These Third-Party Candidates For President Are Worth Considering If You're Not Feeling The Bern, Clinton, Or Trump
On Tuesday, presidential frontrunners Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton got even closer to their respective parties' nominations after they each won big in the New York primaries. Their victories weren't the least bit surprising, but they were undoubtedly frustrating for opponents of the politically incorrect businessman and the controversial former secretary of state. At this point, it seems unlikely that any other candidate in a mainstream party will win a nomination, much less the presidency. So if you can't stand Trump and you're tired of presidents named Clinton, where should you go? Perhaps it's time for a third-party candidate.
Sure, New York didn't put Trump or Clinton over the delegate threshold they need to capture their parties' nominations. However, it dealt a pretty impactful blow to the trailing candidates on both sides of the aisle. For Republicans, Trump's win on Tuesday guaranteed that no other candidate could win the GOP nomination unless there's a contested convention. On the Democratic side, Clinton's win was a numeric and symbolic victory, proving that she does still have the momentum needed to win the nomination, after losing several contests in a row to Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.
Third-party candidates don't traditionally get much attention in presidential election cycles, but there's really nothing traditional about this election. There's been speculation that certain Republican and Democratic candidates could run as Independents, and there could be a contested convention in the near future. Anything could happen — including a third-party success.
Dr. Jill Stein is running as a candidate for the Green Party, the fourth-largest political party in the country by membership. The left-leaning party emphasizes environmental issues and social justice, and it opposes corporate influence in politics. A graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Medical School, Stein previously ran for the White House on the Green Party's ticket in 2012, and she is particularly concerned with environmental health.
Ahead of the Green Party in membership is the Libertarian Party, which stands for, above all else, reducing the size of the government and minimizing government intervention into the everyday lives of Americans. Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson previously served as the Republican governor of New Mexico from 1994 until 2003. Johnson maintains his fiscal conservatism from his years in the GOP, proposing the need for a balanced federal budget and fewer taxes — but he lacks all the bold, too-loud talk of a massive militarized wall at the Southern border.
A Tennessee-based attorney, Darrell Castle represents the Constitution Party, which is perhaps even more vehemently opposed to illegal immigration than Trump. Castle was a Marine during the Vietnam War, and his personal website, The Castle Report, identifies him as a strong Christian. The Constitution Party opposes gun control, Common Core, and the Affordable Care Act.
An American of Syrian descent, Souraya Faas has worked as a school teacher in Florida since her college days. She's barely old enough to serve as president, but Faas is running as an Independent in order to oppose the gridlock that she sees in government as a result of the two-party system. As the daughter of Syrian immigrants, Faas could bring a particularly relevant voice to the current election.
Another Independent candidate barely old enough for the White House is Steve Gladsone. Gladstone's background is in computer science — he even developed his own campaign website. He has worked in information technology for several federal, state, and local agencies, including the U.S. Army. Like Faas, Gladstone also opposes the two-party structure of politics, but he's much more blunt about it on his website. "I wasn't aware our political system was a Twilight movie," he wrote, for instance. Gladstone is also focused on protecting privacy and intellectual property, which makes sense given his background.
When election season rolls around, it's usually conventional thinking that America just isn't ready for a third-party candidate. Now, there are plenty of people thinking America isn't ready for a mainstream candidate like Trump. If that's the case, then maybe one of the third-party candidates has a chance after all.