Politics as a Spectrum

Jake Tapley

It’s election season again, and in less than a month, we’ll be hitting the polls to vote for whoever we hope will be the next president of the United States.

In order to have this privilege, we must sit through months of political campaigns that bombard us with poorly made commercials, shameless mudslinging and vague promises. All of this boils down to a decision between two men – and a woman and three other men.

In addition to the Republican and Democratic candidates, Gary Johnson is running for the Libertarian party, Virgil Goode for the Constitution party, Rocky Anderson for the Justice party and Jill Stein for the Green party. With the exception of Rocky Anderson, all of these candidates have write-in status, if not full ballot access, in at least 30 states and districts.

It appears that American mainstream media is turning a blind eye to the other contestants in this race, which, considering the fact that most individuals rely on media to keep them informed on the candidates, creates quite a problem.

Yes, these “third parties” are much smaller than the two major parties, but this may, in part, be because the smaller parties do not get as much coverage. In addition, the Libertarian party is on the ballot for forty-nine out of the 51 states and districts. That’s kind of a big deal.

I’m not saying that everyone should ditch the Republican and Democratic parties. But maybe, before you go vote, you should take a look into these other parties and see if you agree with their platforms more.

You might just be surprised. I’ll even get you started.

Libertarianism is all about free will and respect for the individual. It emphasizes liberty and free thought. If what you do isn’t hurting anyone else, the Libertarian party is okay with it.

Members of the Constitution Party place heavy emphasis on Christianity. They believe in a limited government and hold a noninterventionist foreign policy. They are strongly against abortion, same-sex marriage and acts such as the Patriot Act which limit individual freedom.

The Green Party focuses primarily on environmentalism and social justice. They are a non-violent party that uses a grassroots method in order to operate and do not accept donations from corporate donors.

Having more parties present in the American political system would promote open discussion and would possibly even remove this ridiculous notion that there are only two ways to maintain our government. I don’t know about you, but I’m really tired of being “represented” by people who don’t represent me.