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Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton? Stein or Johnson? Local Pitches for Presidential Race


Compiled by Jesse Wood

High Country Press asked the Watauga County GOP, Watauga County Democratic Party, Western NC Greens and the Libertarian Party of NC why voters should vote for their party’s respective presidential candidate: Republican Donald Trump, Democrat Hillary Clinton, the Green Party’s Jill Stein and Libertarian Gary Johnson.

Below are unedited responses, starting off with some of the lesser-known candidates.

A Pitch for Green Party Presidential Candidate Jill Stein
WNC Greens Co-Chair Tracy Mann, co-chair at Western NC Greens

Editor’s Note: Although Stein is on the ballot in 45 other states in the United States, she is not on the ballot in North Carolina. She is, however, a valid write-in candidate in N.C.


Dr. Jill Stein is the presidential candidate for the US Green Party in the 2016 General Election. She is a Harvard-trained medical doctor who turned to environmental activism, and then to politics, when she directly linked how pollution negatively affects people’s health. Dr. Stein’s platform slogan is People, Planet & Peace Over Profit, which is a unique statement, especially in this current election season.

The Green Party has Four Pillars which guides all Green Party actions: Peace, Ecology, Social Justice, and Democracy. These are common sense things that most people agree with and want in their lives.

We all want to be safe from war and terrorism. We all want to have clean drinking water. We all want our families to be safe and valued. We all want our voices to be heard in our government and electoral systems. Each of these things affect every American, making Dr. Stein the candidate of the 99%.

Dr. Stein’s platform actively endorses these Four Pillars and offers solutions to the problems we face in our communities and nation. In regards to peace, Dr. Stein does not want to escalate war and will address terrorism by ending the sale of bombs and weapons to other nations. She would establish a foreign policy based on diplomacy, international law, and human rights. The Green New Deal that Dr. Stein proposes addresses both Ecology and Social Justice by ending a dependence on fossil fuels through building a clean and renewable energy system which will also create new jobs for Americans who are looking for work. Dr. Stein sees jobs as a right for citizens. Dr. Stein’s commitment to these matters has already shown in her participation with protesters at Standing Rock against the North Dakota Access Pipeline. She recognizes the dangers that the pipeline poses to the drinking water and agriculture. She also recognizes that the indigenous peoples there are suffering human rights violations through the brutal treatment by those working to protect the builders of the pipeline. Regarding Democracy, Dr. Stein wants to ensure that people who want to vote can vote, ensure that people know who they can vote for by opening the debates, and create a truly representative democracy by utilizing ranked-choice voting so that people will not be afraid to vote their conscience any longer. Additional detailed information on these positions, as well as other issues, can be found at jill2016.com.

The Western NC Green Party would like to thank High Country Press for reaching out to the Green Party for information about our candidate Dr. Jill Stein, especially since the Green Party has been blocked from the debates and not covered regularly by the mainstream media outlets, despite the fact that Americans can cast a vote for her in 48 states (including DC). In North Carolina, the Green Party obtained enough signatures to ensure that Dr. Stein is a valid write-in candidate and that a write-in for her will count. Right now the Green Party does not have ballot access in North Carolina, but 2% of the vote will give the Green Party ballt access so that Green Party candidates can run in down-ballot races and get engaged with locally. Also, 5% of the national vote will mean the Federal Election Commission must classify the Green Party as an official “minor party,” which will result in federal funding for the Green Party candidate in 2020.

A Pitch for Libertarian Presidential Candidate Gary Johnson
Brian Irving, Vice Chair of Libertarian Party of NC

Libertarians Say Vote Your Hopes, Not Your Fears

In 2016, it’s becoming increasingly clear to most Americans, especially young voters, that they no longer must choose between the lesser of two evils. In fact, they cannot choose a lesser evil. Neither Donald Trump nor Hillary Clinton is fit for the office of President of the Untied States.


Americans are frustrated and angry. As they should be. They’re ready to end “business-as-usual” in government.

Libertarians offer something different. We ask you to vote your hopes, and not your fears.

Despite being largely ignored by the old mainstream media, and shut out of the debates, more and more voters see Libertarian Gary Johnson as a viable alternative to voting for evil.

