Third-party candidates better option for Americans

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America is divided more than ever this election season, and people being constrained to their political party only adds to that division.

The two-party system is not just elephants and donkeys butting heads. It’s where the electoral college gives the majority of its votes to two major parties: Republicans and Democrats. Third-party candidates can receive votes as well, they typically just don’t get as many. 

While I value our two-party system, I don’t think it’s America’s only option, especially this election. Those closest to me know I would never vote for Republican nominee Donald Trump or Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, and I’m not the only one who feels this way. According to a New York Times poll, Clinton leads at 46 percent, while Trump sits at 40.4 percent in election polls. So, my only option, being I don’t like either candidate, is to vote for a third-party candidate. 

Third-party candidates haven’t been successful this election season because they haven’t gotten enough media exposure, which might be because they don’t have as much campaign money as Trump and Clinton do. But that shouldn’t sway your attention from looking into third-party candidates such as former Libertarian governor Gary Johnson of New Mexico, Green Party nominee Jill Stein of Massachusetts and Independent nominee Evan McMullin of Utah.

McMullin stands a high chance of winning Utah this election. No third-party candidate has won a state since 1968, when former Governor George Wallace of Alabama won five states in the south. Part of McMullin’s strategy is not letting Trump and Clinton win the 270 electoral votes, which means the House of Representatives would have to elect the next president. Having a good strategy and being competitive is key, and McMullin seems to have both of these down. It will be interesting to see where this leads him.

Society often thinks we have to stick to our guns and stay with the party we affiliate ourselves with, but that is just idiotic. I’ve heard many of my Republican friends say they’re disgusted by what Trump says about women, but they still choose to vote for him because they’re Republican.

This whole election has been a shit show with the media paying attention to how both Trump and Clinton act and third-party candidates not receiving enough support to have media recognition the way Trump and Clinton do. 

Even though it seems like a third-party candidate doesn’t stand a chance at winning the election this late in the game, they can still have the power to sway the election and win electoral votes.

We as Americans deserve to hear all sides. Vote for who you want; voting for the lesser evil shouldn’t be an option. If you don’t like Trump or Clinton, and their values don’t match up with yours, consider voting for a third-party candidate.