Down with the two party system!
By Sean Minton and Becca Carlson
*This article originally appeared in The Corsair in October of 2016.
It is important for everyone to know exactly who is running for the office of President of the United States before heading to the voting booth this November. All attention seems to be focused on the Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and Republican candidate Donald Trump; however, they are not the only candidates on the ballot this year.
Many people feel stuck between two terrible choices. Many believe that both candidates are corrupt and that this election marks the lowest political point in American history.
What’s worse is that many people do not know that there are other options. According to the Florida Department of State website, the Sunshine State will have 12 candidates listed for president. True, most will be Independents that have little to no chance of winning. However, two candidates (other than Clinton and Trump) are nationally recognized.
Governor Gary Johnson of New Mexico is a former Republican running under the Libertarian Party, and Dr. Jill Stein is a physician and environmental activist represents the Green Party. Although the spotlight has missed these candidates, knowing who they are could shift a voter’s perspective on the election.
Johnson and running mate Bill Weld are both former two-term Governors who have combined political careers of over 20 years. Johnson holds a political science degree from the University of New Mexico. He also built one of the largest construction companies in the New Mexico area.
Stein and her running mate Ajamu Baraka are both civil rights and human rights activists. Stein is an environmentalist and physician who graduated from Harvard Medical School in 1979. She also ran during the 2012 election under the Green Party, and she is the current holder for most votes ever received by a female candidate for president in the general election.
Johnson and Stein share similar characteristics in terms of policies they would establish. Some of these include legalizing marijuana, creating fairness in tax and criminal justice reform. Though, they do have several differences, especially when it comes to matters beyond our borders.
On foreign policy, Johnson calls for a stronger military but is against using its power to solve world problems. Stein’s foreign policy calls for peace by using diplomacy and focusing on human rights to combat war.
Stein wants to eliminate student debt for college students through federal financing, while Johnson would like to encourage competition between states by removing the Federal Department of Education and leaving education policy to state and local governments.
These third party candidates also have separate ideas for what the main focus in office should be. Stein’s plan is to create millions of jobs by switching to renewable energy and investing in sustainable agriculture and public transit. She would also take displaced workers from oil companies and relocate them to new green jobs. She is known as the candidate who puts people, peace and the planet over profit.
Johnson vows to tackle the national deficit and provide Congress a truly balanced budget. He plans to veto any deficit expenditure bills, forcing Congress to obtain a majority vote to override his veto in order to prevent excessive spending. His plan excludes taxation as a solution to the U.S.’s 20 trillion-dollar debt.
Whether it’s Johnson’s plan, Stein’s plan, Clinton’s or Trump’s, it is up to the voter to decide who is more appealing to them. Be sure to do research before mindlessly electing someone this November. For more information on either of these third party candidates, visit their websites— Johnson at www.Johnsonweld.com/issues and Stein at www.jill2016.com/plan.