The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Time to stop voting for the lesser of two evils

In my experience speaking to some Guilford College voters, there seems to be an attitude of voting for “the lesser of two evils.” There is a dichotomy of Democrats, who are expected to fully support President Barack Obama, and Republicans, who are expected to fully support Mitt Romney. If you are registered to vote, you have the freedom to vote for whoever you wish, right? So, why does it seem like politics only cares about these two men?

On Oct. 16, Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein and vice presidential Candidate Cheri Honkala were arrested outside of Hofstra University before the second presidential debate.

ABC News reports, “Stein and Honkala were jailed for disorderly conduct around 3 p.m. when they were blocked by police officers as they attempted to enter the debate hall, according to Stein’s campaign manager Ben Manski.”

Stein’s website describes an impromptu press conference held by the Green Party during which Stein said, “We are here to bring the courage of those excluded from our politics to this mock debate, this mockery of democracy.”

While I am not saying that Jill Stein is the “ideal” candidate, she raises a vital question.

As a democratic nation with a government “of the people, by the people, for the people,” according to Former President Abraham Lincoln, why are the Democrat and Republican parties the only ones getting any real attention?

ABC News reports that, “The Presidential Debate Commission requires that candidates have a mathematical possibility of achieving the 270 electoral college votes necessary to be elected, and the candidates must have at least 15 percent support in public opinion based on the average of five national polls in order to participate.”

In some ways, that makes sense. A candidate should have a realistic chance at presidency to participate. However, the issue is that people watch the debates to become informed. If we had other voices, more people would feel comfortable supporting different parties and those parties would be able to achieve the numbers that make presidency possible. Instead, we tell other candidates to sit in a corner, to build their own support, while Democrats and Republicans are fed it through these debates and mainstream media. It seems that all anyone ever hears about is Obama and Romney.

Even if you do the research and decide that another candidate would be better suited to what you want for our nation, many consider a vote for another party “a waste of a vote,” in the words of some Guilford students. Chances are that we will have either another Republican or Democrat president.

Votes are being funneled towards these two major parties making it seem like there are only two political views in the entire country of the United States, which is obviously untrue.

We don’t need more recycled ideas from the same two parties. What we need are options, a debate that shows more of the millions of viewpoints in our country, instead of chaining the people to one of two parties.

While I won’t get into the politics of whether or not it is right to arrest an individual for protesting, I will say that what Stein protested for is the right of the American people to vote for the best candidate, not the lesser of two evils. That is a right that we all should be defending.
According to the Washington Post, Honkala told reporters, “Democracy starts today with opening up the debates for every single political party in the United States of America.”

That is a future I hope to see.


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