Gary Johnson is a political anomaly. When it comes to presidential debates, third party candidates rarely have their voice heard by the mainstream media or the public. Johnson, though, has slowly proven that he may be able to break that barrier down and pose a real threat to Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton. Johnson is probably not your average Libertarian, either.
NBC News mentions that Gary won the governorship of New Mexico as a Republican in 1994. However, he was active in Libertarian causes even back then. Johnson promoted himself as a Conservative with an eye towards Libertarianism during his governorship. Libertarians do share some ideas with Republicans, such as agreeing that the government should be hands-off in most cases. Additionally, Johnson supports the ideas of competition and free market economics.
Along the same lines, Donald Trump supports lowering taxes on the upper class to allow corporations and the uber-rich to succeed (and thus create jobs). Some argue that businesses cannot succeed until government red tape is cut and taxes lowered.
With Republicans abandoning Trump and calling for his resignation in droves, could Johnson emerge as a potential contender? Heavy notes that candidates can appear in debates when they’ve nabbed 15 percent of the vote; the former New Mexico governor currently has 7 percent. It’s possible the recent scandals against Trump could tilt the vote in Johnson’s favor.
Despite the fact that they’re angered at Trump, Republicans still aren’t endorsing Clinton, either. A Free-Market candidate who opposes more regulations and higher taxes could be the answer the GOP seeks. Additionally, a petition on Johnson’s website pleading #LetGaryDebate currently has 1.1 million signatures. Is the public fed up with Trump and Clinton?
A poll discovered by IVN asks voters unusual questions and tries to determine how Johnson would fare in separate match-ups versus Trump and Clinton. The third party candidate edges out Trump by 4.3 percent, while Clinton defeats Gary by 8.5 percent. With both candidates focused on attacking one another, it’s possible Johnson could gain in the polls.
So, what might a Gary Johnson presidency look like? In a world that seems to have forgotten it has more than two choices, Johnson has his work cut out for him reminding them. He is very opposed to the wall Trump would build between the U.S. and Mexico, but also does not want immigrants to be freely admitted. Instead, Johnson would reform our existing system to make it more efficient and expedite legal immigration.
On religious freedom, the Lutheran-raised candidate is equally balanced. He agrees that religious liberty is important and an unalienable right. However, using scripture as grounds to discriminate against certain groups is not cool with the Johnson campaign.
When it comes to the tax code, Johnson surprisingly sounds very Clinton-like. Johnson vows to close special interest loopholes in the tax code and wants to change a system that he says “penalizes” our savings.
As the campaign season has evolved, it’s become very clear that neither Clinton nor Trump is fit to cast the first stone, so to speak. Despite being low-key, Johnson’s message seems to be catching on.
The Libertarian Republic followed Johnson on the campaign trail in Phoenix, AZ, where he explained that the Libertarian Party typically does best among independent voters and that his popularity with millennials and active military was growing.
Johnson’s popularity with vets may have something to do with reports that Trump dodged the Vietnam War, or because of the fact that he mocked Sen. McCain for being captured during his tour in Korea.
Additionally, many millennials who once saw a messiah in Bernie Sanders might now be turning to Johnson as a possible alternative. Sanders’ would-be voters clearly have grievances against Clinton, and many may be loath to vote for Trump as he’s touched a lot of sensitive points.
Let us know what you think of Johnson’s candidacy below. Does the Libertarian Party have a shot in the general election?