Gary Johnson was elected governor as a Republican twice in a state controlled by Democrats. He vetoed wasteful spending 250 times, cut taxes 14 times, reduced the size of government without firing anyone, and left the state with new highways, bridges, schools, hospitals and a billion dollar spending without raising taxes.

He and his running mate Bill Weld, a two-term Massachusetts governor, have more experience governing than Trump and Clinton combined.

The establishment parties are calcified, cancerous husks, as Teddy Roosevelt described them, “with no real soul within either, divided on artificial lines, boss-ridden and privilege-controlled, each a jumble of incongruous elements, and neither daring to speak out wisely and fearlessly on what should be said on the vital issues of the day.”

In Washington and in Raleigh, a small group of political operatives and leaders in both parties have colluded in the systematic dismantling of the freedoms guaranteed under our Constitution. They’ve kept our nation in a perpetual state of war and increasing unsustainable debt. They are the ones we should be fighting, not each other.

We the people will never agree on all of the small things, but let’s agree on the big thing: our leaders have failed us. Worse, they have betrayed us. If we want a different America we have to start with new leadership.

Let’s put our parties and differences aside while we solve our problems together. Together we can stop out of control spending and end the wars. Together we can restore our industrial might. Together we’ll rebuild our own roads, bridges, schools, and hospitals, instead of building them for countries half a world away.

Be libertarian with us on Nov. 8 and let’s try something different. And in four years, if we the people decide we don’t like peace, prosperity, and freedom, we can always vote tyranny back into office again.

For more information about Gary Johnson, go to JohnsonWeld.com. For info on Libertarian candidates in North Carolina, go to LPNC.org/2016_candidates.


A Pitch for Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump
Watauga County GOP Chair Anne-Marie Yates

The American voter can trust Donald Trump to make hard choices and act in the best interests of America.

Hillary Clinton is out for Hillary Clinton.  From the massive amounts of money received by foreign citizens to the Clinton Foundation to her attacks on the FBI Director for investigating her hidden emails, Hillary Clinton puts Hillary Clinton first.  She has proven she will say or do anything to obtain the power of the Presidency.

Donald Trump isn’t a career politician.  He is not a smooth talker, and isn’t part of the Washington politicians.  He is a businessman and a problem solver.  Donald Trump knows how to think big and can make hard choices.  He has a proven track record of surrounding himself with the best and the brightest, and has an incredible eye for talent in selecting those who work for him.  If they don’t get the job done, he has the toughness to fire them.

Donald Trump also has the toughness to stand up to foreign leaders and dictators.  Does anyone think President Trump would have paid the Iranians tax dollars for hostages?  Would he let them continue to develop a nuclear weapon unchecked?  Of course not.  The same cannot be said of Hillary Clinton.

If you want a problem-solving, successful individual who is ready to lead America to greatness, you should vote for Donald Trump.  If you want someone who doesn’t believe in the greatness of America and wants to continue the failed policies of the past, there’s unfortunately a candidate for that.

While Donald Trump isn’t perfect, he is a leader who will restore American exceptionalism.

A Pitch for Democrat Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton
Watauga County Democratic Party, Chair Diane Tilson

When asked why I and many Watauga County Democrats support Senator Clinton,  I immediately thought of all the sound policies she supports.  A woman’s right to make decisions regarding her body, tuition free access to public colleges and universities and universal access to Pre-K,  a pathway to United States citizenship, expanded Medicare, Medicaid, and affordable prices for lifesaving drugs, investing in infrastructure to create jobs, and asking the very wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share of taxes.

But I don’t think you can consider what she supports without also thinking about what she doesn’t support.  Making fun of a man with disabilities, attacking parents of a fallen American hero, belittling POWS, denigrating  Mexican Americans and immigrants, encouraging religious bigotry, and throwing in with countries who would like nothing better than having influence over the President of the United States.

A lack of respect for our citizens, the laws that govern our elections, and our right to vote, without interference from those in power, has been in evidence throughout the national election, and is especially noticable in our local election.  Electing a President is an enormous responsibility, but the decisions we make about those who serve us locally and in our state affect us on a daily basis.