What are the pros and cons of voting in the November elections within the American political system?

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2016 seems to be a watershed year, and the spotlight is definitely on the presidential election.

Whatever the outcome may be, the focus is centered on the two major candidates for the presidency: Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. The pros and cons for voting may boil down to the national...

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2016 seems to be a watershed year, and the spotlight is definitely on the presidential election.

Whatever the outcome may be, the focus is centered on the two major candidates for the presidency: Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. The pros and cons for voting may boil down to the national mood. According to Forbes, the six top issues for voters in 2016 are the economy (84%), terrorism (80%), foreign policy (75%), health care (74%), gun policy (72%), and immigration (70%).

One benefit of voting is that voters can decide the nation's course for the next four years. Voters will decide America's foreign policy and her attitude towards race relations, illegal immigration, gun rights, the Affordable Care Act, and terrorism.

Half the country may not like who the new president will be. Supporters of Hillary Clinton will be irretrievably disappointed if Donald Trump becomes president, while supporters of Donald Trump will be similarly frustrated if Hillary Clinton becomes Commander-in-Chief. For those who support the losing candidate, the emotional upheaval may be devastating.

Yet, a real benefit of voting is that the process itself highlights America's nature as a democratic or constitutional republic. In participating in the time-honored tradition of choosing a president every four years, voters do their part in upholding the democratic process; this is a good thing. Another benefit of voting is that voters may see future changes that they welcome.

In the meantime, voters of peripheral candidates like Jill Stein (Green Party) and Gary Johnson (Libertarian Party) may conclude that the possibility of their candidate becoming president is little to nil. For them, the disadvantages of voting may outweigh the benefits.

For voters who are considering the pros and cons of voting in the American presidential elections in November, I include two links below that document the advantages and disadvantages of voting for either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. Included is also a link documenting the candidates' positions on a variety of topics.

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