The case for a third option vote your values this November

special to the Minnesota Daily and Ryan R. Hanson

I have been following political elections for as long as I can remember. I don’t truly know what has caused this, but I can take a stab at many different things that may have led to it such as: watching the first African-American President get elected back in 2008, seeing my father run for both mayor and city council in my small hometown, and watching the rise of both Ron Paul in 2012 and Bernie Sanders just this last year. I’ve followed elections from a very young age, but until now, I never gave any third party option — be it the Greens, Libertarians, Independents, or Constitutionalists — even a passing thought.

Now, we find ourselves in an election year where the two main party candidates are more hated than any others, yet they still pull an incredibly high amount of support, nationally. Some people may ask themselves why someone so disliked by the American public, such as Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, is doing so well, and the answer is simply fear.

People on the left and right have been pushed into a corner by the mainline parties and told that, “A vote for someone else is a vote for him/her!” Now, I have never understood this sentiment.

Even though I may disagree with Ted Cruz on a great many things, his urging of individuals to “vote their conscience” at the RNC has stuck with me. When individuals are deciding something as important as the Commander-in-Chief of the most powerful country in the world, I would hope they will vote not against the person whomever they hate but rather for the one they align with the most, be it Gary Johnson, Jill Stein, Darrell Castle, or someone else.

So this election year, I urge individuals tired of the gridlock, the crony capitalism, the money being used to buy elections, and the blatant corruption within the government to listen to their hearts and conscience and to vote for whomever is their ideal choice on election night.