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In defense of the third party

By Preston Coleman

Gary Johnson is weird. The bike-riding, mountain-climbing, weed-smoking former governor of New Mexico has a lot of quirks and bizarre mannerisms for a man running for president of the United States, but what else is new in this election?

With advertisements from both of the major party candidates focusing on issues as e-mail scandals, mean words and paid speaking engagements, so little substance is being discussed that Johnson’s clear, though sometimes odd, positions on a variety of issues facing Americans today are refreshing.

However, Johnson will not win this election, despite facing the two most unpopular major party candidates in recent history.

Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump would, individually, be the most disliked candidate in the last ten election cycles on their own. When taken together, the Republican and Democratic candidates should have faced hatred and negativity going into this election, creating an environment where a dark horse could storm in and change the landscape of the two-party system.

Unfortunately, this year’s dark horse just isn’t cutting it. Thanks partly to some draconian rules that limit third party involvement on the national stage, and partly to the way media outlets conduct their polls, Johnson, likely, will not get enough public interest to have the chance.

While anyone can vote for Johnson and his running mate, former Massachusetts governor Bill Weld, there is little to no chance that Johnson will be able to win a single state, let alone the title of president.

What option is there, then, for a voter who doesn’t particularly like the idea of electing a man with no real policies on some very serious issues, or a woman who has demonstrated on multiple occasions a deficiency in her ability to handle national security issues?

At this point, it seems Johnson has little hope of victory. But he is still an option, so why vote for Johnson?

Consider voting not for Johnson, the man running for president, but for Johnson, the symbol of a movement. Consider voting not for “#NeverTrump” or “#NeverHillary,” but for a political system characterized by open dialogue and discussion rather than a divisive two-party system that thrives on polarization and division.

Consider voting in defiance of the media-controlled state—which suppresses independent candidates—and in support of increased unity, enhanced opportunities and greater potential for diversity.


Preston Coleman is a senior at Oklahoma Christian University. 

The opinions of guest columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Talon or Oklahoma Christian University. Guest opinions are presented to foster public debate on important topics and comments should be respectful and signed.

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