Bernie supporter turns to Jill Stein, away from two-party system

Sarah Philips

Editor’s note: This is the third profile of a series The Daily Texan is publishing during the 2016 election season, featuring a wide variety of student political perspectives. Beginning with the first day of early voting, Oct. 24, the series will run up until Election Day, Nov. 8.

Cristian Cortes, government sophomore and a Bernie supporter just months ago, is voting for Green Party nominee Jill Stein because of the inconsistencies he’s found in the Democratic Party.

Cortes, originally from Garland and a transfer student from UTSA, said his issues with the Democratic party stem from a dissatisfaction with the two-party system.

“I feel in my personal opinion that the only true reason to overcome certain problems that we have is to bring in different philosophies,” Cortes said. “I align with the Green Party because not only philosophically do they align with me the most, but they represent a change to this bilateral system that we’ve started to succumb to with the Republican and Democratic parties.”

Cortes, like many in North Texas, grew up in a conservative area that shaped his early political views. He now has friends, both Democrats and Republicans, who question his choice to vote third party.

“They say, ‘Why would you vote for somebody who you know is not going to win?’” Cortes said. “In a sense, this is a protest. We have a bipartisan alliance silencing these other voices and to me that’s an injustice to our representative democracy. I’m not going to vote for the lesser of two evils, I’m going to vote for somebody who expresses my beliefs and who I feel can bring a lot of good.”

Cortes said he thinks major party nominees feel they are entitled to the country’s support when they haven’t earned it. 

“I’m not going to vote for a candidate who feels they deserve my vote,” Cortes said. “They need to earn my vote, and neither candidate has earned my vote. The only candidate who has earned my vote through and through is Jill Stein.”