We’re in the middle of a close presidential race, and many Americans are unhappy with their party’s nominee — so much so that “settle for Biden” has become a trend on social media. Around 40% of Americans want a third party, according to a poll by CNN.
Both campaigns are trying to appeal to people who aren’t voting because they don’t feel compelled to by any candidate. It’s possible that a third party could represent Americans better and make them get out and vote. But unfortunately, third parties in the United States aren’t given a fair chance to represent the American people.
The 2020 election is not the first time third-party candidates’ inability to participate in presidential debates has sparked outrage. Jill Stein, the nominee for the Green Party, and Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party nominee, did not qualify to be in any of the presidential debates in 2016. Stein took a more aggressive stance by asking supporters to get her onto the debate stage without being invited by the commission.
Now, Howie Hawkins, the 2020 Green Party presidential nominee, is lobbying for himself and all third-party nominees to be part of the last presidential debate of this year.
Hawkins, a Syracuse resident, has a long political history. He co-founded the Green Party in 1984 and is an environmentalist. He received the Green Party’s nomination in July and picked Angela Walker, a professional environmental activist, to be his running mate. She’s described on her campaign website as “A fierce advocate for the rights of Black, Brown and Indigenous people, the LGBTQIA community, Labor and the Earth itself.”
These are issues our politicians in power need to address right now. Both Hawkins and Walker could be the change we need in America, but they are being unrightfully silenced.
The Green Party of New York describes itself as social justice advocates, grassroots activists and environmentalists.
“Government must be part of the solution, but when it’s controlled by the 1%, it’s part of the problem,” the party’s website states. Many Americans would agree with the removal of billionaires and capitalism in politics.
Pew Research Center found in 2018 that 77% of Americans believe there should be a limit on campaign spending. This might level the playing field for politicians who don’t take money from big donors.
We see this in both the way President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden conduct themselves in interviews and speeches. Trump is frequently heard saying “drain the swamp,” in reference to corruption in politics. Biden has been adamant about saying he’s taking small, grassroots donations over billionaires’ money.
The Green Party is proposing necessary changes to the way Americans live. The party focuses on inclusivity and building an environmentally-aware world.
The Green Party could be mistaken for having similar ideas to the Democratic Party, but its website draws clear distinctions. The party’s website goes after Democrats for not being set enough on their issues, often calling them out for “lukewarm support” of topics such as abortion rights.
Hawkins, Walker and the Green Party also stand strong on issues related to gender equality. With the possible confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court and recent concerns about her stance on Roe v. Wade, gender equality is an issue on the forefront of many Americans’ minds.
If the Green Party is accurately representing the American people in a way that Democratic and Republican nominees are not, what is the harm of letting them debate? Third-party candidates deserve a chance to pull votes from the Democratic or Republican Party, and the American people should have a chance to hear what they have to say. Third parties belong on the debate stage.
The Daily Orange