The Independent Case for Gary Johnson in 2016

I was a hardcore Bernie Sanders supporter but he is not in the race anymore and writing his name in or voting Jill Stein is mathematically ignorant. If you do not want Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump as President of the United States of America, Gary Johnson is the only viable candidate considering all of the options.

A few months ago I was so impassioned by Bernie Sanders’ energy I wrote a lengthy post on why I couldn’t vote for Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump and would vote for Sanders anyway. Despite my previous reservations to write Bernie in on my ballot this year though, I have decided to vote for Gary Johnson.

Why?

The views of American voters can be placed on a spectrum ranging from far-Left to the far-Right and I am going to summarize the spectrum simply and briefly only considering the major parties involved in this election. On the far-Left you have the Green party and Progressives, who dislike the Democratic Party because they are not liberal enough. This is where Bernie Sanders and Jill Stein are. I consider myself to be in this general area on many issues. Moving to the right is the Democratic Party, which occupies the largest portion of the Left side of the political spectrum. In the center you have Libertarians as well as many other independent voters. On the Right side of the center, you have the Republican party. There are two general views among Republicans: “compassionate” conservatives and the Tea-Party conservatives who are what could be considered more far-Right than the general conservative viewpoint. If we were to put the distribution of voters on a line it would look similar to a double-bell curve.

There are essentially four options in this election for President: Jill Stein on the far-Left, Hillary Clinton on the Left, Gary Johnson in the center, and Donald Trump on the Right but leaning on the very far-Right. I will not vote Clinton or Trump, so that leaves Stein and Johnson.

Jill Stein may be more aligned with Bernie Sanders’ views, but she cannot pull votes from all areas of the political spectrum and stands zero chance to win. She sits on the far-left end of the double-bell curve which is the American political spectrum. Gary Johnson is pulling voters in from his chief base of Libertarians and Independent voters in addition to the Democratic and Republican parties. His base is scattered across the political spectrum, whereas Jill Stein’s voters are all stuck solely on the far-left side. Gary Johnson is polling at 9.2% nationally compared to Jill Stein’s 2.7% according to RealClearPolitics.com at the time I am writing this post (9/14/16). With two months to go, Jill Stein has about the same chance of winning the election as a toaster.

On top of this, Jill Stein has only ever been a candidate for a major elected office and has never held a job in major public office. She has run for five state-level elections losing four times, and has never broken the 25% mark in share of votes in any election she has competed in. The single election she has won was a 16-way contest for SEVEN seats and she won her position with under 600 votes. This win netted her a spot as a town hall representative for Lexington, Massachusetts, which I can’t imagine to be comparable to running a city, state, or nation.

Jill Stein has no experience dealing with the amount and range of responsibilities Johnson has had to deal with as a two-term Governor in the history New Mexico. Stein is not even on the ballot in all fifty states to boot which should show enough about her lack of political organization. We are not voting only in protest as independent voters, we are still voting towards our future and a leader of this country, and Gary Johnson is the only candidate outside the two parties who has a chance and relevant government experience to govern this country.

I have heard that I shouldn’t try convincing Stein supporters to vote for Johnson based on math because it is the same argument Clinton supporters have used to get Berners to vote for her. However, it is not quite the same argument and is an argument Clinton was using to bolster support for the two-party system in saying that we must vote for her to avoid Trump. Clinton assumed she could rally Sanders voters because she thought they agreed with her on enough issues to suck it up and “vote blue”. She underestimated how much Sanders voters despised her past and history of hawkish policies and corruption and many Berners still aren’t voting for her.

My argument is one that acknowledges all four parties impacting this election. Even if you don’t agree with Johnson on most issues, Jill Stein has no mathematical chance to win and your support could still help a candidate who has a chance to win and who does not support war and does support some key liberal social issues. The argument I am making is an attempt to put the largest independent party into the presidency to break the two-party system garnering the help of one of the much smaller independent parties and progressive voters.

We Berners and Progressives do not belong in the Democratic Party as was clearly evidenced in the collusion against Bernie’s revolution by the DNC. We are not the Libertarians’ base either. We want to topple the two parties. Our best chance to do that this election is with Gary Johnson. Stein supporters say they want to break the system, but they are only working to keep the two-party system from breaking, and Stein and the Green will do the same again in four more years.

