Hillary Clinton is a flawed candidate. All presidential candidates are. I have argued in this space that, given who Donald Trump is, voting for a third party candidate is highly dangerous. I have pointed to the history of Weimar Germany as a cautionary tale. Gerry Caplan points to recent American history to make the same case:
The most infamous case in recent history was 16 years ago, when Ralph Nader argued that Al Gore was no worse than George W. Bush. Nader got a derisory 2.74 per cent of the vote, just enough to ensure Gore’s defeat. The world got Bush and Cheney, the U.S. invasion of Iraq, and a great deal of the chaos and horror in the Middle East from which we all still suffer.
But the 2000 election isn't the only example of how voting for a third party candidate brought on disaster:
In modern times, this phenomenon goes back to 1956, when Adlai Stevenson challenged Republican president Dwight “Ike” Eisenhower’s bid for re-election. Ike was a natural small “c” conservative, while Stevenson was widely considered to be a principled liberal. But in the paranoid atmosphere of Cold War America, no seriously ambitious politician, let alone the urbane Stevenson, could take liberalism too far.He was therefore easy enough to criticize by the wonderful Democratic socialists represented by the magazine Dissent, who explained how Stevenson would sell out the left if he ever won. I was easily persuaded, but America was not. Ike was overwhelmingly re-elected, and with him came Richard Nixon as his vice-president and an unleashed CIA to continue its dirty work around the world.
Another problem for the left came [twelve] years later, when Hubert Humphrey sought the Democratic nomination to replace president Lyndon B. Johnson. Humphrey was both the best and the worst of American liberalism. He was mostly strong on civil rights, trade unions and social welfare, but as LBJ’s vice-president during the Vietnam War he made himself a despicable apologist for the war.When Bobby Kennedy was murdered, Humphrey won the nomination at the Democratic Convention. Many progressives boycotted the election. In the end, old Tricky Dick finally won the presidency by a hair, even though it’s possible the progressive vote could have defeated him. Next stop: the continuation of the Vietnam War, the secret war against Cambodia and Laos, the first-ever “gate” and the subversion of the American Constitution.
It was George Santayana -- not me -- who wrote that those who refuse to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.