Gary Johnson and the Debates

A third party candidate in a system dominated by two parties

By Tim Baldwin and Joe Carbonari

By Tim Baldwin

It’s no mystery that many Republicans and limited-government advocates dislike Donald Trump, though the reasons may be different. Voting for Trump is not only out of the question, but many anti-Trumpers are openly promoting Gary Johnson’s campaign, the libertarian candidate. Johnson’s support comes also from anti-Clintonites.

Gary Johnson is the only other candidate who will be on all ballots. His popularity is rising, which is indicated by continued polling. Despite some policies of Johnson’s that conservatives may dislike (e.g. abortion, same-sex marriage), Johnson is viewed as honest and open and desires to limit the federal government considerably, a common goal among conservatives and libertarians.

It is understandable why Trump appeals to people wishing for a political “revolution.” His rhetoric suggests he will wipe out political corruption like the puritans wiped out “witches.” But for other conservatives, his rhetoric scares them. Similarly, many Democrats are scared by Hillary Clinton. Thus, Johnson’s campaign is viable, but as Johnson admits, for him to win, he must be allowed to debate them.

In total, #LetGaryDebate seems like a no-brainer this election, though Johnson was denied this opportunity for the first debate. Maybe after America observes Trump and Clinton during the first debate millions of Americans will join Johnson.

By Joe Carbonari

Character matters. Donald Trump’s character sufficiently suits the private sector. Big business is not bean bag, nor is it government. The means and ends are different. One is measured financially, the other by the well-being of those governed.

A strong, secure economy is at base of this well-being as is a healthy life itself. Trump will bring change which will work to the benefit of some and to the detriment of others. General environmental and health concerns will be given less consideration in favor of encouraging business. Good for some, but endangering to others, particularly the less powerful and well-off. Some feel there are winners and losers in life and have little concern for the losers. That does not augur well for the less-lucky. The economy must work for all, even those less gifted by birth or good fortune, even those who may seem undeserving.

Of even greater concern, however, is that Trump may misread his competition, gamble when he should not. It is not uncommon for world leaders to disagree on existential matters. How they handle themselves may determine war or peace at a catastrophic level — well beyond what is at stake in a business deal.

Finally, a protest vote for a third-party candidate cannot make a large positive change, but it may make a huge negative one. In a close election it might put Trump in office. The risk is not worth the gain. It is a counter-productive action.

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