You hear it all the time swirling around the water cooler in your office, among your friends over a bonfire, and even when you call home to catch up with your parents; this election is messy with a capital “M.” Many people are so unhappy with the two major party nominees that they’re thinking about not voting in November at all.
Stop right there. Back it up. Not voting is the best way to watch this race get messier and to set yourself up for more discontent and complaints after the election. We are super lucky to live in a country that gives every adult a say in our representation. So let’s use that. You don’t want to vote for Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump? That doesn’t mean that you are out of options.
Parties outside of the bipartisan system of American politics are the answer to your prayers. The major players are the Constitution Party of the U.S., the Green Party, and the Libertarian Party. In an election such as this, these third parties have a real chance to gain traction.
So if Clinton and Trump aren’t your style, check out one of the nominees from the previously stated parties and see if they strike your fancy. If not, though, there are plenty of other independent parties from state to state that will be on your ballot come election day, or that you can write in yourself.
Constitution Party of the U.S.
The Constitution party is an extremely traditional group of political actors that advocate for the principles set forth in the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the Declaration of Independence, and the Bible. It is the fifth largest party in the United States.
Darrell Castle, the Constitution presidential nominee, is a Marine Corps veteran and a has over 25 years of experience as a lawyer. He is a faithful Christian with an extensive background in the Constitution party, believing in traditionalism and adherence to the Constitution. His running mate and vice presidential nominee, Scott Bradley, hails from Utah, where served in the Utah Air National Guard before dedicating time to missionary work with his church and ultimately going into business as an executive at AT&T and higher education at Utah State University. He has also founded a nonprofit and hosted a political radio show. He has over 40 years of political experience.
The Green Party is based on the ideas and principles of something called green politics. These include environmentalism, social justice, nonviolence, and grassroots democracy. Currently, there are over 100 elected officials representing the green party in the United States. The Green Party takes no corporate money and claims that they are working toward building a clean government that works for everyone, rather than just for the top 1% of America.
Dr. Jill Stein began her career as a physician, soon turning her energy to focus on activism in the name of the environment and how it is intertwined with human health. She has run for president and Massachusetts Governor as the Green Party nominee in past years. She currently holds the record for most votes received by any woman in the general election.
The Libertarian party is a group that believes in liberty, enterprise, and personal responsibility. This party promotes laissez-faire economics, civil liberties, and ridding America of the welfare state. It is the third largest political party in the United States, with over 400,000 voters registered as Libertarian.
Gary Johnson says that his party is more culturally liberal than the Democrats and more fiscally conservative than the Republicans. He has previously served as the Governor of New Mexico. He has run for president as a Republican before, but dropped out of the race when excluded from Republican debates. His running mate, Bill Weld, is also a businessman and former governor (Massachusetts) looking to find a job at the White House.
The above are just a few of the independent candidates running for president in 2016. If any of them seem interesting to you, go to their websites to find out more on what they’re all about. Just because the two most publicized nominees aren’t your cup of tea, doesn’t mean you should skip the polls this fall. Doing your civic duty is one of the best things about #adulting.
image via Laura Claypool