Disclaimer: Gary Johnson is an idiot. I don’t care if you plan to pursue a completely isolationist policy as president (which Johnson does not), you need to at least know who the leaders of other countries are. So to be clear, I would never want Gary Johnson to be my president. However, if I could vote (as I’m only 17), I would vote for him.
Recently I’ve gotten of lot a hate for this, but I’ll lay out my logic. I live in Connecticut, a safe Hillary state; Nate Silver’s most recent projection shows her at a 94.4% chance of winning. Because Hillary will win Connecticut regardless, I feel confident enough that voting third party will not hamper her chances of winning the general election, which, despite my trepidations towards Hillary, I desperately hope remain strong because the alternative is too unthinkable.
However, I do find our two-party system extremely constricting and decisive. It is one of the most preeminent things that divides our nation into partisanship and stagnates our government. In recent months, we have seen the negative effects of the two-party system: the Republican Senate’s refusal to appoint a Supreme Court Justice in the wake of Justice Scalia’s death leading to an lame-duck Supreme Court that cannot make any legitimate decisions.
We might consider Germany’s government to be one of the most effective in the world because it has a multiple party system. In fact, there are five main parties in Germany, all represented in the Bundestag, along with other minor parties. Because of the representation of many parties, ideas are in abundance and gridlock occurs less often. This leads to an effective government.
This is my vision for the Libertarian Party in the American political future. I’d like to see it expand and grow and become more of a legitimate party–I think many people would be surprised by the degree to which they agree with Libertarian policies. With the apparent decline (or at least radical revamping of) the Republican Party, the time for new political parties to emerge is now. Unfortunately, the Libertarians are led by perhaps the one man in politics less competent than Donald Trump.
This is why I would vote Libertarian, if I were able to. Not because of Johnson, but to lend legitimacy to the Libertarian party, a base upon which it can grow in the future. If Johnson got even 5% of the vote on election day (a number he is polling well above anyway), the Libertarians could use this as a springboard. I personally happen to agree with the majority of Libertarian ideology and believe the party has a strong future–they just need to choose some better candidates. Why isn’t Bill Weld at the top of the ticket????
George Washington said in his farewell address, on the formation of political parties, “It serves always to distract the public councils and enfeeble the public administration. It agitates the community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms, kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot and insurrection. It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption, which finds a facilitated access to the government itself through the channels of party passions. Thus the policy and the will of one country are subjected to the policy and will of another.”
Based off of the toxicity of our current political climate, it would seem that President Washington’s fears were justified. I believe that the growth of the Libertarian party would help to rectify this situation, and therefore, I urge you, if you are in a safe state for Hillary (because the primary concern is to make sure Donald Trump does not win this election), vote for Gary Johnson. If you are in a swing state, consider trading your vote with someone in a Hillary safe state so that the Libertarians still get the representation in the popular vote. To do this you can use the app #never trump, or visit this website, and you will be paired up with a match.