Op/Ed: Why You Should Vote for Gary Johnson
When you see him speak in interviews, Gary Johnson can come off as sort of one-note and even repetitive. You’ll hear him say “Most Americans are Libertarians; they just don’t know it yet” in almost every speech. You’ll also hear him shortly after or within the same sentence define that as “socially liberal, fiscally conservative.” He comes off as practical, maybe even a little boring.
At the same time, though, you probably haven’t seen him call Donald Trump a pussy. The video’s grainy at best and has less than 30,000 views. It should have gone viral. It hasn’t because, as Johnson would tell you, no one is listening to the Libertarian Party. Johnson snagged just 1 percent of votes last presidential election, though that was record-breaking for Independents.
Gary Johnson isn’t just some nobody. He is, without any doubt, a total bad ass. Unlike Daddy’s boy Trump, Johnson is a self-made millionaire. But before we get to his politics, let’s look at his personal life. Johnson is a passionate athlete who completed several triathlons, marathons, and bike races while in office as the Governor of New Mexico. He competed in the Ironman World Championship three times. He ran 100 consecutive miles in the Rocky Mountains. He reached the peak of Mt. Everest despite black, frostbitten toes. He’s climbed all of the seven summits, the highest peaks in Asia, Europe, North America, Africa, South America, Antarctica, and Oceania. He even completed the Bataan Memorial Death March at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, a marathon-length course through the desert. He believes in marijuana legalization and has used medical marijuana for pain control in the past. In fact, he’s the former CEO of Cannabis Sativa Inc., a Nevada-based company that sells medical cannabis products.
And that brings us to his politics. Johnson’s all about freedom. He’s pro-just about everything. Johnson wants to decriminalize drugs to empty our prisons of drug users and to approach the drug problem with harm prevention strategies rather than punishment. If he were to become president, he would immediately issue an executive order pardoning all non-violent marijuana offenders. He’s pro legalization of prostitution for a similar reason: to protect the women who, whether or not it is legal, would still be having sex for money, often in dangerous situations. He’s pro-choice. He’s pro-gay marriage. The American Civil Liberties Union gave Gary Johnson the highest score of any candidate for these stances, as well as his opposition of censorship and regulation on the internet, the Patriot Act, and enhanced airport screenings. All in all, Gary Johnson believes the government should stay out of your business, and if you’re as tired of the government as most Americans seem to be, he could make a great alternative to Hillary or the Donald.
When it comes to foreign policy, Johnson is the happy medium between Trump’s America-first isolationism and immature attacks on world leaders versus Clinton’s sometimes shaky interventionism. Johnson believes in military non-interventionism and instead argues for diplomacy. He is against foreign wars and would cut the military budget by almost half. He opposed U.S. involvement in both the War in Afghanistan and in the Libyan Civil War.
If you’re a social liberal but you’re not so sure about the fiscal conservative part of Libertarianism, consider how successful Gary Johnson has been in his work as Governor of New Mexico. Johnson was, according to one New Mexico paper, “arguably the most popular governor of the decade.” And he left the state with a $1 billion budget surplus by drastically reducing the size of the government. At the same time, he was able to initiate a major road building program. He also raised spending for education by nearly a third. For Johnson, the question is not whether something should be done. The question is whether the government should be involved.
If you’re afraid of Donald Trump having control of nukes and you’re equally terrified of a woman under investigation by the FBI becoming commander-in-chief, consider the wild card Gary Johnson.
Photo courtesy of theodysseyonline.com