By Joe Yamulla || Opinion & Editorial Editor

The presidential debates begin next week, and it’s a crime that third party candidates will not be included. Let’s take a moment to think about the American people and how they view our Democratic and Republican nominees. Hillary Clinton is one of the most controversial and polarizing politicians of our generation. And well, don’t even get me started on Donald Trump. His classless antics and blatantly racist and misogynistic behavior reflect that of an uneducated lunatic. It makes sense that the American people deserve another voice. However, next week it will be these two, and it’s being hyped up more as must watch drama instead of the future of our nation. The Republicans and Democrats own politics, and the system is wildly flawed. I hope that the system can change, and it starts with making our voices heard. That’s my goal for this piece, so hear me out.

Media groups like CNN and Fox News are so misleading it’s near comical. For example, in a poll, CNN didn’t even offer Libertarian Gary Johnson as an option until after asking voters about either Clinton or Trump. Also, CNN had the brilliant plan of assuming no one under the age of 34 will vote this November. This was for a reason, because Johnson is in first with young voters and the military. Fox News completely ignores independent voters, especially since 62% of independents are voting Johnson. Their recent poll tagged Gary at 9%, while only targeting 17% of the independent voter population. All of these frustrating numbers put Johnson around 13%, just shy of the 15% that he needed to debate. When in reality, Johnson is well above the threshold needed to be in the Presidential Debates. Republicans and Democrats don’t want him to speak. They realize the United States is turned off to their candidates and will do anything it takes to keep us blind to other options.

Trump moans about the “rigged” system, meanwhile he does everything in his power to promote it. Gary Johnson had an awkward interview in which he wasn’t sure what Aleppo was. He was bashed to no end, while Trump is our Republican candidate after saying abortions should be punishable, he would kill the families of terrorists, and would bring back barbaric torture like waterboarding. Sure, Johnson made a mistake and wasn’t informed on this specific place’s name. However, he immediately followed this question by offering his plan for the crisis in Syria. This, wasn’t mentioned by “reputable” sources like the Huffington Post and NowThis. I would love to see Trump asked the same question. Candidates make mistakes, and it’s a one-sided affair with an outrageous double standard. Being unaware of the term “Aleppo” is in no way a dastardly mistake that should ruin a campaign. Rather, it’s a reflection that we are all human.

It’s no shock that I’m a Gary supporter. But this goes beyond Johnson. The American people shouldn’t have to decide between the lesser of two evils. The mentality of “I would vote for x but I won’t because he/she can’t win” is what promotes this. If all of these voters abandoned this mindset and actually voted, the race would be completely different. We would have more options and other candidates would stand a chance against billionaires like Trump or Clinton. Even if these potential candidates wouldn’t win, at least we would be able to hear another side. At least we could have another option.

I’m standing by my mindset and will vote for a third party this election. I hope that an increase in third party votes sparks a trend and an eventual change. Because the American people deserve so much better than what we have been given in 2016.

Junior Joe Yamulla is the Opinion & Editorial Editor. His email is