Probably the most popular sentiment that I have heard expressed by most Americans from a political standpoint in recent months is mutual disgust over the candidates that have been put before us.
A significant reason for that is because the dominant political commentary people hear is the hateful and nasty rhetoric that has come from each side.
Donald Trump is a bigot and a racist.
Hillary Clinton is a liar and untrustworthy.
That’s all they know. I don’t mind if people are unhappy with the candidates. It is what it is. But it bothers me when they express that opinion before they actually take more time to educate themselves over where each candidate actually comes from and what their candidacy would actually mean for America.
And — no need to even admit full disclosure here — this is coming from someone who detests Donald Trump and has made it known. That being said, I can’t hate on someone who fully understands Trump’s agenda, the reality of him actually implementing it, and still wants to vote for him. At least they did their due diligence. Somewhat.
However, what most people don’t realize is that they do have the ability to express their political disenchantment in the voting booth this November.
Don’t get me wrong — Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate, will not be able to compete with Trump or Hillary. But he is a credible politician representing a party with a significant following. And for that, he deserves to have his voice heard.
So who is Gary Johnson? He is a former two-term Republican governor from New Mexico who later turned Independent. He supports the legalization of marijuana, is pro-choice and pro-gay marriage, and believes that humans are contributing to climate change.
But since he’s an Independent, he also believes in a hands-off government. Like, really hands off. Meaning minimal regulation on Wall Street. The phasing out of Social Security.
Oh, and he’s climbed Mount Everest. Which is a metaphor that writes itself given the mountainous climb in the polls he must make to be taken more seriously.
The most famous Libertarians in recent history are Ron Paul — who actually made a respectable run at the presidency in 2012 — and his son, Rand Paul, whose presidential campaign this year was as successful as Ryan Lochte’s Olympics after-party alibi.
The problem for Johnson is our political forum is too entrenched in the two-party system. The Libertarian Party trying to get attention is basically like Khloe Kardashian trying to make people notice her between Kim and Kourtney. It’s just not happening.
But here’s where I have a problem. Despite his hopeless chances, Gary Johnson is polling at about 10 percent. Which means, naturally, that about one in every 10 registered voters wants him to be president.
And if that’s the case, then it is an injustice if he is not allowed to participate in next month’s presidential debates. To do so, he must be polling at 15 percent.
It probably won’t make a difference as far as him even winning a single state, but if 10 percent of voters support him — then how the hell can he be shunned aside by our system at the peak of when most Americans are finally paying attention?
I won’t vote for him — but people at least deserve to know that there is a third option. And one that’s gaining a little bit of traction, at that.
Because after the political shit-storm we’ve experienced the past 18 months, at the very least, we are owed a threesome.