Watch out Trump and Clinton, the third party is on the rise


Jacob Tutterow, Reporter

With all of the toxicity involved in today’s politics, voters looking for an alternative can rest easy. While Republican nominee Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton attempt to clinch the vote with five to ten percent between the two, Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson keeps rising in the polls with ten percent nationwide, according to NBC News.

The newfound popularity of the third party foreshadows a potential breakup of the current two party system.  Most voters, especially older voters, have no knowledge about third party candidates; however, younger voters who see all the hostility in the political system research for an alternative. With the Libertarian Party typically on the top of third party polls, hundreds of thousands of voters took notice in this year’s election.

As a socially liberal candidate, Johnson’s positions on issues facing the country show that he wants to pull out of all military operations in the Middle East and decriminalize marijuana. Furthermore, the Libertarian Party urges the government to stay out of people’s personal lives and reduce the amount of government agencies and unneeded spending.

During the wait for the general election, several news outlets host general election debates. Though typically third party candidates do not participate in these debates, news outlets report a third podium in the plans for the first general election debate on September 26. To participate in the debates, candidates need at least 15 percent in national polls taken by several news outlets.

“I’m trying to appeal to the majority of Americans whom I think are libertarian, but just don’t know it,” Gary Johnson said in a CNN interview.

Johnson vows to undertake the issue all presidential candidates attempt: reducing the national debt. With a solid strategy of majorly cutting all federal government programs, the reduction may not be impossible. His plan includes cutting entitlement programs by as much as 42 percent, as well as abolishing farmers’ subsidies. He also plans on reducing the amount of military bases outside of the US, advocating for a more defensive and non-interventionist military.

Skeptics of the up-and-coming third party candidate still doubt the importance of a party comeback. Trump supporters argue a vote for Johnson means a vote for Hillary, and vice versa. If all people who believe in his message voted for him, without fear of the opposing candidate winning, though, he could triumph.

No matter who wins in the general election, the third party will shake up the established politics in America. The 2016 election will set a precedent for future elections to come, and may break the two party system America so desperately clings to.