Shining the Light on the Unknown Political Parties

By Miranda Cavada

Follow me on Twitter ― @owlfeedmiranda

greenEven if you’re not the slightest bit familiar with politics, you’ve most likely heard about Democrats and Republicans, as they’re the two major parties in the United States. The presidential nominees this year associate with one or the other; Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are running as Democrats while Donald Trump is running as a Republican. Those nominees have a higher chance of getting elected because their party represents the political views that most people in the country have/are against.

Some candidates are running as other parties, such as the Green Party or Libertarian Party, which aren’t very well known throughout the country. If you’re interested in learning about these parties, you’ve come to the right place.

Green Party of the United States

Otherwise known as the GPUS, this party identifies as left-winged, more closely resembling the Democratic Party. However, these two parties have some pretty major differences. The Green Party focuses its views towards social justice, environmentalism, the LGBT community and other social/environmental issues. It was founded in 2001 by Howie Hawkins, who affiliated with the Socialist Party USA before forming the Green Party.

The GPUS follows “The Ten Key Values” of social justice and nonviolence.

  1. Grassroots democracy
  2. Social justice
  3. Ecological wisdom
  4. Nonviolence
  5. Decentralization
  6. Community-based economics
  7. Feminism
  8. Respect for diversity
  9. Global Responsibility
  10. Future Focus

These key values are what one might call very green and left-winged. They focus mainly on civil rights instead of economics. Because of this, the GPUS built their ideology around progressivism.

While the Green Party’s headquarters in located in Takoma Park, Maryland (it’s most active in the north eastern U.S.), there are other affiliations in all 50 states in order to represent the green political views of each state. Arizona’s own Green Party HQ is in Phoenix.

Green Party website: www.gp.org

The Libertarian Party

green2Founded in 1971 by David Nolan, the Libertarian Party is the fifth largest political party in the country. It is made up mostly of the fiscally conservative ideas that Republicans have and the civil rights that Democrats agree upon. Like the Green Party, this party revolves around progressivism.

The Libertarian Party is somewhat a mixture of the two parties. Like most Democrats, this party supports environmental issues and social equality. However, Libertarians are overall more conservative because they support the second amendment (the right to bear arms), prohibiting the use of illegal drugs, lowering taxes and limiting government.

The motto of the Libertarian Party is “there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch,” its abbreviation being TANSTAAFL. This practically means that it is impossible to be rewarded for doing absolutely nothing. Many Republicans and Libertarians have this belief, especially when it comes to the liberal idea of taxing the rich so the poor could have the same benefits without doing any work.

With its national headquarters located in Alexandria, Virginia, you can find Arizona’s HQ in Tempe.

Libertarian Party website: https://www.lp.org