In the uncertain times of the Trump Presidency, there is only one truth: the American people want a third party. In 2016, no presidential candidate received a clear electoral victory in Minnesota; Hillary Clinton won the state with only 46 percent of the vote. Meanwhile, third-party and independent candidates received around 4 percent. And this was mirrored on the national level as well: Clinton got 48 percent, Donald Trump got nearly 46, and third party and independent candidates got the remaining 6 percent. Neither Democrats nor Republicans can garner a majority of the public's support, and voters are looking for alternatives to the two-party system.
Creating this alternative is just one of the reasons Paula Overby is running for U.S. Senate. She has seen the growing polarization in America, and the corporate greed that corrupts our democracy. She knows that people of different ideologies can work together. She has worked with candidates from the Green Party, Libertarian Party, and Independence Party of Minnesota to form the Purple Movement. The Purple Movement is a coalition between third-party and independent candidates to promote a more open and fair democracy. It advocates for a functioning government made up of representatives of differing ideologies and using voting methods such as ranked choice voting and proportional representation. That last point is a key point of Overby's platform is that she believes in getting corporate money out of politics so that representatives are only responsible to the people they represent.
The other key part of her platform focuses on the three fastest rising costs in America: education, healthcare, and the military.
Education is key to social mobility, and everyone should have access to equal opportunities to reach their potential, regardless of their socioeconomic status. However, our current system has a growing achievement gap and leaving students with larger and larger mountains of student debt. If we want a future for our children, they need the opportunities to succeed and be free of the burden of student debt.
Healthcare is a human right — everyone needs it. But, with the current system, many people have a decision to make whenever they're sick: go to the hospital or have enough money for the next meal. It's time to implement a single-payer system, so everyone can get treatment when they need it.
In addition, our military is active in multiple conflicts around the world. Over the past two decades, our government has destabilized Iraq and Libya and aided Saudi Arabia in bombing civilians in Yemen. Our country is active in these inhumane, greed-driven campaigns. Overby believes that it's time to stop recklessly sending our military into conflicts that don't threaten our national security. It's time to bring the men and women of our armed forces back home and create a more diplomatic approach in our foreign policy.
The public no longer has faith in the two-party system ran by the Democrats and Republicans. It has lead to corporations deciding the fate of our republic instead of the people. It has also cost the American taxpayer billions in three sectors that affect everyone: education, healthcare, and our military. If you want the people back in power of a responsible government, then vote Paula Overby for U.S. Senate. She will advocate for single-payer, eliminate college tuition and student debt, and bring our sons and daughters of the armed forces back home.
This letter has been lightly edited for clarity and style.
Adam Schneider is a freshman studying political science and environmental studies at the University of Minnesota - Morris.