Voters should consider third parties

If I see one more political campaign ad online, I may just lose it.

The political process is little more than a team sport and no one cares who the quarterback is, they simply want to see their team to its victorious end. I rarely hear constructive dialogue, but the airwaves are never short of ad homonym attacks.

When I’m questioned about my political affiliation, the only options I hear are Republican or Democrat, Romney or Obama, Liberal or Conservative. How about no?

We tend to view politics as a medium for us to guide the direction of our country, but then again politicians aren’t typically known for being good promise-keepers.

Before President Obama was elected into the White House, he spoke out against the wars he inherited, including the domestic war on drugs. In 2010 alone, 1.64 million individuals were arrested for drug violations and nearly half of those included cases consisting of small amounts of marijuana.

Fret not, Obama said he simply needs a second term to fix America’s domestic drug policy. Whew, I thought he had forgotten about it. And although Middle Eastern politics and the United States’ foreign policies are far too complex for this space, it is important to remember we are, for our intents and purposes, still at war.

Despite being awarded a Nobel Peace Prize, Obama’s administration has authorized more drone strikes than President Bush’s.

These strikes have caused the deaths of innocent individuals, including American citizens. One man’s collateral damage is another man’s wife and children. By the way, does anyone know if Guantanamo Bay is still open?

And don’t even get me started on Republicans.

Conservatives hail presidential candidate Mitt Romney and running mate Paul Ryan as the heroes of fiscal responsibility, the crusaders of the champions of the free market. I haven’t heard a joke that good since I saw an “Obama 2012 = Peace” bumper sticker. Mitt Romney arguably laid out the foundation for the Republican sin of all sins, Obamacare, but now vows to use his big, bad soon-to-be-but-not-really-possible executive power to obliterate it on his first day.

He promised, guys, and I think he means it this time. Alright, alright; so Mitt Romney isn’t the most charming candidate. How about his running mate, Paul Ryan?

When debating the passage of TARP, commonly referred to as the bank bailout, Paul Ryan argued, “This bill offends my principles. But I’m going to vote for this bill in order to preserve my principles.” Well, damn! How can I support a guy on principle who doesn’t support his own principles?

So much of our voting mentality is derived from a lack of other options. For example, some of my best friends are Republicans and very few of them are thrilled about a Mitt Romney presidency. Their reason for campaigning is that of “Anyone but Obama.” In other words, many Republicans are campaigning to remove someone they don’t support and replace him with someone else they don’t support.

This is political logic at its finest, ladies and gentlemen. Just the same, I know several Democrats who have no answers for benchmarking Obama poorly besides placing the blame on external causes, specifically past presidents and a lack of ample time. Both political parties have realized that we’ll support whichever candidate they field because we seem to care more about party rather than person or issue.

Even now, as you’re reading, I would venture to guess that you loved one of the above paragraphs on the two contenders, but absolutely hated the other. We close our minds to other perspectives as we’re bred to think as a collective rather than as individuals.

There are alternative, third-party options that need to be considered.

The fact of the matter is that both political parties are bad jokes, and frankly, I’m dreading the punch line. We fearlessly fight those who belong to the opposition, even when our principles aren’t truly defended by the side we support.

We cast votes to give these individuals power over us, over our lives, over our friends’ and family’s lives, but do we ever truly feel that either of these candidates are deserving of it?

Respond to Chance at

[email protected]