Pay Attention: Jill Stein and the Importance of a third party platform

Stephan Maranian, Crier Staff

For the past few months and especially now as we near Election Day, the presidential race has dominated all forms of media. Every time you turn on the television you hear about Donald Trump’s latest quote or another scandal with Hillary Clinton, her family, or their foundation. Very little attention has been placed on candidates other than Trump or Clinton.

Gary Johnson was blasted for about a week regarding his disastrous MSNBC interview in which he did not know what Aleppo was.

Jill Stein has received practically no coverage. She may not have a shot of winning this election but she raises some quality points that neither Trump nor Clinton have addressed.

Both Stein and Johnson failed to gain the required polling threshold of 15% of total polling support, which would have permitted them to take part in the presidential debates. It is because of this that very little attention was put on them.

There was some cursory news coverage of the fact that they both did not qualify, but beyond that, they didn’t receive much attention. It is completely understandable as to why the media would not cover them beyond this point.

The public’s attention is fixed on Trump and Clinton and as a result the media was fixated on them as well.

Jill Stein’s platform is centered around environmental action. She focuses on climate change and the way she plans to address it. She supports a policy that she claims will create 20 million jobs and transition the country to 100% renewable energy by 2030. This policy will also invest in public transit, sustainable agriculture, and conservation and restoration practices.

Stein supports a number of environmental friendly positions that could be summarized as an environmentalist’s dream legislation. She opposes current foreign policy with NATO, would cut military spending by 50%, and supports universal healthcare.

Stein’s main policy that separates her from her opposing candidates is her environmental stance and particularly her energy policy. Johnson is not worried about climate change because one day “the sun will actually encompass the Earth” so it is not an imminent concern. Trump plans on promoting industries that will further damage the planet through mining and fracking. Clinton has said that climate change is real but has not taken as firm a stance as Stein on the matter. Were she allowed to debate, Stein could have brought up the topic of energy for all to openly discuss.

Unfortunately, both Johnson and Stein did not qualify for the presidential debates and so many never even gave them a chance during this election. It is too bad that they could not debate against Trump, Clinton, and each other because they all have different views and come from different parties. Had they been allowed to debate, it would have been easier for the American people to hear a variety of stances on issues. They also could have brought up other issues, such as climate change, that other candidates glanced over, at best.

Stein calls for electoral reform and has said that the country’s two party system forces Americans to choose the lesser evil. This statement is a perfect summary of this year’s election. Americans feel that they must choose between Trump’s senseless composure and Clinton’s undeniable sins.

It is truly a shame that of all the well-rounded minds and leaders of the greatest country on Earth, this presidential race has come down to the candidates that it has.