Game Change: Third Party Candidates for 2012

John Monday

There are few surprises in the latter part of the election process in the United States. Constant polling and months of campaigning have taken the surprise aspect out of most elections. The American public has also been barraged with the policies of Mitt Romney and Barack Obama for months now. There was, however, one surprise recently I did not expect. During the debates there was sometimes agreement, and very little dialogue, between the two candidates on some issues like foreign policy. This upset me a bit. Did this agreement between the two parties mean the issues were resolved? Would there be any more conversation or opposing views on this issue? Luckily, that debate and their policies are not the end all be all. Third party candidates in this election offer viewpoints outside the mainstream that can help this nation progress. Although they might not have the best chance of winning, I feel I would be remiss to not try and give the third party candidates some media attention, even if it is only read by the Malvern students and faculty. There are four major candidates on the ballot this year that are neither Democrat nor Republican, and they are trying to reach the highest office in the United States.

Jill Stein is one of these candidates. Running with the Green Party, Jill advocates a “Green New Deal” in which she proposes mass employment by creating new jobs addressing climate change and environmental issues. She would fund the plan with a 30% reduction in the military budget, returning US troops home, and increasing taxes in areas such as capital gains, offshore tax havens and multimillion dollar real estate. She also plans on impacting crises in the environment through infrastructure emphasizing clean renewable energy. She has also received some endorsements from prominent people such as former third party candidate Ralph Nader and author Noam Chomsky.

Gary Johnson is the Libertarian party candidate. He is basically a fiscal conservative who also has socially progressive views. He is very Ron Paul-esque in his views of government, believing in limited government and military non interventionism. Johnson is in favor of simplifying and reducing taxes and slashing government spending including Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, and plans to balance the Federal Budget immediately. Johnson is a strong supporter of civil liberties and received the highest score of any candidate from the A.C.L.U.

Two other candidates running for the presidency are Virgil Goode of the Constitution party who wishes to return the United States to a nation based on the founding documents. Rocky Anderson is running for the Justice party and is running on a platform of economic justice through green jobs and a right to organize, environmental justice through enforcing employee safeguards in trade agreements, and social and civic justice through universal health care.

These four candidates all were involved in the debate for third party candidates. They are not, however, the only ones. A simple Google search for third party candidates in 2012 will lead you to a list of people with different viewpoints. In my opinion, other parties need to be recognized in this modern political era. There are more than just Democratic and Republican viewpoints, and if America is truly going to progress as a nation, every opinion and voice should be heard.