Most would agree that this tumultuous election season has been a disappointment for informed voters on both sides of the party lines. According to RealClearPolitics.com, nearly 55 percent of Americans view Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in a negative light, and 57.3 percent of Americans view Donald Trump the same. Ultimately, the American voter is being asked to choose the candidate they hate least. There is another option, however: former New Mexico Gov. and Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson. Johnson is a self-made businessman who successfully started a construction company from scratch in 1976, taking it to $38 million in annual revenue with over 1,000 employees. Johnson also won two terms as a Republican governor in a deeply blue state in the 1990s.
After two terms, Johnson then took an unsuccessful stab at the 2012 Republican nomination as pro-choice, anti-war and a staunch supporter of limited government power. Johnson was also appointed as president and CEO of medical marijuana company Cannabis Sativa Inc. in 2014.
Johnson is a choice candidate because he has ethics and isn’t a criminal or racist—terms often used to describe the major party candidates. He also has actual executive experience. As president, Johnson plans to enact several key policies designed to balance our budget and protect our rights.
Ending the War on Drugs is a priority for Johnson. As governor, Johnson was one of the first politicians to support the legalization of marijuana. By legalizing several recreational drugs, illegal trade and distribution can end and will be regulated by the government. This can create revenue through new economic activity, which can—in turn—be taxed. In addition, our prisons would no longer burst at the seams due to unnecessary sentences for marijuana-related crimes.
Johnson also plans to decrease United States military involvement in areas of the world that do not directly affect our national safety. Too many American soldiers die on sandy battlefields far away from home—often while defending interests not common to the American people. Johnson wants to be more careful in how we wield our military might.
Another important issue is taxes. Simple and fair taxation is necessary to help reverse the trend of excessive spending and inefficient tax collection. Johnson wants to scrap our current 70,000+ pages long tax code and remove the bulk of the exemptions for big business and partisan special interest groups. No longer will savings or investment be penalized—taxation will focus on how much you consume.
Arguably the most important tenet of Johnson’s campaign are civil liberties. Johnson believes that people should have control over their own lives, free of government control or over-watch. This includes marriage, abortion and privacy rights. Johnson agrees that marriage and abortion are very personal decisions that the government should have no say in.
Johnson’s qualifications and policy positions provide a real alternative to the two corrupt candidates for the presidency. Some people are sick of having to choose between the lesser of two evils, and Johnson is a solid third-party candidate on the ballot.