What’s Happening Next: The Independent Party Speaks Out at ODA


Juniors Jack Fenker and Nate Patrick show their support for Independent candidate Gary Johnson.

Matt Jones, Staff Writer

As the political season in the United States moves forward into its final phases, some Americans are readying themselves for the reality that either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton will be our next president.

But not all Americans are ready to accept those two de facto presidential choices.

There is a growing segment of the American population that is more rapidly identifying themselves as independents. This segment of the American population is not that small either, in fact, the Independent Party is actually is the largest party in the United States.

The Independent Party accounts for 43% of American voters, while the Democratic and Republican parties make up only 30% and 26% of American voters, respectively.

So why aren’t they any political positions being filled by any third party or independent politicians?

The reason may be more partisan than most people would think.

Our country is run on a bipartisan platform. Control is held by Democrats and Republicans. Any other American that does not identify as a Democrat or Republican is classified into a large group called “Independents.” Independents are not actually a part of a huge singular independent party, but rather they are made of several other small political parties. This division of interests makes this group hard to classify.

“I’m an Independent because I don’t like the way that they [the other parties] run the government and include only their candidates for political positions of government,” says Junior Jack Fenker.

Just as recent as three weeks ago, ODA’s upper school held a mock caucus. Interestingly, the third party candidate, Gary Johnson, won with 82 votes. So why did these students even vote for a candidate that they have even heard of or have even seen a picture of? Was this just a simply a fluke or is the percentage of Independents in the US reflective on the ODA community?

“I just didn’t hear about this guy before, and I didn’t want to identify with any other mainstream politician,” says junior Nate Patrick.

“I found that each party was way too extreme,” says sophomore Ethan Berktrand.

So was the Johnson phenomena that took place at the Out-Door-Academy just a fluke? Or does the election of an independent like Gary Johnson represent a trend that will take place in the US in November?

Only time will tell.

Currently, there are 37 parties that put into the large and diverse pool of the Independent group. These parties are:

America First Party
America’s Party
American Constitutional Party
American Independent Party
American Party
Americans Elect Party
Conservative Party
Constitution Party
D.C. Statehood Green Party
Ecology Party
Grassroots Party
Green Independent Party
Green Party
Independence Party
Independent American Party
Independent Party
Justice Party
Labor Party
Legal Marijuana Now Party
Libertarian Party
Liberty Union Party
Moderate Party
Mountain Party
Natural Law Party
Pacific Green Party
Party for Socialism and Liberation
Peace and Freedom Party
Progressive Party
Reform Party
Socialist Party
Socialist Workers Party
Tea Party
U.S. Taxpayers Party
United Citizens Party
United Independent Party
Veterans Party
Working Families Party