“Political spectrum” has only 2 shades

“Our democracy is but a name. We Vote? What does that mean? It means that we choose between two bodies of real, though not avowed, autocrats. We choose between Tweedle-dum and Tweedledee,” said perhaps one of the most intelligent people in American history–Helen Keller. With the elections just two years away, students who will be able to vote seriously need to start thinking about which presidential hopeful best represents them as a candidate. However, the system we live in does not leave a whole lot of options. Sure, people are going to choose who is going to represent the main two parties through the system of caucuses and primaries, but what if you find there is no candidate from either party that satisfies your need? It seems today that when it comes time to vote, you only have two choices. That seems silly to me. Lots of people hate the Republican Party, and a lot of people hate the Democratic Party. It seems that even more people hate them both. In New York City in 2006, there were more registered independents than there were registered Republicans. In California, the most populous state, a majority of voters are not registered with a party. These statistics show a major flaw in our electoral process. The flaw is the party system. Each candidate should not have to worry about filling party obligations and should worry about what the people who voted for him or her want. They should run on their own platforms made of their own chosen planks rather than have to worry about whether their views will make them too radical to run for their party. In American history third parties have been used as catalysts of change. The prime example of this is the Populist Party of the late 19th century. No Populist president was elected, but the Populist plank of direct election of senators became the 17th amendment. So third parties have been historically and politically significant. With the way that the war in Iraq is going, the scandals in Washington, and our failing economy, it is obvious that a change is needed. Change will most likely not come from voting for either a set of shining teeth or a guy with awesome hair for a 50-year-old. Change will come from the third party that puts pressure on the other two. Fellow students, when it comes time to listen to the presidential hopefuls, don’t limit it to only two parties. Listen to what the Green, Libertarian, Socialist, Constitution, Reform, and many others have to say. It might one day be law.