Whether engaged in an act of rebellion or feigned obligation, third party voters have always valued their own feelings over the fate of America.
Since the dawn of the two-party system, third party candidates have never had a chance to butt heads with the big shots, much less win a presidential election. The last one to gain any electoral votes whatsoever was George Wallace of the American Independent Party, an offshoot of the Republican Party that now endorses Donald Trump, in 1968. Today’s fan-favorite Libertarian and Green parties have never hit the board.
Libertarian messiah Ron Paul agrees. Despite winning his party’s nomination in 1988, Paul wasn’t even included on the ballot in some states. When he rose from the grave in 2008 for a couple more rounds, it was as a Republican.
After all those years, Paul took the stage and got his face on TV. Millennials fell in love with him for his vocal endorsement of weed. America noticed how untraditional he was thanks to his adherence to the traditional two-party system. A Republican in name only back then, Paul now enjoys his retirement as a member of the Libertarian Party.
Of course, even as a so-called Republican, Paul never had a chance. Despite his lack of votes, he stayed on that stage as long he was allowed. He wasn’t hoping for a miracle. Rather, he was milking his screentime for all it was worth, spreading his new opinions further than his considerably less politically correct newsletters from his Libertarian stint ever could.
Weed found another face this year in Bernie Sanders, another savvy non-traditionalist with some saucy old writings, this time a socialist running in the Democratic Party. Perhaps he had a chance with voters, but he certainly never had one with the Democratic National Committee bigwigs. If you’re not normal, someone is always going to snip you out.
So who are our actual third party candidates this year? Libertarians have Gary Johnson, who is pretty much useless for their agenda without the big voice and charisma. The only reason one would vote for him is to avoid supporting Trump or Clinton. The media has espoused him as your only moral option, though the Green Party’s Jill Stein, an anti-censorship, pro-privacy, outspoken supporter of WikiLeaks, might do more for your conscience.
When you vote on Nov. 8, force your shaking hand onto someone who has a chance, then go home and scream out your untraditional beliefs until the morning comes. No one ever has to know.