Who are the ‘other options’ for POTUS?

It was nearing the closing of the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia when Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders announced he would be ‘rejoining’ the Independent Party (I use ‘rejoining’ loosely). This news came as no shocker to those who know Sanders best. Enough can be said about the genuineness of the Vermont Senator, so, for now, we’ll skip over that and jump right into facts.

Sen. Sanders always was and always will be an independent. So, why would he jump out of his native party and join the Democrats — especially if he’s so ‘genuine?’ The question is easily found in the number of candidates running for the highest office in the land.

I always find people asking why we’re stuck in a two party system, and honestly, all I can offer up for a response is we’re not. There are other options, you just have to find them… unfortunately.

To see a FULL list of other candidates, in addition to the top two, click here.

For now, however, we’ll focus on the other two emerging candidates who are garnering attention in this election season.

Libertarian candidate, Gary Johnson and running mate, William Weld; and the Green Party candidate, Jill Stein.

Ah, yes, you’ve been hearing those names, right? Good, more proof that we’re not fastened to a dual party. Sadly, we just keep ourselves there by not reaching beyond what is being fed to us — that is if we’re truly done and disappointed with this round of candidates.

But, that’s another whole can of worms.

According to Bustle.com, there is a fine contrast between Johnson and Stein on some basic policies, but, there are some similarities too:

On Education:
Stein’s platform for 2016 focuses on climate change and accessible, affordable education. Following suit with Sanders’ revolutionary policy platforms, Stein wants to eradicate student loan debt and make sure that education is tuition-free from preschool through undergrad.
Johnson’s platform on education would include abolishing the Department of Education, suggesting that individual states funding education without federal restrictions and guidelines will have more money to do so.
On Climate Change:
Climate change and the threats it poses the planet are central to Stein’s platform. Her platform calls for an end to fracking and offshore drilling, and a call to protect our water supplies. Stein has also called for transitioning to renewable energy over the next 14 years and creating jobs in the process.
According to the Seattle Times, Johnson believes that humans have “probably” had an impact on climate change. Johnson also believes in the federal government’s push to protect the environment but has also pushed for punitive actions against polluters, rather than within the market.
On Military Assistance For Israel:
Stein’s stance on foreign policy includes opposing U.S. military aid to Israel. She told PBS that this monetary assistance is used to “fund a government which is basically committing war crimes against the Palestinian people, violating human rights, violating international law with the occupations.” According to her presidential platform, Stein believes in a foreign policy “based on diplomacy, international law, and human rights,” not on war.
When it comes down to U.S. support in Israel, Johnson reportedly believes in cutting all U.S. assistance to Israel. In 2011, he called the state an ally to the U.S. and suggested that “it’s a mistake for us to think that we’re going to dictate to them actions when it comes to Palestinian statehood.”

So, what are the odds of either candidates having a true shot at becoming the U.S. President? Unlike other former elections, this one seems to be one that may extend its reach beyond the two top candidates at a larger percentage. However, the likelihood of a Third Party win is still pretty slim. Why?

The 12th Amendment to the Constitution, in part, mandates that a POTUS candidate has to win a majority of the 538 electoral votes. Not the most electoral votes, but a majority, or 50 percent plus one. That magic number is 270 electoral votes. Now, what happens if no candidate reaches the 270? Then, it’s up to the House of Representatives to choose a President among the top three electoral vote getters. Which means that in a very tight race between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, Johnson or less likely Stein, could potentially win a state or two and send the election to the House.

Perhaps that explains why Mr. Sanders took a brave leap of faith out of the Independent party and into the Democratic crowd.

Anyhow, with the potential of the the 2016 elections landing in the hands of the House being higher than in recent elections, you can expect one heck of a show come November. If that’s the case, I’ll pop the popcorn.

In the meantime:

Do Not Be Anxious

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?
26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?
27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?
28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin,
29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’
32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.
33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
 — Matthew 6:25 (ESV)