OPINION: Vote for Gary Johnson

Richard Fast

The majority of registered voters in the U.S. do not belong to a political party. Read that again: The majority of registered voters do not belong to a political party. There are several ways we can look at this.

We can say, perhaps, they have investigated both of the old parties and have come to the conclusion that both do not represent them ideologically. We can also speculate that a fair amount of these independents are either apathetic or not knowledgeable enough at the time of registering to choose a party, or perhaps they simply choose not to be pinned in a corner with a label.

Within the context of the 2016 presidential election, we can start to see why this makes sense. Not only are the majority of registered American voters independent, but they disapprove of both the old party candidates in record numbers. Enter Gary Johnson: presidential candidate of the Libertarian Party, the third-largest political party in the country, and the candidate most in a position to pose a credible threat to the establishment parties.

But who is he? Gary Johnson was a successful handyman entrepreneur in college who started his own business and eventually sold it, a two-term governor of New Mexico — a Republican in a two-thirds Democratic state — and a triathlete who has climbed Mt. Everest. Intent on scaling back the intrusions of big government, Johnson makes a good candidate for these independent voters, amongst whose chief concerns include the egregious national debt and ending the failed drug war, starting by reclassifying marijuana off Schedule I. Watch any interview of him and he exudes a down-to-earth, personable demeanor with sincere conviction to get this country onto a more libertarian direction, commonly described as “fiscally responsible, socially tolerant.”

A common concern among those otherwise sympathetic is “yeah, but he’s never going to win.” Johnson is polling at above 15 percent in over ten states. Strategically, he need only win his home state, New Mexico, and the electoral college vote be split between the old party candidates for the election to be thrown to the House of Representatives where, in a vote of no confidence of the other two, could swing in Johnson’s favor. Gary Johnson is the best chance independents have of toppling the old party candidates.