Editorial: Three’s Company: Why the Country Needs a Third Party

 

 

When asked the infamous question of chocolate or vanilla, do you ever think maybe you might want strawberry instead? Being presented with limited options can be frustrating when they do not meet your needs and wants. This is why having multiple choices is favorable among most people. This type of thinking is a concept that should be, but unfortunately is not, incorporated more into the world of politics. So many people will grumble and complain about the two major political parties but will refuse to acknowledge the existence of another choice. Third party candidates are often unheard, underrated, and undermined as not being serious threats when in reality they could actually be the start to a revolution.

This past election year was one of the most successful runs for a third party candidate in U.S history. Libertarian party candidate, Gary Johnson, and running mate, Bill Weld, received a small but significant percentage of votes that could have acted as serious spoilers for this year’s election. The Libertarian party is one of the largest third parties in the country and is gaining popularity and momentum faster than it ever has. Yet with all this said progress, the majority of the population is still stuck choosing between the two larger parties, even if they do not show preference to either one. Whether this is due to the simple lack of knowledge about third party possibilities or to the skepticism that one could ever actually is not determined.

When asked about why I have decided to register as Libertarian, people always tell me that I will not be able to vote in the primary elections. Others make it sound as if voting for what I truly believe in (even though it is not as popular as other choices) is silly compared to just settling for a candidate that I might not agree with completely just because they are of a major party. I often hear the argument that it is a waste of a vote to vote for a third party because that person will never win. If that is how the majority of the country perceives the conceptual reason behind voting,  then there is the problem!

 

Voting should not be a game; it should simply be the ability to express an opinion through the advocacy of the candidate someone truly stands by, not voting for the lesser of two evils because they are the only options. If more people would take a step back and realize that just giving in to the dual party system is only hurting our chances to find a worthy candidate for president, then maybe fewer of them would be unhappy with the outcomes of elections.

In our society today, it is a common perception that most people’s political views are either ultimately conservative or completely liberal. This just is not the case, however. According to a 2015 MSNBC poll, 51% of Americans tend to fall in the middle of the political spectrum as moderates, sharing different widely accepted views from both major political parties. These moderate voters and the issues they tend to compromise or side with in the event of an election are crucial to many outcomes of the voting, and if the majority of voters are in fact moderates, it is only sensible to open our mind up to the idea of having another moderate option in our choice for president.

 

–BY ALYSSA BLACKMAN