2004 AP Free Response Question 3 Essay

This essay has a total of 358 words and 2 pages.

2004 AP Free Response Question 3

The political cartoon by Nick Anderson depicts Ralph Nader standing at a podium addressing
American society's "throw away mentality". Meanwhile a citizen in the background is
casting her vote for the green party behind him. Ironically, the ballot drops into a waste
basket, thus a wasted vote. We now realize that Nader is not talking about the
environment, but addressing the issue of how the general public views votes for 3rd party
candidates. This cartoonist feels that we should reform our views on 3rd party candidates
and vote for who we think would make the best president, despite there chance of winning
or not.

In recent history no 3rd party candidates have come anywhere close to getting a
substantial number of votes in the presidential elections. The last time a minor party was
able to win a presidential election, was with Abraham Lincoln, in 1860. He was not truly
campaigning under a minor party either; the Republican Party which he ran for had recently
gained control of the congress and was becoming well established in the federal
government. This is a key issue that 3rd parties must understand before they consider
putting up a candidate for president.

The reason why 3rd party candidates don't win in presidential elections is not because
they are unqualified; it's because the electoral system that we have in place creates
enormous obstacles for them. One obstacle is that 3rd party candidates get unfair
representation in political debates on television and another is that 3rd party candidates
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