When the Trump campaign imploded, I finally felt it was safe to come out as a supporter of Gary Johnson. I posted on Facebook encouraging friends to look beyond ClinTrump. The response was more hostile than if I’d announced I was engaged to Kim Jong Un.
“I’m genuinely concerned you’ve lost your mind,” wrote my pro-Clinton friend Eliza. I replied to Eliza and tried to explain why I think Johnson is the best choice. I knew Eliza opposed the death penalty, so asked her why she was voting for Clinton, who still believes the government can kill people legally. When I showed her that, unlike Johnson, Clinton is indeed a cheerleader for lethal injections, Eliza went silent.
Capital punishment is just one issue where many Americans, in their heart of hearts, may well agree more with Johnson than with ClinTrump.
Peace is another one. Hawkish Hillary voted for the Iraq war, backed military action in Libya and sending American troops into Syria. Trigger-happy Trump also gave the Iraq war a thumbs-up. If he becomes president, his only dilemma is which Arab country to invade first.
In contrast, Johnson opposed the Iraq war, and has pledged to slash the military budget by 43% in his first term. He will scale back on nuclear programs, close down some foreign bases and end foreign invasions.
Johnson is a far braver free-speech advocate than ClinTrump. He has been steadfast in his opposition to the Patriot Act, censorship of the Internet, militarization of the police and the indefinite detention of prisoners. In 2012, the American Civil Liberties Union gave him the highest score of any presidential candidate.
Johnson is the only candidate to support reform of our corrupt and broken family-law system. The divorce industry currently nets $60 billion for attorneys, judges and other employees of the family courts, but it’s tearing American families apart, and needlessly imprisoning millions of parents for non-payment of child-support. ClinTrump have never even mentioned this issue.
Johnson is the champion of the challenge to the bankrupt two-party system, with which millennials are so fed up. That’s especially true with Social Security. A second President Clinton would accelerate an entitlements program that is heading off a cliff. Johnson proposes radical reforms, with the retirement age raised to 72, and Medicaid moving from federal to state management.
“Millennials are getting screwed,” Johnson warns. While Clinton is pandering to the Baby Boomers and Generation X-ers, Johnson offers the only plan with a credible chance of leaving a safety net for millennials and their sub-millennial kids.
The same is true with healthcare. As Johnson said: “President Obama’s affordable healthcare is dependent on young healthy people paying for older unhealthy people.” The sad truth is that Obamacare hasn’t worked. Insurance companies are abandoning the program in droves. Yet Clinton wants to double down. Johnson’s alternative plan will work more closely with the private sector to create markets for medical procedures.
On education, Johnson offers another stark alternative to ClinTrump. He will completely abolish the grossly wasteful Department of Education and will expand vouchers for private schools. Unlike Clinton, his plan favors teachers over unions; local educational processes over federalized testing.
Johnson is passionate in his belief that the Federal government should stay out of both your bedroom and your wallet. That is most apparent in his tax plan, which would eliminate the IRS and replace most of the tax code with a single consumption tax.
He’s promised to submit a balanced budget to Congress within his first 100 days in office. His record shows that he knows how to manage taxpayers’ money: after eight years as governor of New Mexico, he left the state’s economy in surplus by more than $1 billion. Contrary to caricature, Johnson is not an anarchist—he’s a common-sense libertarian.
Americans would love to swipe left on ClinTrump. They are the most distrusted, unpopular presidential nominees ever. In contrast, no one thinks of Johnson as a douche or a liar.
This is a video of Heat Street behind the scenes with Gary Johnson:
Independent observers that know Johnson find him likeable and trustworthy. If truth-telling is a key factor for you, then have a look at Politifact. Its research shows that 52% of Trump’s statements have been false or ‘pants-on- fire’ lies, compared to 13% for Clinton.
Johnson also gets a 13% score, but he wins in a ‘pants-on- fire’ showdown, with zero lies recorded. Nobody has described Johnson as ‘crooked’.
His campaign finances, for example, are way less sketchy than ClinTrump. He accepts no large donations and has raised less than $8 million. By contrast, Clinton has spent around $17 million attacking Johnson—more than twice his campaign’s entire budget. Despite this offensive, Johnson is polling second in numerous states, and scoring especially well with the under-30s. A recent poll in Virginia gives him 27% of millennials, compared to 34% for Clinton and 23% for Trump.
Who’d have thought Johnson could get to where he is now, considering his exclusion from the presidential debates? He receives no Secret Service protection. He flies with SouthWest, stays at Econo-lodge, and travels by Uber.
A socially liberal father of two, Johnson is young at heart. He’s also the youngest in years. He’s 63, versus Clinton’s 68 and Trump’s 70. He has a good claim to be the physically fittest presidential candidate of all time.” He’s summited the highest peaks on all seven continents including Mount Everest, which he climbed on a broken leg. He has run 17 marathons and is the only presidential candidate ever to complete an Ironman triathlon.
Johnson not only has extraordinary focus and determination–he’s cool. He wears Nike Frees with orange shoelaces. Monty Python’s Life of Brian is one of his favorite movies. He’s a great guy to share a joint with. While the Clintons won’t even admit to inhaling, Johnson is The Dude.
