The presidential campaign this election year is one of the weirdest I can remember. It’s one of the most divisive—albeit not as divisive as 2008—but also one of the most confusing, because, for the first time in my adult life, the (likely) candidates of the two biggest parties are both equally—even though differently—repulsive.
Being a Republican, I was one of the early supporters of Marco Rubio, the Florida senator whose young energy and desire to turn this country and the world around appealed to me a great deal. Unfortunately, he didn’t appeal to a larger Republican audience, and he had to drop out of the campaign. One by one, reasonable candidates—ones I could see myself supporting in case Marco dropped out, like Carly Fiorina, Jeb Bush, John Kasich—left the campaign field to make room for the obvious GOP frontrunner, the New York businessman, Donald J. Trump. By now, it’s all but certain Trump is going to be the Republican nominee for president in November.
And when we look at the Democratic field, the picture is equally ugly. One one hand, we have a junior senator from Vermont, Bernie Sanders, who publicly declares to be a socialist—something that doesn’t happen in the American politics too often, thankfully. Sanders has time and again proven he doesn’t know how the world works; he knows nothing about foreign policy, diplomatic affairs and why or what the U.S. should be representing in the world stage. Moreover, he doesn’t understand how the economy works, making outrageous promises that can only mean he truly believes money grows on trees. But, as the Democratic primaries have shown, even though he does have a considerable following of naïve and idealistic youngsters, the American general public, even the Democratic general public is reluctant to have a borderline communist as president.
How do you choose between a conniving cunt and a shitty, xenophobic businessman?*
The presumptive Democratic candidate, the former SecState and senator, Hillary Clinton, whose greatest accomplishment is being the former first lady, is another example of someone who should only see the White House on a guided tour. A blatant liar; a suspected criminal, under the investigation by the FBI; a person who, as Secretary of State, was responsible for numerous security lapses that endangered American lives in Benghazi and resulted in the death of the U.S. ambassador to Libya, as well as other Americans. And even worse, we’re dealing with a candidate who claims to be a champion of women, but who has been accused of silencing and threatening her husband’s alleged rape victims (and we all know about Bill Clinton’s indiscretions, so it’s not that hard to believe).
And then we come to Donald J. Trump. A person who wants to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexican border and have Mexico pay for it. (You know, the only way this is ever going to happen is when Trump bankrupts America and makes an enemy out of every other nation, then Mexico is going to build the wall to keep out all the Americans who want to leave the United States of Trump.) A person who calls for a ban to keep members of a certain religious group from entering the U.S. A businessman who has bankrupted more businesses—among others a casino!—than most people start in their lifetime. A wannabe politician who changes his positions not only every day, but sometimes in the same sentence—a politician about whom we don’t really know where he stands on any of the issues (“It’s going to be yuge!”—“I know words!”—“I’ve said many things!”). A candidate who is admired by the dictators of the world, and, even worse, admires these dictators himself. A man who picks fights with everyone, including the media (real smart!), who on a regular basis offends women, veterans, Muslims, Mexicans, pretty much everyone who doesn’t agree with him, or whom he doesn’t particularly like at any given moment. A person whose emotional intelligence is a big round zero.
So, indeed. How do you make a choice between two different, but equally shitty candidates of whom neither should ever step in the Oval Office in any capacity?
Well, one option is, you don’t.
And that’s why…
I’m endorsing Gary Johnson for president
I don’t identify myself as a libertarian. I am a conservative when it comes to the economy, foreign policy and defense. I’m a liberal when it comes to social issues. I believe in the American exceptionalism, and I believe in interventionist diplomacy when it comes to guarding the free world and its values. I identify myself as a modern, common-sense Republican.
But this election, it has come to me breaking the party line and endorsing the presidential candidate of the Libertarian Party.
I think the former governor of New Mexico is a viable choice for president for everyone who can’t see themselves supporting either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, Republicans and Democrats alike. It might very well be he’s the only viable choice.
I agree with Gary Johnson on most issues.
- Limited government and defending of personal, individual freedoms, including the freedom of marriage between consenting adults—check.
- Balanced budgets and cutting down government spending—check.
- Creating an economic environment for job growth without manipulating the market—check.
- A simplified, but secure immigration and work visa system—check.
- Deregulating the internet and communications market and stopping government interference of innovation—check.
- Deregulating the energy market and stopping government interference of environmental issues—check.
In fact, the only main issue I don’t agree with Governor Johnson is foreign policy. As I said, I believe in interventionist diplomacy when it comes to defending the free world, and I think the best defender of the free world is the United States. The world’s history has shown it needs a global policeman, and who is better to take on this chore than the land of the free and the home of the brave? If the U.S. stopped acting as the world’s policeman, we would see the emergence of Russia or China as such and that would mean a definite end to the free world as we know it, and the liberties and values we hold dear.
But, this election I am willing to compromise on this issue, because in the current field, Gary Johnson is the best candidate for the highest office in the country, considering the other candidates’ profound shortcomings. I also believe that if the governor would take the office of president (which, I admit, is a long shot), he would soon be faced with the reality of today’s world and at least to a certain extent, change his non-interventionist stance.
I believe Gary Johnson is also the most sensible option this election. We know very clearly where he stands; his economic policies are reasonable and support the free market and his social policies stand by individual freedoms. And even though I don’t agree with his foreign policy, at least we all know where he stands, which can’t be said of the prospective GOP nominee.
We should all come together
The thing, of course, is, that Gary Johnson doesn’t stand much of a chance winning the election in November. The most recent three-way polling puts his support at 10%, while Hillary Clinton has 38% and Donald Trump 35%. Even if the remaining voters came to support Johnson, he’d only have 27% of support.
But there is plenty of time until the election. I believe that if all of us who are displeased with the main parties’ candidates would stand behind Governor Johnson, he would actually have a chance to win the White House. Believe it or not, among those 38% and 35% who would vote for Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, respectively, are people who would only vote for them because they’re their party’s candidates, and would otherwise have picked a different person as their nominee. If those discontent people would look into Gary Johnson and what he represents, I believe they could be persuaded to support him in general election, too.
The summer of discontent 2016 could have a happier ending than having to say the words, “President Donald Trump” or “President Hillary Clinton.” We could end up saying, “President Gary Johnson,” and I’d be OK with that.
* I borrowed that phrase from a Canadian friend. Nobody else has described this race more accurately.