Voting Third Party: The Candidates You Don't See On TV

With all the back and forth between Clinton and Trump many people are left asking: Are these our only choices? The answer is no. Although Democrats and Republicans run the game in almost all United States politics, they aren’t the only choices. In fact, there are dozens and dozens of other candidates running for office representing a variety of different parties. The main third parties are the Libertarian party and the Green Party. Here’s a little bit of information about the candidates for both of these parties, and what they would do if elected.

Libertarian: Gary Johnson

For many people, the main appeal of Gary Johnson is the simple fact that he isn't Hillary or Donald. Johnson was the governor of New Mexico for eight years, meaning he is also the only candidate who has executive government experience. On Johnson’s website he lays out his plans if elected. He would cut spending, simplify the tax code, set term limits, create jobs, reform the justice system, stop the war on drugs, and give women the power to make their own healthcare decisions. That all sounds amazing, but Johnson also has many critics. One of the most worrisome things about Johnson is his foreign policy. He believes in cutting military spending, and only intervening in any conflict if the U.S. is directly attacked. Obviously not going to war is great, but many argue he would make a weak commander in chief. Johnson believes in doing away with the minimum wage which could hurt the workers at the bottom of the socioeconomic ladder. Johnson also advocates for doing away with Medicare, as well as federal student aid, and wants to make the states handle these issues if they choose. These are both programs that millions of Americans rely on daily, and shouldn’t be overlooked as wasteful spending to make the states deal with.

Green Party: Jill Stein

Jill Stein was most vocal after Clinton beat out Sanders for the Democratic nomination. She wanted to enlist Sanders to support her, and potentially be her vice president, because they agree on many issues, and are both border on Socialist. Just like Gary Johnson, her website lays out the issues she would tackle as president. Her list includes renewable energy, jobs as a right, anti-poverty programs, healthcare as a right, education as a right, $15 minimum wage, racial justice, and diplomacy based foreign policy. The main argument against Stein is that her policies are too good to be true. Everyone wants to live in a country where school is free, healthcare is free, everything is powered by renewable energy, and the countries of the world come together around the campfire to sing Kum Ba Ya. The sad truth is the issues facing our country are very complex and peace-based diplomacy doesn't always work. Her proposed social polices would cost a literal fortune. No one is discrediting that they would be amazing policies, it’s just that we live in a country that’s nearly $20,000,000 in debt so it’s a matter of paying for them. Stein lays out a plan for paying for all of this on her website, but many don’t believe its feasible.

Third parties are made to seem like crazy and extremist by the media, but you may be surprised just how much you agree with both of these candidates. Sure they have their critics, but so do Clinton and Trump. Now it’s up to all of us to look at the choices and vote with our conscience, and not just for who we are told we have to vote for.