Though I do agree with the Green party’s political views more than the Libertarian party’s views, they do not stand a chance in November. If you want to cast a vote for her as a protest it is your right, but if you won’t vote for Gary Johnson because he doesn’t support all of your issues you will continue to perpetuate the current system our country suffers under. We do not get everything we want when we vote for public offices but we can at least attempt to elect someone who is not a war-hawk, supports equal rights, abortion, legalization of marijuana, and is not a racist in Gary Johnson.

If the Democrats hadn’t flipped Bernie the bird and denied the populist wave he was riding we might not be worried about finding someone else to vote for, but they did and Johnson is the only candidate on the ballot in all fifty states that stands a chance. Vote Johnson and help break the two-party system, or fragment the independent vote and get more of the same.

…and don’t accuse me of being paid by the Johnson campaign because I wish I was getting paid to write this.

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10 thoughts on “The Independent Case for Gary Johnson in 2016”

    1. Not at all. The way the question was presented was ridiculous. If they would have asked his position on Syria instead of what’s up with Aleppo, it would probably not have caught him off guard. Might as well ask him about our policies on Russia by asking what he thinks of St. Petersburg.

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      1. If you answered ‘What is St. Petersburg?” in response, it would do the same damage. Requesting clarification about what’s being asked isn’t the same as not even recognizing the name, or understanding that in terms of the current Syrian civil war Aleppo has importance.

        There’s also a difference between whether or not an average person should be expected to recognize the name “Aleppo”, and a presidential candidate. It had been all over the news since mid-August, because of the bloodied little boy sitting, waiting for treatment, and the next president will be directing policy toward Syria.

        Bill Weld could have talked about Aleppo extemporaneously for an hour. Johnson just isn’t ready, or doesn’t care enough (like Trump) to study what he isn’t personally interested in.

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      2. If Bill Weld knows what’s going on in Aleppo didn’t you just make the perfect argument for Weld as Johnson’s VP?

        You don’t seem to realize I am voting against war with Johnson and Syria is not an issue I care to have US intervention in to be honest. I especially do not trust Hillary with Syria given her track record of failed regime-change.

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      3. No, I made an argument that the Libertarian ticket should have been reversed, with Weld at the top.

        I’m happy you have chosen a top issue to base your vote on. I’m not a single-issue voter. i agree with the Libertarians about use of the military, and about little else in their platform. By comparison, I agree with the Democrats much more of the time issue-by-issue, even though both the Dems and GOP are hawks.

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      4. I didn’t say I was a single-issue voter. That’s just one of the most important issues to me. I also support many social views the Libertarian and Democratic party share.

        It wouldn’t make sense to put someone with more foreign policy knowledge (Weld) as Libertarian Presidential candidate because foreign intervention is not one of their main concerns. It also wouldn’t make sense as Johnson already has at least a little name recognition across the US as he has run for President before.

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    1. Go ask some first graders what they think about Aleppo is and get back to me with the number and percent which got it right.

      Also, he is a Libertarian, I wouldn’t expect him to have foreign intervention on the top of his mind when he is fighting to just make it into the debates. The way the question was presented was also ridiculous.

      You’re voting Stein?

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      1. Stein and Baraka call for a real investigation of 9/11. The 9/11 Commission Report was a sad joke and coverup; the mass murderers are still on the loose. Clinton, Trump and Johnson don’t even have the personal integrity to respond to Stein and Baraka’s 9/11 stance, because continuing to protect the coverup is logically perceived by Americans who know as being as despicable a crime as was 9/11 itself. Either Clinton, Trump and Johnson are idiots believing the 9/11 whitewash, or they’re criminal liars. They are criminal liars.

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      2. Interesting.

        So you are voting to find out what happened on 9/11?

        Stein has no chance. Johnson is firmly in the middle of both parties and is the only third-party candidate who won’t support foreign military intervention. You can toss your vote away for Stein or vote 3rd-party for Johnson if you don’t want us to invade any more countries in the next 4-8 years.

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