Sept. 29 — To the Editor:

Shirley Fredrick’s thoughtful letter (9/28/16) calling for rejection of both Trump and Clinton and for a vote for the Green Party and Jill Stein spurs me to reply. Come Election Day, were there any reasonable chance of them winning, I would consider voting Green, just as I would consider writing in Bernie Sanders. But in politics idealism must be tempered by pragmatism. At this point in time it is eminently clear that either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton will be the next president. For a progressive to cast their vote for Gary (“What’s Aleppo?”) Johnson or Jill Stein in order to gain a warm and fuzzy feeling is simply irresponsible and would increase the chances of a Trump presidency. It is imperative, well beyond our apathy for the only realistic alternative, that Trump not become president. If enough Sanders supporters don’t vote; if enough people of color who supported Obama don’t vote; and if enough progressives who don’t like Hillary don’t vote or vote Libertarian or Green, then Trump may have a fair shot at winning and can thank collectively all the above if he does.

Trump is who he is: egomaniacal, narcissistic, unread, ignorant, racist, a bully, demagogic, a liar, a misogynist, and totally unprepared and unfit to hold any public office — in a word: deplorable. But the real disappointment is the +/- 40 percent of the electorate which support him and presumably share many of the above traits and his asocial abhorrent values. It is perhaps a sad comment on our educational system and its emphasis on science and technology. It’s hard to imagine that anyone with reasonable knowledge of history or a sense of ethics could possibly support such an abysmal individual other than in treatment. Hillary certainly has her faults, as do we all, and was not my preferred candidate, but she is light-years ahead of Trump by any measure, has clearly been favorably influenced by Bernie Sanders with respect to her agenda and is totally prepared to step into the presidency from day one.

Again, unless there is a radical change in the present reality that only Trump or Clinton will win, it is irresponsible for a progressive not to vote, or to vote for other than Clinton. Faith-based, feel-good politics is a recipe for disaster we simply cannot afford. Supreme Court nominations alone should convince any thoughtful Democrat/progressive to vote Clinton. (Now if I can only convince my wife who is smarter and even more ticked off than I at the NHDC, the DNC and the whole rigged system in general).

Robert L. Barth