He was the first governor to advocate for the legalization of marijuana and even ran his own medicinal-cannabis company. To be fair, he’s given up the herb for the campaign, and pledged to stay abstinent if elected. Personally, I hope he flip-flops on this promise. The federal government is far more likely to run smoothly if President Johnson can invite Paul Ryan and Bernie Sanders to the Oval Office, to nibble on his favored edibles, Cheeba Chews.
The alternative of a sour, sober President Clinton would surely lead to complete Congressional gridlock.
Johnson’s Reaganite anti-government platform is closer to fiscally conservative Republican hearts than it is to most Democrats. Swing-voters leaning Republican are more likely to vote Johnson that those leaning Democrat. For instance, Johnson has picked up the endorsements of several conservative newspapers, including the Detroit News, which has backed a Republican in every election in its 143-year history.
So that liberates us all to vote with our conscience. We no longer have to make a choice between the brain cancer of the Donald or the herpes of Hillary.
Another trendy argument against voting for Johnson is the one articulated by my friend, Tabber: “Only those with a chance to win ‘matter’ in our current system.” This is the ‘wasted vote’ theory: Johnson is currently polling at 6% of the national vote. There’s no way he can turn this around before November 8 .
Johnson responds: “A wasted vote is voting for someone you don’t believe in.” I agree with this strongly. If can’t find the cojones to vote outside of the Democratic/ Republican duopoly, that cycle will never be broken.
I love that Johnson is a rank outsider, an underdog on a hero’s journey. Writing off Johnson because of his low poll ratings is like saying the Light Brigade should never have charged or the Chicago Cubs shouldn’t fight for the World Series.
As my 8-year-old son said to me: “If a singer [Bob Dylan] can win that book prize for the first time, why can’t Johnson win this election?”
Johnson could win the White House it if he prevails in just one state, and neither Clinton nor Trump secures 270 electoral college votes. If that happens, the House of Representatives must elect a candidate with at least one electoral-college vote. In a three-way election between Johnson and ClinTrump, in a House where many Republicans have declared to being NeverTrump, Johnson has a fighting chance of becoming President.
Terror of this scenario is what’s brought out the Obamas to turn their sights on Johnson and led the liberal-limousine echo chamber to sink to personal insults. Bill Maher recently called Johnson a “ventriloquist dummy” and a “fucking idiot.” John Oliver drank the two-party Kool-Aid, laid into Johnson as “weird… an ill tempered mountain-molester with a radical, dangerous tax plan.” David Remnick, editor of the New Yorker, called him “the least informed candidate for the presidency.”
Johnson may be awkward—eccentric even—but he’s no fool. His backstory is the epitome of the American Dream. The son of a tire salesman and a mother who worked for the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Johnson was just 21 when he founded a one-man handyman operation called Big J—for Big Johnson. He grew it into a $40 million construction company with 500 employees and became a multi-millionaire when he sold it in 1999.
Unlike Trump, Johnson has experience in elected office. He was re-elected as Republican for Governor of New Mexico, because he did what he promised: he prioritized people over politics. His constituents praised his integrity, perseverance and passion.
While governor, he vetoed over 750 bills, a third of them sponsored by Republicans. The question that he always asked when presented with a bill was: “Should government be involved and at what cost?”
Johnson recently suffered a political setback with his infamous ‘Aleppo Moment’. An MSNBC interviewer asked him: “What would you do about Aleppo?” Johnson replied: “What is Aleppo?” A clip of the exchange, edited to exclude the context, went viral.
Johnson was ridiculed for his “pathetic” ignorance of foreign affairs. But judge for yourself by looking at the full clip. Listen to what Johnson says after the Aleppo gaffe about the unintended consequences of military involvement in Syria and his proposal to repair relations with Russia. Do you really see a “fucking idiot”?
If you still think the media acted fairly, take a look at a similar incident that took place during the third presidential debate when Clinton stated: “Mosul is on the border of Syria.” In fact, Mosul is not on the border with Syria; it’s one hundred miles to the west. That’s a greater distance than Cuba is to Florida.
So why did the media not give a comparable amount of time to former Secretary of State Clinton’s Mosul Moment as they did for Johnson’s Aleppo Moment? As Johnson stated: “There is a very hypocritical double standard here.”
The Clinton propaganda machine and their loyal media supporters also hammered Johnson for his response to the question: “Name a foreign leader that you respect.” He had a temporary brain freeze over the name of former Mexican President Vicente Fox. MSNBC again organized a Gotcha-ism orgy. In response, Johnson tweeted: “It’s been almost 24 hours and I still can’t come up with a foreign leader I look up to.”
So was Johnson still woefully ignorant? Or was he, in fact, making an intelligent point about the dearth of leadership in international politics?
If none of these arguments convinces you to vote Johnson, just go to Isidewith.com and take the short quiz on your beliefs, and how they align with the presidential candidates.
You might just find out that your heart and mind are closer to Johnson than you realize, and that if you vote with your conscience, not your fears, he is the best choice to be President.