We have four options in presidential race

Published 9:43 am Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Editorial by Dawn Burleigh

As a woman, I have found myself in quite the predicament during the unfolding presidential race. Usually at this point in the race I have an idea of which candidate I am leaning towards, but not this time.

I stopped saying, “No to Trump” because that meant supporting Hillary Clinton.

I have always believed one should not vote by party but for the best possible option on the ballot. This campaign has shown me the detrimental down spiral of a two party system. The best options the Republicans and the Democratic can offer is Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton? Obviously, neither had my vote during the primaries.

I have told many people, over the years, I do not care whom you vote for, as long as you vote. I encourage people to register to vote and use that vote to have your voice heard. It is difficult to do as we consider our options.

While researching how long the Republicans and Democratic have held the two party system and our government hostage, I discovered President Millard Fillmore.

Millard Fillmore was an American statesman who served as the 13th President of the United States from 1850 to 1853 after the death of President Zachary Taylor. He was the last Whig president, and the last president not to be affiliated with either the Democratic or Republican parties. He was associated with three parties in his lifetime – Anti-Masonic Party, Whig Party, and the American Party.

That was 163 years ago. If you include the upcoming president elect, that was 32 presidents ago.

In George Washington’s Farewell Address he warned his fellow Americans about the dangers of political parties. He said, “The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism.” He claimed the partisanship would lead to inter-political conflict, divide the nation, and give rise to cases of tyranny, according to constitutionfacts.com

Further research also provided the names of two candidates not mentioned in mainstream media. Jill Stein is the Green candidate while Gary Johnson is the Libertarian nominee for the office of president of the United States in 2016.

To discover another woman on the ballot was exciting. I will admit, I would love to see a female president in my lifetime. However, I will not vote for an individual solely on their gender. To vote is such a way is a disservice to our great country and myself.

Technically, Stein is not the official nominee for the Green Party, yet.

The Green Party of the United States 2016 presidential nominee will be chosen at the 2016 Green Party Presidential Nomination Convention, held in Houston, Texas, August 4-7, 2016. At this time, it will be between William Kreml and Jill Stein. Stein is expected to win the nomination according to ballotpedia.org, which list Stein as the candidate for the Green Party.

Gary Johnson was selected as the Libertarian nominee during the Memorial Day Weekend at the Libertarian Party National Convention.

A convention I heard nothing about from national news sources.

I compared the four candidates by where they each stood on four issues: Abortion, Education, Federal assistance programs and Gay rights. These are not the only issues, just a starting point to compare the pros and cons of each candidate.

The comparison left me in the same predicament I started out in. I am no closer to deciding who to vote for than I was at the beginning of the political race.


Dawn Burleigh is editor of The Orange Leader. She can be reached at 883-3571 or dawn.burleigh@orangeleader.com