by Melissa Smith | co-Editor in Chief
Senior Garrison Neal, with a confident demeanor, does not pause as he expresses his concerns and beliefs on government, even though his party is widely frowned upon in the United States. He is unashamed and proud as explains why, to him, it is the most beneficial platform.
“I think that [the Socialist party] would the most efficient system for a nation of our type. I don’t expect the United States to ever socialize, but I think when you look at it on a scale of morality and practical economics, a socialized system would be the best.”
Neal then applies this platform and compares it to the Democratic party.
“The difference between that and truly liberal economists is that whereas a democrat would say they want regulation a really liberal interpretation such as a socialist or even some Green party members, is that they actually want government to have control of economic sectors. So things like health care, and insurance, they want the government control completely, in addition to all the regulations put on banking,” Neal explains.
Considering that the Socialist party is quite minuscule in America, he is forced to settle upon the Green party and Democratic party. Many Americans face this problem: their party is unpopular and does not stand up against the two party system.
“[The Green Party] are a lot more progressive than the Democratic party despite what the media will tell you. The Democratic party is comprised of economic conservatives who still believe that a free market system is best,” then adds with a laugh, “I don’t ever see the Green party ever winning an election, certainly not in Texas. The socialist candidate isn’t even on the ticket. So really the only person I can vote for that even resembles my ideals is the Democrat. But don’t make the mistake to think that I am an Obama fan. I don’t really like Obama.”
Another third party is the Libertarian party, which is recently the third largest political party in the nation.
“[The Libertarian party] maximizes individual freedom and deregulation therefore getting government out of our ordinary lives which is how the founding fathers envisioned it,” World History teacher Eric Wetmore states, “[I am a Libertarian because] Thomas Jefferson said, ‘A government which governs the least governs the best’.”
History teacher Mark Valderama agrees with Wetmore, but has a different spin on the party.
“I’d call myself a Libertarian, but even some of the Libertarians I don’t like. On some issues I agree with on like less government intervention and other issues, education, maybe healthcare, I think there should be more or at least some government help,” he said.
Valderama though presumes it to be true that the Libertarian party will handle the country’s issues the most productive and logical way.
“I think that my party, an independent Libertarian, they would take the issues and try to make the rational decision, as opposed to a party system. When it comes to if we need more coal or something like that we should look at the technology and realize that we still need to use coal. So digging coal out of the ground and using it is not a bad thing,” Valderama said.
Although he does have a different, more unique approach to a platform.
[I would like a] Dictatorship-a dictator telling me what to do. I don’t like to think,” he said jokingly, “Kidding. The political platform that I would go for would be more of a platonic form of the republic, to have some philosophers sit around and talk politics.”
There was a presidential candidate who somewhat represented the Libertarian in this recent election.
“Ron Paul but he’s crazy. You can’t isolate, the days of hiding behind the oceans are over,” Wetmore opinionated.
He also believes that the reason the Libertarian party hasn’t gained popularity is because they have yet to update their platform to regard recent issues.
“ [In order to truly know how they would handle things] you’d have to have a libertarian president, a libertarian congress and a libertarian court. How they would handle it..isolation is nice but it’s not realistic in this global economy, how they would handle it I imagine our government spending would be cut back by enormous amounts and that can only help. Foreign policy…” Wetmore shrugs his shoulders, showing uncertainty, “Lots of reasons, one is that a lot of people realize that the world is a lot more complex so you can’t have a Ron Paul foreign policy. I think our system is, it is what it is. Like people feel like they’re throwing their vote away by voting for a third party.”
Ronald Reagan could be considered to have a Libertarian grounding.
“Reagan paid lip service to conservative social issues. He really didn’t legislate much on social issues. He’s a small government guy. As far it goes, the [the somewhat Libertarian presidents] on the top of my head is just Reagan and Eisenhower,” he said.
Both Valderama and Wetmore settle on the Republican party for major elections.
“Republican, they’re just so, they’re not big spending Democrats, they’re the closest mainstream party I can find. As little political as I am, I like [the Libertarians], and I’ll vote for them on a local ticket but not a national one. Like, not this national one,” Wetmore said with Valderama adding, “I guess in local races I am more of a Republican.”
Many people who have not quite found their niche in politics, either in mainstream parties or small ones like Libertarians or Socialists, label themselves as “moderates”.
“To me a moderate is somebody who you agree with both sides, its not completely undecided but you have views of both parties,” senior Akira Buckner said.
Buckner finds herself torn between both the Republicans and Democrats.
“I feel like when I hear a Republican give a speech I agree on his or her ideas, [same with a Democrat],” she confessed, “Some part of me cannot decide whether I am a Democrat or Republican.”
She thinks her lack of a firm decision between parties is a result of her lack of knowledge regarding politics.
“I think once I turn 18 and I’m actually allowed to vote, I will look more into it. Because as of now I really don’t have much of a voice so I just stick to ‘I don’t know which side I agree with most’. So when I am actually able to vote, ‘Well I agree more with this party so then maybe I should be this’,” Buckner theorized, concluding with, “I think I am not as educated when it comes to politics. I don’t really know what to look for when it comes to deciding a party.”
With Moderates, there is not a public shared platform therefore it will not get fame in the race, whereas Libertarians, Socialists, and Green party members have the two-party system to blame.
“I think that’s just culture [to follow the two party system] , just American tradition. I think it’s just engrained in us since the federalists and the anti-federalists started the whole thing. I think it’s just difficult to get through that, especially the money involved. So that’s what it is,” Valderama said.
In addition, Valderama does not think it should be demolished.
“I don’t think we should get rid of it, we should revise it and have more parties, more people involved,” he expressed.
Contrasting with Valderama’s beliefs, Wetmore sees it best to get rid of it, but is unsure how.
“Yes, but I have no idea how. Because there is just so much money in establishment that is invested in the media, people are more comfortable voting Democratic or Republican. I think they tend to shy away from third parties,” he explained, “Most Americans are socially liberal and fiscally conservative, but still shy away from being Libertarian.”
The two party system leaves a lot of dissatisfaction for voters who like to express their independence of politics because they are discontent with both sides.
“The Democrats and the Republicans are a lot more similar than they’d tell you. I think that the Republican party is just too regressive and it’s not even that I like Democrats, I think they’re spineless. But I really dislike Republicans,” Neal said.