Although they were all but over two weeks ago, the Republican and Democratic presidential primaries officially ended on Tuesday when the final states cast their votes. Hillary Clinton’s victory was cheered from sea to shining sea as a historic first. It was only a first if you limit the criteria and historical record to a very specific window. That’s the problem with our party system in the first place.
While she is the first female presidential nominee from the Democratic or Republican parties, those aren’t the only parties in our system. They’re not even the only parties who have won the presidency.
Jill Stein was the Green Party presidential nominee in 2012 and likely will be this year too. Last time, with two largely popular major party candidates, she received 469,501 votes nationwide but no electoral votes. Not even Stein was the first female nominee, though.
In 1872, feminist activist Victoria Woodhull was the nominee for president from the Equal Rights Party. Her vice presidential nominee was famed abolitionist Frederick Douglass, though he never acknowledged the party’s choice of him. Woodhull received a negligible number of votes, if any. She was kept from voting even for herself after being arrested a few days before the election.