Whatever Happened to the Third Party Candidates?

In a move that shocked many people, Donald Trump has been elected the next President of the United States. Throughout the presidential race, many voters had been shown to dislike Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, the two main candidates. Due to this, third party candidates hoped to promote themselves as better options. Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party nominee, and Jill Stein, the Green Party nominee, emerged as alternate choices for people who did not identify with the views of the Democratic and Republican parties.

Regrettably, neither candidate received much media coverage. Gary Johnson mostly ended up being known for his “What’s Aleppo” moment, and even an arrest warrant issued for Jill Stein in September was not treated as a major news story. Since neither of the main third party candidates were in the news much during the actual election, it isn’t really a surprise that, with the exception of Jill Stein’s involvement with voting recounts, most of their later actions were barely covered by any news media. However, the fact that they did not win does not mean they had nothing interesting to say.

In his election night speech, Gary Johnson started off by talking about how he received the endorsements of more newspapers than Donald Trump. Talking about the election results, in which his ticket got the highest percentage and number of votes in Libertarian Party history, Johnson said, “This is a celebration. I think it is just the start of a really big movement. The Libertarian Movement.”

On the fact that third party candidates are not part of the Presidential debates, Johnson stated, “Today 50 percent of Americans registering to vote are registering as independent. Well, where is that representation?” Johnson gave Trump his best wishes to “bring America together,” and said that, “You change things by voting for who you believe in,” and encouraged his supporters to “always hold your head up high.” Johnson, who also ran for president in 2012, has since revealed that he does not plan to seek public office again.

Jill Stein, who came in fourth place in the election, is still very involved with it. Though she has criticized both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, Stein has become a leader in the effort to recount the votes in some states. After a team of computer scientists and election lawyers told the Clinton campaign that electronic ballot results in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan could have been tampered with, Stein raised money to have the votes in those states recounted. Clinton has since joined in the recounts, while Trump has called them a “scam.”

Even though they didn’t win, Johnson and Stein still had interesting things to say about the election. However, the fact that most news media has no interest in covering third party candidates unless they can show them getting confused over what Aleppo is means that not many people will get to hear what they had to say. Given how much dislike there was for both candidates in the last election, and how divided the country is over the results, Gary Johnson certainly seems to have good point about how many people lack representation in our political system. Hopefully, some day the media does give third party candidates a chance so that there can be more than two voices in our country. It just doesn’t seem like that’s going to happen any time soon.

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