For a while now, I’ve been thinking about voting for Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party nominee, though I will admit that Johnson makes it a difficult decision for my conservative self to make. I like the Libertarian Party’s platform, and I strongly identify with Libertarian principles, but as a candidate, Johnson leaves much to be desired.
But let’s face it: it’s 2016, and every party’s candidates suck. Let’s look at the scope of what we’re dealing with this year.
On the Left, we have quite possibly the most corrupt candidate in the history of American politics. She has been mired in scandals throughout her entire political career, yet somehow she has escaped prosecution for her various misdeeds and crimes. She can most accurately be described as an ‘unindicted felon.’ She lies about all things, great or small, relevant or not. Her campaign is driven primarily by fear – fear on the Left of what Donald Trump will do if he wins the White House.
On the Right, we have another horrible candidate – a loudmouthed, lying bully of a business mogul, with a long history of taking advantage of people for his own enrichment and aggrandizement. He bullied and lied his way into the Republican nomination, and he’s bullied much of the current GOP establishment (and others) into backing him. His campaign is driven primarily by fear – fear on the Right of what Hillary Clinton will do if she wins the White House.
They have both lied their way to the top, misused their own charitable foundations, and used & abused others to fuel their own successes. They are more similar than they are different.
Given that these two are the major-party candidates, it’s no big surprise that a lot of people are looking (wishing, yearning) for other options, which is why Gary Johnson has had such a prominent place in this year’s election. The “fiscally conservative, socially liberal” platform has something for people on either side, and the time is ripe for the rise of third-parties.
Under these two candidates, the debate over the “issues” (if you can really call them issues) has devolved into juvenile mudslinging. Trump hasn’t released his tax returns…and hasn’t paid taxes in over a decade Hillary might be having serious health issues.
But the headlines for the past several days take the cake: Trump once called a woman fat.
That’s right, the big meany once said something mean.
To a woman. *GASP*
OH, THE HUMANITY!!!!!
Actually, I’m fairly certain at this point that a Trump vs. Clinton presidential race might just be one of the signs of the Apocalypse…and the fact that so many Americans are squaring off, becoming so vitriolic in defense of two extremely indefensible candidates just turns the whole shit-show into an even bigger joke than it already was.
But there is an interesting trend that I’ve noticed over the past few weeks. Media outlets on both sides have largely ignored third-party candidates. Gary Johnson was eliminated from the presidential debate based on results of polls that were designed to marginalize him (if his name was included in the poll at all).
And that’s really an honest way to conduct the business of an election: offer to include third-party candidates if they get to a certain threshold in the polls.
Poll question: “Who do you prefer: Trump, or Clinton?”
But on top of all of this, the media ignores Gary Johnson when he says things that make sense (which is most of the time), but if he commits the slightest misstep, you can bet that his name will fill headlines across the Internet, as the attack dogs come after him. We saw it with “Aleppo.” It happened another time, when he stuck his tongue out during an interview, and it’s happened yet again, this time when asked by Chris Matthews to name his ‘favorite world leader.’
Given the scope of this election, these gaffes are fairly minor, especially when contrasted to Hillary’s numerous crimes & constant lying, and Trump’s anti-freedom policies & semi-regular Twitter rants, yet they are treated as massively disqualifying by the Right- and Left-wing media. Why?
Personally, I think there may be some Johnson envy going on.
This year, everyone is dealing with the fallout of massively unqualified, extremely unlikable candidates…and corrupt scumbags like Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump actually end up making Gary Johnson look like a pretty good option, all things considered. And this, I believe, is why the media on both sides are so quick to point and laugh at the Libertarian candidate’s every minor misstep: refusing to take the only serious candidate seriously makes them feel better about their own sorry choice in candidates.
Imagine, if you will, the same question being asked of Hillary or Trump that was asked of Gary Johnson: “Who is your favorite foreign leader?”
Now, Hillary will just lie. She’ll make something up meant to sound grand and positive, but it will be total BS. We can tell who her favorite foreign leader is, because she dresses for the job she wants…and she dresses like Kim Jong Un…and her policies are more in line with Castro or Stalin than anyone worth emulating.
Put the question to Trump, and you’ll likely end up with some long, rambling diatribe, at the end of which all we’ll have learned is that The Donald got a great deal on some golf course or building, where he once played golf with Vladimir Putin. And we already know who Donald Trump’s favorite foreign leaders are: he favors the strong-arm dictators, like Putin or Chairman Mao.
But, rather inexplicably, many conservatives have convinced themselves that Donald J. Trump will be the Great Savior of the Constitution, and if you point out that that theory is absolute bullshit, well, you’re a traitor and a Liberal and just want Hillary to be the next President.
From the Left, you get lies. From the Right, you get bluster.
Gary Johnson isn’t a good candidate, but he certainly seems like a good candidate when compared to the jokers the major parties expect us to vote for. At least he’s honest. We’re certainly not getting that from anywhere else in this election.
It would help, of course, if Bill Weld would take a hike, but in the words of the unindicted felon, “What difference, at this point, does it make?”