Students have options to consider voting outside two-party system
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Students have options to consider voting outside two-party system

This newspaper, especially during a presidential election, has seen its share of political articles. With all of the pushes to get the student body politically active, as glam rock band Europe once said, “it’s the final countdown.” We are less than six weeks away from a very serious election, and it really isn’t hard to get involved. Rather than telling everybody who to vote for, I’m stressing the need get out and do something to help change this country.

As a full disclosure, I’m a Democrat, but I’m sure the College Republicans can help everyone else. USD’s main two political party-focused groups are probably the easiest way for students to get involved. As a member of College Democrats, the experience thus far has opened up a range of things for me to get involved in the last month.

Since the beginning of this semester, I have volunteered to campaign with the Clay County Democrats, received a fellowship with the Iowa Democratic Party and currently have the chance to get an internship with the American Civil Liberties Union. Beyond fanning my ego, these opportunities have all had direct benefits for my budding career. That isn’t to mention the free food. Volunteers are usually fed well. If nothing else, this is a really important election for the country.

If the debate last Monday didn’t make it clear, America faces a major choice that can take the country one of two very different directions. Whichever way students vote, it’s important to let the world know how the people want the country to progress. If Clinton or Trump don’t seem like qualified options, the election still allows room for people to make some noise.

Being a two-party system, people often forget there is a third or even fourth choice on the ballot. As the Bernie or Bust movement shows, a lot of young people felt disenfranchised following the Democratic National Convention. For those who really can’t support Clinton, or maybe don’t want to vote for a racist piece of corn, they don’t have to. I wouldn’t encourage it, but students can cast a vote for either the Libertarians or the Constitutional Party in November. While they will almost certainly lose, it can serve as a form of protest against other parties or the greater political system as a whole.

I’d like to end with an analogy to my favorite intellectual property in the world, “Star Wars”: If I consider Jar Jar Binks, I frankly feel bad. No one likes Jar Jar. He irritates everyone.

That said, he’s also politically active as a delegate to the Senate from Naboo. What’s more, he’s directly responsible for the installation of an Emperor and the death of the Republic, which is pretty much the worst case scenario for this election.
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He still did his political duty, so even if things don’t go as he planned, he has the right to complain. If people complain without doing what they can to swing the election in a preferred own way, they’re actually worse than Jar Jar Binks. So here’s our chance to get out there, and prove that we, as Americans, are better than that horrible, horrible Gungan.