In Defense of Independent Candidates

Before I get started I want to make clear that this is not a defense of Schultz nor is this a defense of another billionaire deciding he wants to be president. This is more a response to people telling Schultz to “pick a party” and the stranglehold the Republicans and Democrats have on our country.

Legal requirements for presidential candidates have remained the same since the year Washington accepted the presidency. As directed by the Constitution, a presidential candidate must be a natural-born citizen of the United States, a resident for 14 years, and 35 years of age or older. That’s it. There is no requirement to be a Republican or a Democrat, but rules have been put in place to make it almost impossible to win the election if you do not join one of the two major parties. Since the Commission on Presidential Debates took over the presidential debates in 1987 it has become harder for third-party candidates to participate. Since 2000, CPD has required candidates appear on enough state ballots to win and register at least 15 percent in five national polls. It isn’t easy for the candidates to appear on the ballots and many polls don’t even include the third-party candidates as an option. This makes it pretty much impossible for the third party candidates to appear in a debate where they could increase their profile and get their message out to the voting public. This is exactly how the RNC and DNC like it.  They don’t want to lose control of US politics. Unfortunately, the many people have bought in to the “pick a party” mentality and will get angry if you say you will vote for a third party candidate. At the very least they will tell you you are wasting your vote. Personally, I believe it is a waste of a vote to insist on voting for a candidate you don’t like because they have the “right” party next to their name. Third party and independent candidates are good for the country and might help with the gridlock, “us vs them” game that keeps the government from progressing. We should change the rules to give them a level playing ground.

I get why people are worried about Schultz running. They have legitimate concerns that he might split votes and it will result in re-electing our moron in chief. I get that, but I also strongly believe that it goes against the spirit of America to tell someone that they should pick a party to run for president.

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