal vehemence: “I do plan to vote for Clinton. Though she is a flawed candidate, she is at least psychologically sound as best I can tell, and not the uninformed, xenophobic, narcissistic, racist, global warming-denying, constantly lying (expletive) we have in Trump.”

 Eva wrote: “I will hold my nose and vote for Trump only because of the Supreme Court. If two or three (judges) need to be replaced in the coming years, I would like a Republican president choosing them. Anyone is better than Hillary!”


 Pem wrote: “My wife and I will vote, and we will vote for the Republican nominee. And the more the Illuminati scold us for our inclinations, the more defiantly we will vote for Trump. For more years than we can count, we have been fed up with the say-anything, do-nothing ‘leaders’ of the Republican Party, and have been screaming ‘throw them all out’ at the TV.”

Bill wrote: “I don’t care for either Trump or Clinton, but I will vote for anyone but Clinton. Unfortunately, there is no real chance that a viable third-party candidate could win, because it is too late to get a name on the ballots in most states … .”

 Jeff wrote: “I’ll be voting for two reasons. First: the direction of the Supreme Court, which will determine which direction the country will take for decades. … Every four years we’re told that ‘this is the most important election in our lifetime.’ This time it happens to be true. The second reason? To honor the countless men and women who have given their lives so that I may have the privilege of taking part in our democratic process.”

Others saw different paths:

Mary wrote: “A (Bernie) Sanders option … would be for him to take his votes to an independent ticket, not necessarily in top position but as vice president to lessen the fear of socialism by some voters. Actually, if we could attract a worthy dark horse candidate like Sen. Angus King to head a ticket to which Bernie could bring his supporters … that would be an attractive alternative … .”

Elinor wrote: “I am a Republican, but at this point a man of integrity with the necessary attributes to run this country and a decent approach to the rest of the world would be mandatory. Regretfully, I will not vote for the two choices out there at this time.”


Elaine wrote: “I cannot bring myself to pull the lever for either Trump (my usual party) or Hillary. I had been considering Libertarian (Gary Johnson’s a loose cannon but Bill Weld added weight) until I read a column in the Wall Street Journal … and will follow that lead: a write-in for Paul Ryan (second choice of John Kasich if I change my mind about Ryan before November).”

Joanne wrote: “I cannot believe Trump will win the nomination; what is wrong with the people in this country? … My dream ticket would be Michael Bloomberg/Susan Collins and I believe they would overwhelmingly beat Trump and Clinton. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like there will be a third party. If not, I think I’ll just stay home.”

Mark wrote: “My answer is Gov. Gary Johnson. As you are aware, he is a Libertarian (I’m a compassionate conservative), and the other two candidates make me ill. I heard Johnson speak on a number of recent ‘talking-head’ shows, and he made sense to me on every topic he addressed – taxes, foreign policy, illegal aliens, etc.”

“SUR” wrote: “I’d vote for Sanders because I believe the separation of powers will keep him in check. At least he is honest and has a few ideas and can develop a complex thought beyond sound bites. Plus, and most important, he won’t lead us into the pointless, unwinnable wars that are ruining us. … The country will be better served by the implosion of both (major parties).”

Thanks for participating, folks. Things continue to percolate, so let’s see where it all goes from here.

M.D. Harmon, a retired journalist and military officer, is a freelance writer and speaker. He can be contacted at:

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