Voters who like Senators Bernie Sanders and Rand Paul just might want to take a peek at the Libertarian Party’s presidential candidate Gary Johnson, former governor of New Mexico, and explore his ideas on issues they care most about before casting ballots for any other individual in the November general election.
Johnson has written an op-ed which is posted over on The Hill’s website, as well as promoted on the candidate’s webpage. In this piece, Johnson details the reasons why voters might actually want to vote for him.
“Think of it this way: I’m someone you would trust to run your household and to keep it safe while you went away on a trip or a vacation. I could even fix a few things around the house. After all, the construction company I founded began as a one-man handy-man operation. Can you say the same for Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump?”
Johnson has some hefty political stances, as seen in posts at the On The Issues website. But Johnson’s campaign website will bring voters up-to-date on current events. One big topic of concern is American foreign policy and the national defense, and Johnson addresses those.
“The objective of both our foreign policy and our military should be straightforward: To protect us from harm and to allow us to exercise our freedoms. Looking back over the past couple of decades, it is difficult to see how the wars we have waged, the interventions we have conducted, the lives sacrificed, and the trillions of tax dollars we have spent on the other side of the globe have made us safer. If anything, our meddling in the affairs of other nations has made us less safe,” Johnson believes.
“Many senior military and foreign policy analysts have concluded that the rise of ISIS can actually be traced back to instability created by our meddling in the affairs of others,” Johnson says further. “This is because the last several administrations, both Republican and Democrat, have used our military resources to pursue undemocratic regime changes, embark on impossible nation-building exercises, and to establish the United States as the policeman of the world.”
“This imperialistic foreign policy makes it easier for ISIS, Al Qaeda, and other violent extremists to recruit new members. We need to build a strong military. But we should not use our military strength to try to solve the world’s problems. Doing so creates new enemies and perpetual war.”
“How is it that the United States, the land of the free, has one of the highest incarceration rates in the world? The answer is simple: Over time, the politicians have ‘criminalized’ far too many aspects of people’s personal lives,” according to Johnson on his campaign website. The former governor then addresses the long-time “War on Drugs.”
“Well over 100 million Americans have, at one time or another, used marijuana. Yet, today, simple possession and use of marijuana remains a crime — despite the fact that a majority of Americans now favor its legalization. And who is most harmed by the War on Drugs? Minorities, the poor, and anyone else without access to high-priced attorneys. More generally, mandatory minimum sentences for a wide range of offenses and other efforts by politicians to be ‘tough’ have removed far too much common-sense discretion from judges and prosecutors.”
Johnson believes America has “too many unnecessary laws,” and he believes that this has produced “a society with too many people in our prisons and jails, too many undeserving individuals saddled with criminal records, and a seriously frayed relationship between law enforcement and those they serve.”
He points out that many state and municipal governments “are taking steps” to achieve what he terms “meaningful criminal justice reform.”
Recalling for voters that he has served as governor for New Mexico, a border state, Johnson has what he calls “first-hand” experience with the issue of immigration and all its complexity.
“We should appreciate and respect the diversity of immigrants that come to the United States to be productive members of society. But we also need to recognize that everyone who comes here is not so well-intentioned.”
Building a wall or offering amnesty are not the only options, according to Johnson. The former governor and his running mate, former Governor Bill Weld, both believe there needs to be “a more efficient system of providing work visas, conducting background checks, and incentivizing non-citizens to pay their taxes, obtain proof of employment, and otherwise assimilate with our diverse society.”
[Photo by Rick Bowmer, File/AP Images]