With political advertisements consuming every spare ad space on the web, in print and on air, it’s hard to get away from the upcoming presidential election. Ads attack voters everywhere we go, campaigning for our individual vote, appealing to our values and our lives. Almost everyone has chosen a side, either leaning towards Obama and his democratic views or Romney and his republican ways, but most people ignore the independent parties, casting them aside as a wasted vote. We, here at Whim, think voters should pay attention to all the options instead of just writing the little parties off as a wasted vote.
Yes, we understand the track record of past presidential elections. And no, there has never been an independent presidential candidate elected, but this is because no one has ever taken these candidates as serious contenders. We fail to even allow the independent candidates to voice their opinions in the presidential debates.
This author, as an undecided voter, has been quite disappointed with both candidates thus far and has been unable to lean towards one more than the other. With an ever-present absentee ballot staring me in the face, the pressure to make a decision has been eating away at me. I started researching all the candidates and the aspects of their platforms and really began to realize how much we miss out on by focusing on the two major parties and casting the little ones away.
These parties don’t have to remain as our only mediocre options. If a voter thoroughly agrees with a third party candidate, but votes for one of the two major parties because they don’t want to throw their vote away, is he or she not truly wasting said vote? If a person votes for Romney or Obama, but agrees more with a third party candidate, that person is throwing his or her vote away. The point of democracy is for the people to choose who runs the country, but if we sit back and watch these valid third party candidates being ignored, we are throwing away the beauty of choice that represents America.
In order to change the current mindset of the American people, it is going to take some strong-willed individuals to stand up for the third party and stand behind the candidates they support. The third party will never be a serious contender until the American people start viewing them in that way. People are going to have to vote for these candidates for them to ever gain presence in the political scene. Until people vote for these candidates, they will not be allowed to voice their opinions in presidential debates and their valid claims and platforms will continue to be ignored.
Here at Whim, we encourage voters of all ages to vote for the candidate they see fit for the job. Whether that candidate be Republican, Democrat or an independent third party, we challenge voters to cast their vote in the way they see fit and not worry about wasting their vote, because until we start voting for lesser-known people, their views will never gain a serious chance.