Now, more than ever, it’s important to move away from two party system

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, November 8, 2016

By the time most of you read this, you most likely will have cast your vote for this nation’s next president.

It’s a safe bet that everyone who headed to the polls knew which button they would press before leaving the house.

But let me pose a question. Did you consider one of the candidates outside of our nation’s prevailing two party system?

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It can be tough to consider a candidate who didn’t receive a major party’s nomination, and therefore wasn’t invited to participate in nationally televised debates.

What makes it worse is there’s a stigma concerning voting for a candidate outside of the red and blue parties; at times these people are told they are “throwing their vote away.”

This weekend at the Street Festival, I stopped to speak with a vendor wearing a shirt he later said was getting a lot of attention. His shirt had three candidates listed; Trump, Clinton and Johnson. On his shirt, the first two names were crossed out and Johnson’s was circled.

To me, his shirt carried an interesting message; why pick from only two choices, when you can pick from three, or five for that matter?

The vendor said his shirt was not getting attention due to my observation, but because people were offended that Trump’s name was crossed out. He said people were less offended that Clinton’s name was crossed out. But that could be explained by the fact this is a predominately red state.

After walking away from his tent, a short distance down the street I overheard a man talking about the shirt.

Just as the vendor mentioned, the man only commented on the fact that Trump’s name was crossed out, not about any other aspect of the shirt. It’s evident that person still only sees our elections as between Democrat or Republican.

To me, voters should take a step back, and question why the public is only provided with two “viable” options. Only then will we have a bigger pool to choose from.