2016 has been, according to numerous media pundits, one of the strangest and most divisive election years America has ever faced. It seems that never before have Americans been faced with two candidates whose trustworthiness and honesty ratings are so low. According to Fox News:
More American voters view Clinton unfavorably (55 percent) than favorably (44 percent), giving her a net negative rating of -11 points. Last month she was underwater by 14.
That’s still better than her opponent. Only 36 percent of voters have a positive opinion of Trump, while 63 percent feel the opposite, giving him a net score of -27 points. That’s worse than his -18 rating in June.
If only there were another choice…. wait- there is! Gary Johnson and his running mate, Bill Weld, are former two-term Republican governors of New Mexico and Massachusetts, respectively. They are running on the Libertarian ticket. But, let’s be honest, do party affiliations mean much anymore today? You have Republicans denouncing their own party left and right, independents (feel the Bern) becoming Democrats (albeit for a brief moment) and then becoming independents again, and Democrats left backing someone who can’t be trusted with national security. And if we were all honest with ourselves, many of us really might identify as Libertarians. Like smaller government? Check. How about less taxes? Double check. What about weed? Anyone still think the war on drugs really needs to be putting guys with joints behind bars in our overflowing prisons? What if legalized weed boosted our economy? Created more jobs? Would you respect a candidate that has scaled the highest peak on each of the 7 continents? How about a candidate (and running mate) that has been re-elected as a Republican governor in a blue state?
Then maybe you need to check out Gary Johnson. If you’re unhappy with something either Trump or Clinton has said or done- and I mean really unhappy, because there is never going to be a perfect candidate for all of us- then give him a listen. At least watch the past two town halls he has participated in on CNN. You can watch the first one here, on Youtube.
Johnson’s stance on the military is non-isolationist, yet also non-interventionist. What’s that mean? That means he isn’t holding firm to the Libertarian principle of no military on foreign soil, but he isn’t about to re-do another regime change in Libya anytime soon. For those of us who have been in combat, fighting alongside the indigenous population for 16 years now, the concept of getting in and out of a country can seem pretty appealing.
Haven’t heard of Johnson-Weld yet? That’s because our media is too busy becoming mired in divisive, petty politics to search out a solution. After all, petty, divisive politics make for some pretty good TV ratings. Recent polls show the Libertarians holding somewhere between 10-13%. A mere 15% gets them on the debate stage, which seems like a refreshing addition to what is turning out to be an election that’s ignoring the issues.
Image courtesy: Getty Images (Mark Wilson)