In theory, Third Parties should be granted as much media attention as the major parties so as to prevent a duopoly that stagnates political discourse. Third Parties can’t afford to purchase significant advertising exposure and the major parties won’t volunteer to include them in televised debates for rather obvious reasons. So in the interest of fair play, here are a few potential Vice Presidents worth knowing about.
James P. Gray- Libertarian Party
Gray is a former Peace Corps volunteer, Navy JAG, federal prosecutor, and Orange County Superior Court judge. He is perhaps best known for authoring Why Our Drug Laws Have Failed and What We Can Do About It - A Judicial Indictment of the War on Drugs. Here is a spirited interview in which Judge Gray rails against drug prohibition. Gary Johnson’s selection of Gray indicates that the Libertarian Party is making drug policy a central issue in their campaign.
Luis J. Rodriguez- Justice Party
Rodriguez is considered a “major figure of contemporary Chicano literature” and is a former gang member, anti-war protester, heroin addict, painter, poet and activist. You can watch him narrate his colorful life here. Rocky Anderson’s Justice Party aims to give voice to those without much political representation and Rodriguez, it’s fair to say, is far from a typical politician.
Cheri Honkala- Green Party
Honkala was born into poverty and is now an anti-poverty activist who ran unsuccessfully for Sheriff of Philadelphia in 2011. She and Green Party Presidential nominee Jill Stein were recently arrested while protesting housing foreclosures in Philadelphia. You can watch her acceptance speech here. The Greens might be the best expression of Occupy Wall Street sensibilities in the 2012 election.
Of course, there are more third parties out there and they run the gamut from conspiracy theorists to former sitcom stars obsessed with macadamia nuts. Due to either a complete lack of seriousness or utterly repellant views, many of those other candidates have not been included here but Wikipedia has an authoritative list. Choose wisely.
Great job putting this together. One of the major downfalls of American politics is the two-party political system.
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