If you are overwhelmed by the fact that you have to choose between Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential race, know that you have an alternative – Gary Johnson. According to the Huffington Post both Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump have over 50% unfavorable ratings. Meaning both candidate if elected will be coming into office with less than 50% approval rating… good grief!
As always the media is only focusing on the Republican and Democrat presidential candidates. Few people are even aware that there is a third party candidate.
Gary Johnson – Brief History:
Born January 1, 1953 in Minot North Dakota, Johnson is an American businessman and politician. According to Wikipedia:
He attended the University of New Mexico, while in college Johnson earned money as a door-to-door handyman. His success in that industry encouraged him to start his own business, Big J Enterprises, in 1976. His major break with the firm was receiving a large contract from Intel’s expansion in Rio Rancho, which increased Big J’s revenue to $38 million. He eventually grew Big J into a multi-million-dollar corporation with over 1,000 employees. By the time he sold the company in 1999, it was one of New Mexico’s leading construction companies.
He entered politics for the first time by running for Governor of New Mexico in 1994 on a fiscally conservative, low-tax and anti-crime platform. Johnson won the Republican Party of New Mexico’s gubernatorial nomination, and defeated incumbent Democratic governor Bruce King. During his tenure as governor, Johnson became known for his low-tax libertarian views, adhering to policies of tax and bureaucracy reduction supported by a cost–benefit analysis rationale. He cut the 10% annual growth in the budget: in part, due to his use of the gubernatorial veto 200 times during his first six months in office. Johnson set state and national records for his use of veto and line-item veto powers: estimated to have been more than the other 49 contemporary governors combined, which gained him the nicknames “Veto Johnson” and “Governor Veto”.
Gary Johnson – Political positions:
- Johnson’s can be described as fiscally conservative and socially liberal. He believes in limited government and military non-interventionism.
- Johnson favors simplifying and reducing taxes. During his governorship, Johnson cut taxes fourteen times and never increased them.
- Johnson has stated he supports “slashing government spending”, including Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, which would involve cutting Medicare and Medicaid by 43 percent.
- Johnson has expressed opposition to the Federal Reserve System, which he has cited as massively devaluing the strength of the U.S. dollar, and would sign legislation to eliminate it.
- In his campaign for the Libertarian Party nomination, he stated he opposed foreign wars and pledged to cut the military budget by 43 percent in his first term as president.
- Johnson is a strong supporter of civil liberties and received the highest score of any candidate from the American Civil Liberties Union for supporting drug decriminalization while opposing censorship and regulation of the Internet, the Patriot Act, enhanced airport screenings, and the indefinite detention of prisoners.
- Johnson endorsed same-sex marriage.
- Johnson opposes Roe v. Wade, believing states should decide the matter.
- He has been a longtime advocate of legalizing marijuana and has said that if he were president, he would remove it from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act as well as issue an executive order pardoning non-violent marijuana offenders.
- Johnson has stated his opposition to gun control and has said, “I’m a firm believer in the Second Amendment and so I would not have signed legislation banning assault weapons or automatic weapons.”
Johnson had chosen William Weld as his running mate. Weld used to be a member of the Republican party and served as governor of Massachusetts between 1991 and 1997. Weld has been an outspoken critic of the Republican party for many years.
When you go to the ballots in November, have the Johnson / Weld ticket at the back of your mind as a solid alternative. Gary Johnson is the only third party candidate on the ballot in all 50 states.
By Lola Fajemirokun