» Brandon Marshall

I am very glad to see that The All State took the time to research and present to the student body third-party presidential candidates Jill Stein (Green Party) and Gary Johnson (Libertarian).

While in this current election I am a supporter of Barack Obama, I do believe that an increased third-party presence in America would allow for a much broader dialogue on the issues affecting the country.

I am, however, a little disappointed by the fact that you only covered two of the four third-party candidates that are on the ballot in Tennessee this election year.

While they may not be on enough ballots around the country to win the election, the other two candidates still deserve a spotlight for their own viewpoints and policy offerings so that students can make a fully informed choice.

Besides, even if they can’t win, popular vote success for third parties can gain them access to federal election funds, increased media attention and possibly a spot in the presidential debates next time around.

The first of these two candidates, and the one I shall admit I like the most out of the third party candidates, is Ross “Rocky” Anderson of the newly formed Justice Party. He was the Democratic mayor of Salt Lake City between 2000 and 2008 and founder of the High Road for Human Rights organization.

Anderson’s platform advocates a “justice for all” approach, focusing on social, civil, environmental and economic justice.

Examples of these policies include his support for an Equal Rights Amendment that includes sexual orientation and gender identification, a universal healthcare system, treatment of substance abuse as a health and education issue instead of a criminal justice issue, aggressive action on climate change and a domestic green jobs programs and support for a public higher education system. For more information on him, visit voterocky.org.

The other of the two candidates on the ballot is Virgil Goode of the Constitution Party, which advocates for a smaller, more limited government. He was a member of the Virginia State Senate between 1973 and 1997 before becoming a Representative between 1997 and 2009.

Virgil Goode supports an agenda that focuses on a balanced budget and the reduction of the role of government in our lives, the reduction of immigration (both legal and illegal), expansion of US energy production in alternative fuels as well as in fossil fuels, tax reform (emphasizing some form of a flat tax), is pro-choice and in favor of a traditional definition of marriage, and the strengthening of American sovereignty by limiting our engagement in international treaties and organizations such as NAFTA and the U.N. For more information visit goodeforpresident2012.com

I encourage all students to research and view all options on the table for president, even if you are already certain who you will vote for in this year’s election and especially if you are undecided. I also encourage students to participate in our campus’ Rock the Vote programs and to attend our Election Watch Party on election night, Tuesday, Nov. 6, at 6 p.m.