Gary Johnson offers alternative to Trump and Clinton

Grant Barnes

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With the candidates selected and the presidential election nearing, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are the two most unfavored nominees in recorded American history according to the Washington Post.

Donald Trump is an outsider that offers a radical agenda for change that frightens many Americans and Hillary Clinton is the political insider who promises to continue fighting for the Obama administration’s legislation, making many voters worried that her presidency will lead to no real change.

This has led up to 15 percent of voters to search for an alternative third party candidate to vote for, according to Real Clear Politics.

Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson offers an alternative agenda that connects with many Americans. He’s currently polling at an average of 10 percent nationwide between CBS, Fox News, CNN, ABC and NBC. The Commission on Presidential Debates will invite candidates who reach a 15 percent polling average, in the five national polls listed above, to the September 26th debate.

Getting on the debate stage would give Johnson a chance to shine a light on what the Libertarian Party represents, and defeat his opponents’ arguments with logic and the principles of the Libertarian party.

Many people hear “Libertarian” and either don’t know what it means, or they think of it as a radical third party.

“Don’t tread on anyone,” is a common saying of the Libertarian party, the third largest party in America. Libertarians, at their root, want liberty for the people. In practice, this means they are socially liberal and fiscally conservative. They also support limiting the government as much as possible, which includes limiting military spending.

The term socially liberal means that Libertarians want people to live their lives as they please. This includes pro-gay marriage and pro-choice views. The Libertarian party also wants to end the war on drugs.

Fiscally conservative means that Johnson wants to promote free trade and change the current tax system to a consumption-based tax system. This means that one would only be taxed on what they spend, not on what they earn.

“The only proper role of government in the economic realm is to protect property rights, adjudicate disputes, and provide a legal framework in which voluntary trade is protected,” states the Libertarian Party website. “All efforts by government to redistribute wealth, or to control or manage trade, are improper in a free society.”

Essentially, Libertarians want people to live their lives as freely as possible and without the government telling them what they can or cannot do.

Johnson has a unique foreign policy to which the military is responding favorably. He is polling at an average of 37 percent amongst active duty military personnel, according to polls by CBS, Fox News, CNN, ABC and NBC.

“We don’t want to get involved in other countries’ affairs,” Johnson said during a CNN town hall meeting in June. “We think that the interventions that have gone on have resulted in a less safe world, not a more safe world.”

The Libertarian non-intervention military policy has long been criticized as being too isolationist, especially now with recent ISIS attacks across the world. But Johnson is the most popular candidate among the military, the very people who execute our foreign policy.

“Brains not bombs,” Johnson said in response to a what his approach would be to ISIS in an interview at the Libertarian Party of California state convention in April. “Cut off their funding and involve Congress for declaring war if that’s what we’re gonna do.”

Johnson has political experience too: he served two terms as governor of New Mexico from 1995-2004. He won as a Republican governor in a state that was two to one Democrat at the time of his election, without having ever served in public office. His running mate William Weld was governor of Massachusetts from 1991-1997. Together, Johnson and Weld make the first presidential ticket of two former governors since 1948.

“Well, I want to be an equal partner of Gary,” Weld said on a CNN town hall meeting in June. “We served together as governors. Before that, I was a federal prosecutor for seven years, so we do bring a lot of executive experience to the table, eight years in Gary’s case.”

Johnson is also a supporter of legalized marijuana use. In an interview for Fox News, he even admitted that he used marijuana before his presidential campaign. He claims he hasn’t used since the campaign started, in order to keep his mental edge.

Johnson has a slim chance of winning now, but if his polling numbers rise to 15 percent, he will have a fighting chance against Trump and Clinton.

Come September, many seniors will have the ability to vote. Voting for Johnson could make a huge impact on our nation.