At the beginning of our democracy, there were plenty of political parties seeking to govern the United States, whether it be members of the Whig, Federalist, Democratic Republican parties or Unaffiliated.
Early Americans had many options when it came to choosing the party to represent society and govern the United States with various policy.
From the early 1800’s to the late 1830’s however, the Democratic-Republicans dominated the political sphere.
It was not until the election of 1824 that this party split up into what we know of today as the Democratic and Republican parties.
The two parties split up after the ideals of the members began to divert.
Some members supported President John Quincy Adams, while the newly formed Democrats supported Andrew Jackson, who later became the seventh president of the United States, and the first Democratic president.
It was not until March of 1854, that the Republican party was founded, which completed the second half of the major contemporary political parties in the United States.
Though many of the ideals of the Republicans and Democrats have flipped since their births, these two parties have dominated the political sphere in the United states for decades.
Besides Andrew Johnson, who partially ran under the National Union party, and Theodore Roosevelt, who partially ran under his own Bull Moose Party, every other president has been either Democratic or Republican since both parties were founded.
Out of the last 28 presidents, 26 of the 28 have been true Republicans or Democrats, making the blurb of the occasional third party an anomaly at most.
Even at the state level, Independent parties seem to stand little chance.
Out of all the state Governors, 26 are republican and 24 are Democrat.
The last third party Governor was elected more than 20 years ago, when a member of the Independence party, Jesse Ventura, was elected as Governor of Minnesota in 1998.
Though there have not been many third party members in office at the state or national level in a long while, many people still cast their vote for the third party.
In the 2016 Presidential election 46.1% of voters voted Republican, 48.2% voted Democrat, and 5.7% of voters decided to cast their vote into the waste bin that is the third parties of America.
This means that 7,787,683 registered voters cast their vote astray, which was more than enough votes to sway the 2016 election in either way.
According to NBC news, the third party voter turnout for the 2016 election was one of the largest we have seen in decades.
NBC attributed the large outcome to the “protest vote”.
The protest vote was a symbol by those who did not particularly like either candidate enough to vote for them, but still took the time to go to the polls to cast a useless vote in protest.
To the millions of brave protesters who tossed their vote into the endless void that is the third parties of America, and the thousands of audacious voters who voted for a dead 450 pound gorilla, I sincerely hope you have no qualms about the state of our current democracy, nor the current presidential term.
I am confident that millions of the 7 million protest voters have some bitter things to say about the current presidency, yet they are one of the key factors that enabled the current president to get into office.
There is no telling what the current state of America would be if the Democrats won the presidency.
What is for sure is that voting third party in a two party dominated system is toxic behavior.
Though we do not live in a bi-partisan democracy, the lack of third parties that are represented in our government should tell you otherwise.
If you do plan to vote this year, I urge you to make it count.
If you decide to waste your vote on a party with no clout that obviously does not stand a chance, your complaints for the next four years are annulled.
Do not waste your vote on third party options, rather find the party that your views align with the most, and make your voice heard.