By Mike Wilcox, Publisher
For those of you who are disgusted with presidential politics and are not inclined to vote for either Clinton or Trump, there is an alternative. His name is Gary Johnson, nominee of the Libertarian Party.
He is the former governor of New Mexico, so he knows how to actually run a large government entity- something neither Clinton or Trump can honestly post on their resumes. He has chosen another former governor, Bill Weld to be his vice-presidential candidate.
Depending on what poll you believe, the Libertarian duo is running at about 10 percent. Of course that is a far cry from the 40 to 50 percent poll numbers of Clinton and Trump, but in this topsy-turvy election cycle who knows what will happen in the next few months.
Although 10 percent is considered quite remarkable for a third party candidate it is 5 percentage points short of being invited to the presidential debates. Political pundits, and I must qualify they were all dead wrong about Trump’s rise, insist you have to be a part of the debates to have any chance of getting elected.
A sobering statistic is that no third-party candidate has received an electoral vote since George Wallace amassed 46 electoral votes way back in 1968, when Richard Nixon actually won the presidency in a tight race with Hubert Humphrey.
Even though Ross Perot a businessman who ran as a third party candidate, picked up nearly 20 percent of the popular vote in 1992 (at one point in June he was leading both Clinton and Bush with 39% of the vote) he wasn’t able to get a single electoral college vote. It is widely believed that his candidacy cost Bush Sr. the election and allowed Bill Clinton to serve for 8 years as our president.
Thus the uphill climb to become a part of the debates, to get on the ballot in all fifty states and to actually garner electoral votes is probably too steep. Still Johnson’s kinder, gentler approach to politics is refreshing to many of us. As a Libertarian, he supports limited government, is pro-civil liberties and a non-interventionist.
One of his platform hallmarks is a balanced budget. Johnson thinks we are headed to a fiscal crisis unless we get the federal budget under control. He supports amending the U.S. Constitution to require a balanced budget.
He is opposed to Obamacare. He believes the government shouldn’t be in the health care business. Johnson says a market-based approach should be the foundation of any solution.
Johnson also believes the IRS should be abolished and replaced with the FairTax reform proposal which would allow a national consumption tax on new goods and services to be the primary taxing authority. He believes the FairTax would reboot the economy without impacting those at or under the poverty level, because they would not be subject to the new tax.
It seems like I’ve heard this platform before. It was, if I’m correct, the centerfold for the Tea Party in our not so distant past. Johnson, however, appears to be a progressive when it comes to civil liberties. And he certainly would not get any Tea Party kudos with his non-intervention foreign policy stance.
So for those who simply can’t live with Clinton or Trump, you might consider Johnson. He is a legitimate candidate who performed admirably as the governmental leader of New Mexico for eight years. Can he ultimately win? I think Vegas oddsmakers would place his chances somewhere in the 100 to 1 or worse category. But, I point out, no one gave Trump any chance to capture the Republican nomination and look where he is.