I haven't written anything for this blog in about two months. That's an incredibly long stretch for me, and since I have my work week done, I've decided to get in some writing.
I've pretty much been a Republican my entire adult life. I voted for Bush 1 over Clinton. I voted for Bob Dole. Hell, I voted for W.....twice! But enough was enough. I started checking myself and thought about my beliefs back in 2007. When I dissected how I thought and felt about the issues in a real and personal way, I started to find out that I didn't really buy into what the GOP was selling, especially on a social level. I still couldn't bring myself to vote for Obama, so I didn't vote at all. John McCain had gone from a middle of the road Republican to a right winger, just to get the nomination over Mitt Romney. This time, Romney has done the same thing and swung even more to the right. I still don't identify with the Democrats, and after seeing how Obama pretty much continued the Bush Administrations policies in many areas, I knew I was losing my political identity.
But, in the last four or five weeks I have started seeing some articles about Gary Johnson. I took a couple of those "What are you?" political tests and saw that I fall in line, largely, with a libertarian point of view. I have decided to embrace that, while maintaining my preference to not strictly align myself with any party. It's a bit liberating to not have to defend the indefensible, which is the monopolized system we are currently in.
You see, Gary Johnson gives me someone to vote FOR and not against. I don't see voting for the "lesser of two evils" as some sort of triumph in American politics. I see it as a disaster in the making, where politicians can pay lip service to the mainstream American as they gain power and wealth by setting our system up to cater to the wealthy and multi-national corporations. Why would a politician really address your concerns? You don't make large contributions. You don't throw fund raisers. You just vote. And if you only have one other choice, you just have to cling to the party you ALWAYS support as if this is one big sports rivalry like the Yankees and Red Sox. A two party system is agreeable to the Dems and GOP, because even if they lose an election, they are only one cycle from regaining power. They only have to fight the "other side" and they don't have to contend with other ideas. We have become a country of liberals and conservatives instead of a country of Americans. We have sold out the idea of America to belong to a club that we refuse to disagree with because we have invested in it on a prideful and psychological level. It's sad.
With that, I am proud to say that I am going to vote for Gary Johnson. Johnson has more governing experience than either of the two major candidates and he has actually started a business from the ground up. When Johnson was in college at the University of New Mexico, he earned money by being a handyman. He went door to door searching out work opportunities. Over the years, he was able to grow from a one man show into a business that was worth $10 million! He didn't get that money from his daddy,and yeah, he built that!
Johnson got into politics in 1994 for the first time and ran for governor in New Mexico. That's a really high place to begin for a guy just starting out in politics. Against conventional advice, he started his campaign using some of his own money and ran as a Republican. Mind you, New Mexico is a largely Democratic state, so not very many people gave him a chance to even get the party nomination, let alone to actually win the governorship. As these sorts of stories can go, he defied the odds and won the nomination and then the general election! Why did he win? Because he spoke to the ordinary citizen. He was (and is) a proponent of small, less intrusive government. He is a leader in the fight for personal freedom and he is a man of his word. True to showing that he wasn't bought and sold by any party, Johnson used his veto power to shoot down any piece of legislation that wasn't necessary to the state or the government. Wasteful spending was eliminated.
When he ran for re-election, he simply campaigned on the success and fulfillment of his word from his first term. It was expected that he would have a tough time winning a second term, as he was running against a Hispanic opponent. The pundits proved how out of touch they can be by simplifying people down to being robots who are only capable of voting for "their own kind". Johnson won easily and continued to govern as he had before. He made the availability of school vouchers and the elimination of war on drugs central pieces of his agenda and he also opposed the building of private prisons. An industry that should give EVERY American pause about how we create and enforce laws.
Gary Johnson is the real deal. He has a record that is one of success, met expectations, and kept promises. He tried to run for the Republican nomination, but was largely ignored by the GOP and the press. The party abandoned him, so he went about his business and embraced the Libertarian Party, much the way Ron Paul has in the past. Johnson and the Libertarian Party have worked hard and he is now on the ballot in 47 states. The Republicans have tried to block him from getting on the ballot in three other states, but Johnson is fighting those efforts. It's not likely that you will see him in the presidential debates, even though he meets all the criteria but one. He isn't at 15% in the polling. He may have never reached that point anyhow, but it's impossible to know because he isn't listed on polls and the pollsters only focus on Mitt Romney, Barack Obama, or "other". It's a bit of a scam. It is specifically designed to keep anyone except Republicans and Democrats out of the conversation about our nation.
I've been told I'm wasting my vote and I beg to differ in a big way! How is my vote wasted if I am voting for the person I believe in and who most reflects my values? Wouldn't I truly be wasting the right to vote if I simply cast my ballot for the "lesser of two evils"? Wouldn't I have to consider myself intellectually dishonest if I only voted for a person because of some sort of misguided allegiance to a party that doesn't have the countries best interest at heart?
Gary Johnson is the only candidate willing to be an adult. To be open and honest about the state of the country and what needs to be done to start us going in the right direction again. Here is a rundown of a few of Johnson's beliefs and proposals for restoring America;
1) simplify the tax system, abolish the IRS
2) a strong defense that isn't into nation building and forcing our political will on others
3) he opposes censorship
4) he opposes the War On Drugs as it is currently
5) he wants to cut the federal budget by 43%, and allow states to get involved with Medicare to suit their citizens better
6) he advocates state's rights
7) he is for balancing the budget immediately
8) he believes the Federal Reserve is devaluing our currency and wants to eliminate it
9) he supports the rights of individuals over the state
10) he believes corporate welfare should be shut down
11) he is against lobbying
These things are not out of step with most Americans. Gary Johnson is for all the things that most Americans say they are for and what the two major parties SAY they are striving for. But the results have not shown it. The Democrats and Republicans work their agenda the way they want to, not how the American people want it done. Those parties work for the wealthy and corporations. Sure, they will throw out some sound bites that make people believe they are in tune with people who have lost their jobs, their homes, and are struggling to pay their bills. These parties are directly responsible for the destruction of our manufacturing base which has crippled the middle class, but they will NOT do anything to solve those problems.
The choice is simple for our country. Continue down the path we are on or start making changes. Gary Johnson may not win this election, but the tide has to turn somewhere. Why not now? Why not here at this point in history? Why can't we look back at 2012 as a point in time where we decided that things had to change? If Johnson got just 10 or 15% of the vote, it would be a huge wake up call for our mainstream politicians and this country. A voice will have been heard. I think our nation is worth it.