Photo courtesy of The Daily Beast
I‘m the problem. I’m what is wrong with our country right now. I’m a Gary Johnson supporter. No, I’m not a Libertarian. I’m far from one. But I know what I’m not, and that’s not accepting.
During the primaries, Third Parties weren’t so much as crossing my mind, which was far too occupied with being in love with Bernie Sanders. “Why, Quinn, why— ” you may be thinking, “would you go from supporting a Democratic Socialist to a Libertarian?” Let’s start with a quick background check of the opposition, since, without their faults, I admittedly never would have given Gary Johnson as much as a glance.
On Trump’s side, the problems are more obvious. He’s a loudmouthed, ignorant, relatively unintelligent, lying, con artist. His economic plan is garbage, his views are unconstitutional and largely unaccepted by most of the voting population and he has had a troubling history of mistreating women, workers and minorities. But he’s far from the only hair in the soup.
Hillary Clinton, if you have somehow yet to realize this, has committed illegal actions. Her email server scandal is far from an exaggeration, and is very telling about how she views herself above the law when she deems it necessary, a trait she’s shown more than once. She’s sought to ruin the lives and images of women who’ve come forward to claim consensual and nonconsensual sexual interactions with her husband (contradicting her oft-touted feminist stances). Doesn’t every accuser have the right to be heard?
Speaking of not being heard, let’s talk about the DNC. Revealed by multiple, ongoing email hacks, many Democratic officials worked alongside the Clinton campaign to make sure Bernie Sanders would not be the nominee, effectively taking away the voice of 12,029,699 voting Americans. She never flinched in accepting this tainted nomination, and allowed the DNC speakers to continue to smear Bernie’s supporters as “ridiculous” crybabies, doing little but disrupting their system.
The Two-Party system has failed us, every single one of us. They couldn’t pass background check laws when twenty children and six teachers were gunned down, they couldn’t hold us above themselves when they shut down the government and they don’t seem to care for the President’s legal right to nominate a new Supreme Court Justice.
The only way to end this impotent legislature is to shake the system at its core, for example, try enacting term and campaign limit reform, lobbying laws or electing a Third Party president. Our government needs to stop representing itself and start representing its people.
A Third Party President would bring an element of moderation, since he or she wouldn’t be restricted to carrying out a Democratic or Republican platform. With this level of freedom, Gary Johnson would be able to benefit the country by acting on his well-balanced beliefs.
In terms of liberal policies, he’s pro-choice, pro-LGBTQ rights and pro-legalization of marijuana. On the conservative side, he’s anti-taxation, pro-second amendment and generally for a smaller, “less restrictive” government. As a libertarian, he’s for the right to frack, and in support of free market capitalism.
You will (and should) argue: “Quinn, what about the Aleppo moment? Shouldn’t our President know what Aleppo is?” You’re completely correct. They should. You know what else our President should do? Take direct responsibility for mistakes. After Johnson’s Aleppo gaffe on Morning Joe, he maturely apologized, taking “complete responsibility.”
Responsibility is something hard to come by in this election. So when I saw Johnson humbly admit his mistake, and apologize, I saw something in him that I do not see in any other candidates this year: the ability to lead, and lead humbly.
There is so much more at stake this year than simply Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton taking residency at the White House. This year, our values, our democratic system, and our expectations for our government are on the line. And so it is for this and many other reasons that a third party vote is not a wasted vote by any conceivable means. It is your opportunity not only to express your views or distaste, but to also put our leaders on notice. It is time to ignore conventions and Vote Gary Johnson.
By Quinn Fluet