Gary Johnson and the Libertarian Party’s rise to success
BY: NICK SAWICKI, CONTRIBUTOR
For about a good 26% of the nation, their second worst nightmare has come true—an imminent Trump versus Clinton face off in the general election. The Donald more or less just gave the metaphorical bird to some of the most respected political pundits in the nation following his decisive 54% victory in Indiana on May 3rd *Karl Rove resignedly goes off to cry in his corner*. Props to Trump and his 30% base of supporters for bracket busting the 1/17 chance of receiving the Republican party’s nomination and somehow managing to shake both Kasich and Cruz from his tail before an ugly convention had to ensue, but what about the rest of the nation? For all those who cannot possibly fathom living under a Trump presidency, they are left to vote for … *gulp* … Hillary?
“But I’m still not ready for Hillary! I wasn’t ready eight years ago and I’m not ready after Benghazi, an illegal email server, an ongoing FBI investigation, deleted emails, and millions of dollars made from hour-long speeches,” says many Americans.
So what do you do? Do you forfeit your constitutional right to vote that your ancestors have fought and died to establish and uphold?
Gary Johnson believes that he is the viable alternative to the two unfavorable and hated choices that Americans are presented with in this election season. A two term governor of New Mexico, Johnson is also the founder of one the of the largest construction companies in New Mexico, with over 1,000 employees. He boasts about his active lifestyle and regularly competes in both biking and running marathons. Johnson is the leading candidate of the Libertarian party whose support continues to grow amid the tumultuous political climate of the Democrat and Republican parties.
Immediately following the campaign suspensions of Governor John Kasich and Senator Ted Cruz, the Libertarian party watched their membership applications double from its typical daily membership requests . According to a recent gallup poll, 58% of adults feel like a third party is needed in America, with 26% saying they would rather stay home or vote for a third party candidate in the event of a Trump/Clinton race. Having received over 1,000,000 votes in the 2012 Obama/Romney election, Johnson is gearing up to break the 15% polling threshold and make a debut in the national debates along with Trump and Clinton.
Appearing in these debates is imperative to even be considered a viable presidential option, especially since most Americans are unaware of the Libertarian party’s ideology. A cross between conservatives and liberals, Libertarians adopt a fiscally conservative approach to running the economy, while maintaining a more liberal stance on social issues like gay marriage, abortion, and the legalization of marijuana. They are strongly against “big government”, believing that government stifles economic growth and creates a state of dependency if allowed to metastasize out of control. Libertarians also favor a shrunken military presence around the world, believing that American involvement in unnecessary foreign affairs led to the rise of ISIS and unintended consequences. They believe that money spent on an unnecessarily large military is better spent on domestic issues, like fixing our neglected infrastructure.
In a recent interview on CNN, Johnson sums up the Libertarian philosophy, stating that, “We should be able to live our lives as we see fit, so long as our decisions don’t adversely affect others.” In fact, 11% of people surveyed in a recent Mammoth University poll would choose this philosophy over the outdated philosophies of the polarized two party systems.
The key for Johnson is to find the 5% that will push his poll numbers past 15% and officially permit him to appear on the national debate stages come the first debate on September 26th. Johnson admits that “there’s no way a third party candidate gets elected president of the United States if they’re not in the presidential debates.” If he is serious about profoundly changing the American political system, he needs to hone in on his endurance abilities to climb that mountain of 4% and win the race.
Nick Sawicki believes that Governor Johnson has a credible shot at being a viable candidate in the upcoming election. Do you agree?