More students and faculty are straying away from Democrat and Republican and registering for alternative parties
By Jackson Santy ’13 &
Charles Louis Dominguez ’14
In the last few weeks, the Democratic and Republican National Conventions have both made headlines.
Politicians, celebrities and voters alike have rallied in support of either Mitt Romney or President Barack Obama.
However, with all the coverage of Republicans and Democrats, little has been publicized about the “other” parties.
In the midst of two vigorous campaigns, the viewpoints of third parties can be lost in the spectacle.
While Brophy houses such politically-minded clubs as Young Democrats and Teenage Republicans, a small sector of independent or third party students remain unrepresented.
Independent voters and parties such as Libertarian and Green remain under the radar on campus.
There does exist however, a collection of students and faculty who are either registered voters or supporters of these parties.
Although Mason Swierenga ’14 is not yet old enough to register, he considers himself an independent.
Swierenga said he believes that “none of the parties have gotten it right” and that they need each other in order to continue the flow of ideas.
“The idea of a party is good because it brings people together, it brings their ideas together, but then it makes their ideas so exclusive that nobody else can present ideas in that platform,” Swierenga said.
“I feel like if I agree with the idea, I can agree with the politician, whoever it is,” Swierenga said.
Third party support is not limited to students.
Faculty members like Mr. Ian Aston are also registered with alternative parties.
Mr. Aston, a registered Libertarian, said he strongly believes in “individual freedom” and that the government should be limited in terms of “the ways it infringes on people.”
“Aristotle writes about politics as being people in a community answering the question ‘how then should we live,’” Mr. Aston said. “I don’t think that that’s a general question I want government dictating on most things.”
“Even though I’m registered as a Libertarian, there’s still the hard piece of feeling like you throw your vote away at times,” Mr. Aston said.
Other students like Colin Marston ’13, a registered Green, strayed away from the Democratic Party because he did not believe in many of its policies.
“I was really tired of the lesser of two evils mentality that pervades a lot in our two party system,” Marston said.
“People say that the only option is this option and that’s not true, you can build a healthy alternative that’s suitable to your ideals and what is realistic, and the Green Party tries to do that,” Marston continued.
The Green Party was originally created as a response to the environmental movement that began in the 1960s during the Nixon administration.
The party advocates for a less aggressive foreign policy, withdrawing from foreign nations in the Middle East, cutting down on executive authority and power, and more of a centralized, local government.
“The presidential candidate that’s running for the Green Party this year is Jill Stein,” Marston said. “Her main platform is ‘The Green New Deal.’”
According to Marston, the “Green New Deal” is a take on FDR’s New Deal from the Great Depression
“We’re trying to fashion something new in the democratic process,” Marston said. “We’re trying to give birth to a new faith and a new hope in the democratic processes that has been lost to apathy and all this waste we can see in this campaign.”
“American’s want third party candidates; they want Ron Paul, they want Jill Stein, they want these voices to be heard but they’re not,” Marston said. “It’s a considered effort on the part of elite and electorates to make sure those voices aren’t heard.”