Year of the third party candidate

Conversations with people over the last several months has consistently floated into politics. I like to consider myself having an open mind and as such, form my opinions based on fact rather than other people’s opinions. I refuse to pander to the mainstream media’s view of “Trump or Clinton” where this is no other choice. My strong opinions and views of both these candidates is barely classified as mediocre at best. The reasons are many, but that isn’t the point of this blog post, rather this blog post is about the rise of the third-party candidate and their strong chances this year to actually affect the elections positively. We have the Libertarian ticket with Johnson/Weld (JW) and the Green ticket with Stein/Baraka (SB). During my research of both, I’ve found a lot more similarity than difference in their positions. The key factor here is if one or both of them can make it to 15% or more on the 6 national polls to allow them an opportunity to participate in the Presidential debates. Without that, I fear that neither will have a major impact on the elections and have a similar impact as Ross Perot and Ron Paul in previous elections.

I’m so frustrated with the back and forth that Trump and Clinton have started. Some of the articles I’ve read make it feel more like two bullies at recess fighting to see who is better, something I’ve had a lot of experience with being on the receiving end of a bully or two. A lesson in how to herd cats, neither the Republican or Democratic party can figure out if they’re looking at their heads or their butts. Media certainly doesn’t make anything better in their obviously filtered decisions on what to cover and what not to cover. Statistics based on polls of males college educated vs. non-college educated, minorities, women college educated vs non-educated, individuals who believe the sky is purple….. the ridiculous list of stats goes on and on. Stats don’t show the true story of what or how people are thinking in my opinion. The stats are the media’s way to justify headlines like “Clinton responds to Trump labeling her a ‘bigot'” and “Clinton see Trump ties to ‘alt-right’ dystopian ideology”. I’m literally shaking my head after typing that last one….. and this comes from the Associated Press of all places. Dystopian ideology indeed. Ask anyone the difference between utopian and dystopian and I’d wager they would need to look it up. I’m a science-fiction fan, so know the different pretty well. Bladerunner = dystopian, The Giver = utopian (but discovered truly dystopian). Star Trek The Next Generation, in essence, is a utopian society in that they eliminated poverty, hunger, war (at least on planets in the Federation). Enough geeking though.

I was close to a decision on a third-party candidate and my choice takes into a lot of factors that technically aren’t relevant to this blog post. The Monster in Your Closet has provided her endorsement and I share a lot of the same viewpoints she does in her support of Jill Stein and the Green Party.  Several of the platform points that I’m behind are:

  • 20 million new jobs by creating WWII-era workforce mobilization to migrate to 100% renewable energy by 2030
  • Label GMOs, and put a moratorium on GMOs and pesticides until they are proven safe
  • Repeal the Taft-Hartley Act which banned secondary boycotts and permitted state “right-to-work” laws. Enact a federal just cause law (to prohibit firing without just cause,) and outlaw scabbing on striking workers
  • Break up “too-big-to-fail” banks and democratize the Federal Reserve
  • Repeal the Patriot Act that violates our constitutional right to privacy and protection against unreasonable search and seizure
  • Abolish the Electoral College and directly elect the President using a national popular vote with ranked-choice voting
  • Restore the right to run for office and eliminate unopposed races by removing ballot access barriers

The above are not in any particular order of importance. A lot of what she is standing for in her platform is what the American public has told her are the problems that need to be corrected. Both the Libertarian and Green parties have listened to the “people” who most politicians have ignored to a large extent. Normal people are not part of the inner circle of greed and therefore, don’t have any leverage to change anything. I’m a normal person and as such, feel powerless to make any change, or so I thought. Both Stein and Johnson have a major battle to not only be part of the debates, but also be listed as a candidate on all 50 state ballots. There are so many rules and blocks to getting on the ballot no wonder we’re stuck in this two-party system rut. Our power as individual voters lies with social media, conversations, and grass-roots efforts of support.

I’ve yet to choose my third-party candidate at this point, however I lean heavily to Stein/Baraka. My decision will most likely come down to who, if any, make enough headway to earn their spot in this years debates. One thing I am certain of though, is that my vote will NOT be for Trump or Clinton, as I feel for me, that is endorsing one of the two school yard bullies. Supporting a bully only results in slightly less attention, but you continue to be bullied regardless. I can no longer support a system that continues to get richer while I struggle to keep myself above water without making any real difference. The difference I’m making this year is in support of the “good Samaritan” that steps in to stop the bully in the schoolyard from picking on me. If one of the third party candidates manage to win the election, it will truly be one for the history books.