On October 16, two U.S. Senate candidates came to speak to my Social and Political Philosophy class. No, it was not Pete Hoekstra or Debbie Stabenow. They are much too “busy” to come speak to a college philosophy class.

However, two candidates did take the time to come and share their thoughts with us, a gesture I wish more politicians would partake in. The candidates, Scotty Boman of the Libertarian Party, and Harley Mikkelson of the Green Party, presented new and refreshing opinions contrary to the politics of the status quo that Washington, D.C. and the mainstream parties have to offer.

Boman and Mikkelson agreed on several issues, a sight not common in two-party politics. On the issue of foreign policy, they both agreed and pledged to end the interventionist foreign policy of the current and previous administrations. With regard to civil liberties, both candidates thought it is a priority to protect our cherished freedoms. Both also agreed that the so called war on drugs needs to be ended, an idea that is never talked about by the Republicans or Democrats.

But the candidates also disagreed on some issues as well. Boman believes in a strict constructionist interpretation of the Constitution. He sees it as a document to limit the power and scope of the federal government, therefore making many of the government’s current actions unconstitutional. He seeks to end many federal programs and return them to state power. Cutting spending and reducing the debt and deficit is also a priority. Mikkelson, however, believes that social justice is a power given to the government. He argued that the government should use its powers to help others and to help the environment. He proposed not only that green energy be produced, but also that energy be conserved.

Although these candidates are less known and have different ideas than the mainstream parties, I believe we should still give other sides the chance to be heard. I’m glad I got to hear from candidates who were sincere and actual care enough to speak to college students, no photo opportunity necessary. I thank both candidates for coming and I thank Professor Skrbina for organizing this small senatorial debate.