With Bernie Sanders unlikely to win the Democrat nomination, the only options left in the presidential race are Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, which basically means having to make a choice between two of the worst presidential candidates in all of American history. For many, this signifies just how broken the American political system is, but I advise you not to give up just yet. After Ted Cruz and John Kasich dropped out of the Republican race, Google searches for the Libertarian Party and its frontrunner Gary Johnson skyrocketed, and yesterday, the Libertarian Party nominated Gary Johnson as its nominee for the presidency.
Prior to his campaign for the presidency, Johnson worked as a door-to-door handyman during the 1970’s, and also founded a company called Big J Enterprises, which grew into one of the largest construction companies in the state of New Mexico. In 1994, he ran successfully for Governor of New Mexico as a fiscally conservative Republican. During his time as governor, he upheld libertarian principles, and even advocated for the decriminalisation of marijuana (which he still does to this day), though he also became known for vetoing more bills than any governor in the United States. Now a member of the Libertarian Party, he is promoting himself as the rational alternative to the two mainstream candidates.
From what I’ve seen and heard of him, I can tell that he really is the alternative that America needs. Unlike Trump and Clinton, who would continue expanding the power of the state, Johnson advocates for a smaller government, wants to end the war on drugs, and is a strong supporter of civil liberties, something the other two candidates couldn’t give a damn about. He also appears to be enough of a moderate political candidate that some media outlets speculated that he may be able to attracted disaffected Republicans and Democrats. Indeed, even before the explosion of pubic interest in the Libertarians, some media outlets speculated that Johnson and the Libertarians would seek to capitalize on popular resentment towards Trump and Clinton.
Of course, due to the prevalence of the Republican/Democrat dichotomy, it probably seems unlikely that a third-party candidate could win the presidency, but I think Gary Johnson might have a chance. Instead of focusing on identity and outrage, Johnson focuses on the issues. Granted, Bernie Sanders focused on social issues as well, but Bernie failed spectacularly, and with careful scrutiny, you could easily deflate Sanders’ socialist platform. Besides, what Johnson wants is extremely reasonable. He wants to end the war on drugs, legalize marijuana, suspend US involvement in foreign countries, and put an end to crony capitalism, which has allowed the current political climate to fester.
Even though I once said that I would support Jill Stein if I lived in the USA, I have to concede that, compared to the other candidates, Gary Johnson is the most reasonable presidential candidate we’ve had in years. He’s also doing quite well in the polls, trailing at 10% of the national vote, which doesn’t sound like much, but it’s a start. Given the amount of people who absolutely despise the two major candidates, I believe that, if done well, the Libertarians could feasibly win the election, finally raising a middle finger to the old party political dichotomy. Best of all, Johnson could offer a silver lining for those who thought that a Trump presidency is inevitable. With all that in mind, I think America now has three options.
- Electing a third-party candidate who has actual principles and could competently bring America back from the brink.
- Electing the first woman president just for the sake of it, while glossing over her history of corruption and deceit.
- Electing a businessman with no political experience (unless you count a failed Reform Party candidacy in the year 2000) who may end up making the country worse.
I highly doubt that a Trump presidency will accomplish anything other that rattling the cages of the establishment momentarily. As for Shillary, she’s bankrolled by corporate interests, and because of that she’ll probably keeps things the way they are, momentarily making ripples in the same unsatisfying way that Obama did. My message is that if you don’t want another four years of the status quo, but worry that Trump will destroy America, then logically the only sane option left is to vote Libertarian, because at least Gary Johnson actually has a vested interest in changing America for the better.