GO GARY: Gary Johnson is one of the third party presidential candidates disenfranchised voters are turning to in 2016. (Photo Provided)

With this presidential election being the first election I can vote in I was initially full of excitement and impatience. As the election year went on I became more turned off by both parties, finding myself not aligning with either side completely. I liked some of Kasich’s ideas while also being a fan of some of Sander’s. Unfortunately the candidates in both parties dropped out one by one, leaving American with either Trump of Clinton to be their presidential pick, right? Wrong.

This is the idea that has been ingrained into our ways of thinking for ages. There is this concept that we either have the option to choose choice A or choice B. Sure choices C, D, and E may exist, but in this case they do not matter.

After feeling forced into choosing either Trump of Clinton come November, I decided to go to to take their political identity quiz. Upon completion of the quiz, my results came with with my ideas and beliefs aligning 94% with Green Party candidate Jill Stein. I also had a 96% alignment with the Green Party itself.

This upset me as all my life I heard learned that you either vote Republican or Democrat. I was raised by the media and school system to think that I only have two choices for who our future candidate can be. I was taught to believe that you either align with the blue or you align with the red. This way of thinking infuriates me as it’s asking people to think one of two ways, and if you don’t align with either then “tough luck.” I don’t want Trump to become our president and I don’t want Clinton to be our president. Far too often people’s thought process goes to “well a vote for a third party is a vote for the opposing party.” It is this thought process that causes third party candidates to suffer. It allows for media to control the election, pushing people to the left or the right.

Third party candidates matter. There are more than two ways of thinking in today’s society. People align with the Republican party, the Green Party, even the Constitutional party, and there should be an equal opportunity for presidency with each party. The media shouldn’t keep fueling the same two parties. Elementary and middle school teachers should not just discuss being a Democrat or being a Republican. I wish that as a child growing up, I was made more aware of the world by knowing the multitude of political parties that I could align and agree with.