Presidential Candidates That Aren't Trump or Clinton

We’re in the middle of an election that’s packed with so much action and controversy that people around the world are talking about it. Almost everyone has something horrible to say about one candidate and something even worse to say about the other, and to me it seems like many people are voting simply in an effort to make sure the one they hate more doesn’t win.

While many argue that both Clinton and Trump each have their own strengths and weaknesses, it can be tough to pick sides when there are only two options. If you find yourself choosing the lesser of two evils, I present to you: three presidential candidates that aren’t Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, and their views on various issues.

Gary Johnson, Libertarian Party

Johnson supports a moderate stance in terms of gun control. “With regard to keeping guns out of the hands of the mentally ill, with regard to keeping guns out of the hands of potential terrorists--Bill talked about establishing a thousand-person task force to potentially address that, a hot line. Look, we should be open to these discussions,” he said.

Meanwhile, he leans slightly to the left when it comes to abortion issues. He claims, “That's a decision that should lie strictly with the woman involved.”

In response to Trump’s comments on Mexican immigration, he said, “Well, when it comes to Mexican immigration and that he would call immigrants from Mexico murderers and rapists--look, that's just not true. They are more law-abiding than U.S. citizens and that is a statistic.”

Because Johnson is a big advocate of giving people the power of choice, he’s also a supporter of equal marriage rights. “The government shouldn't be in the marriage business,” he said.

“People should be able to make choices in their own lives. Always come down on the side of choice.” Johnson also supports the notion of equal pay; although, he forms his views around the data that suggest it has largely been accomplished when other factors are accounted for. “In many industries, when adjusted for education and experience, women have achieved pay parity with men. And that is a great accomplishment,” he said.

During an interview, Johnson confirmed having consumed a marijuana edible while discussing his support for the legalization of marijuana. Connecting this back to his theme of right to choose, he said, “Decades of ever-more-intrusive government has steadily eroded personal freedom in this country,” he said. “Adults are no longer free to make their own decisions.”

Johnson also pushes for the government to have less of an impact on the people’s corporations.“If I could wave a magic wand, I would eliminate income tax, I would eliminate corporate tax, I would abolish the IRS, and I would replace it all with one federal consumption tax,” he said. “If we have zero corporate tax in this country, I believe that tens of millions of jobs will get created in this country for no other reason--why you would start up, grow a business anywhere but the United States, given a zero corporate tax rate?”

You can find his stance on global warming on his campaign page: “When it comes to global climate change, Johnson believes too many politicians are having the wrong debate. Is the climate changing? Probably so. Is man contributing to that change? Probably so. The important question, however, is whether the government's efforts to regulate, tax and manipulate the marketplace in order to impact that change are cost-effective--or effective at all.”

Jill Stein, Green Party

Stein advocates the regulation of gun ownership. “For public safety, gun ownership should be appropriately regulated,” she said.

She’s also a huge advocate of women’s reproductive rights. “We endorse women's right to use contraception and, when they choose, to have an abortion. This right cannot be limited to women's age or marital status,” she said. “Contraception and abortion must be included in all health insurance policies in the U.S., and any state government must be able to legally offer these services free of charge to women at the poverty level.”

In terms of her support for incoming immigrants, Stein said, “Immigrants are among the most law-abiding groups out there. It is false for Trump to be fear-mongering that immigrants are a community of violence.”

She also stands to prevent discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community. “I include transgender rights in GLBT protection. Sexual orientation should not be a basis for discrimination whether it's LGB or T,” she said.

Additionally, is an advocate for equal pay. “Women are still being paid far less,” she said. “Women-headed households have a 40 percent poverty rate relative to the 15 percent poverty rate among the general population. So, we have a critical problem.”

In terms of the legalization of marijuana, Stein prefers to turn to scientific data for the answer. “We would actually use science to determine which drugs are dangerous and which ones are not,” she said. “That means right off the bat marijuana and hemp are removed from the list of dangerous substances because these are not dangerous substances in relation to other unregulated substances including nicotine and alcohol.”

Stein plans to fight the current wealth distribution we have in our country. “America wasn't meant to be an aristocracy. 22 billionaires have as much money as 50 percent of the US population,” she said. “We need a progressive income tax, with the rich paying at least at the 55 to 60 percent level.”

In terms of fighting climate change, Stein sees benefits beyond taking care of our planet. “Our transition to 100% clean energy will be based on community, worker and public ownership of our energy system, rather than maximizing profits for energy corporations, banks and hedge funds. We need to treat clean energy as a human right and a common good,” she said.

Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente, Reform Party

Along with the core belief of the Reform Party, De La Fuente holds a moderate view in terms of gun regulation. “Gun reform doesn’t equate to gun control,” he said. “It doesn’t take away the right to own a gun under the Second Amendment. It merely applies a rational criterion to ownership that inures to the general welfare of everyone.”

In terms of abortion rights, according to ISideWith.com, De La Fuente states he is Pro-Choice.

De La Fuente also embraces the melting pot that is America, and encourages enrichment from immigration. “Florida has a rich history of embracing immigrants,” he said. “Our state’s demographics reflect a strong Latino influence that has grown over the years. I myself am a proud first generation American who loves this country for the opportunities it has provided for me.”

According to ISideWith.com, De La Fuente supports equal pay and says employers should be required to pay men and women the same salary for the same job.

Additionally, he said that he wants to “take the government out of marriage and instead make it a religious decision.”

De La Fuente also prefers to use science to find the answer to marijuana's effects. He supports legalization, “but we need to study the long-term effects on heavy users.”

He also supports moderation in terms of tax reform, and stated he is against increased sales tax in order to reduce property taxes.

In terms of climate change, De La Fuente holds a moderate stance that looks at both sides of the issue. “We are stewards of our planet, and we bear the responsibility to preserve the environment to the degree that we reasonably can. We cannot ignore science, but we must recognize that it is a two-edged sword,” he said. “While we cannot deny mankind’s contribution to climate change, we also have to acknowledge that our attempts to mitigate the damage we do is driven by technological realities that we cannot legislate away.”

Although the chance of one of these three candidates actually winning the election is incredibly slim, the leading candidates take note of the issues that these third parties receive the most votes for. The United States has had a two party system since its infancy, and if there’s ever a time for change, it’s now. So if you’ve been on the fence, be sure to do your research, find someone you support and vote!