The Value of A Vote and Why Mine is Going to Gary Johnson

“Don’t waste your vote by going third party.”

“A vote for Gary Johnson is a vote for Hillary.”

We’ve all heard or said these phrases during past election cycles and it has me more frustrated than ever this year.

Since when did my vote become so diluted and meaningless that I must vote for someone in order to prevent someone else from going into office? This is the definition of a protest vote! And isn’t it a sad state of affairs when, as a nation, we have to start voting for someone we don’t believe in just to vocalize our distaste for the other candidate?

Look, this election cycle has been scandalous, full of foul language, and littered with 4th grade-level playground bullying. We’re better than this. The American People have the power to make a change — with our vote.

The Case Against Donald Trump

I’m a registered Republican and have been since I registered to vote at 18. My parents are Republicans and my in-laws are Republicans. But my political affiliate doesn’t dictate the way in which I must vote.

If we had a qualified, honorable, and trustworthy Republican candidate who has a much smaller ego than Donald Trump. Someone who doesn’t speak slanderously about Mexicans, or with vulgarity about women, or is too prideful to listen or take criticism. Unfortunately, we haven’t even started talking about his policy!

Sorry Mr. Trump, but you’re just not someone who has EARNED my vote.

The Case For Gary Johnson

Gary Johnson is the Libertarian Party candidate and will be on the ballot right next to Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in all 50 states.

To those that believe he’s a spoiler candidate, or that by voting for him is a wasted vote, let me first tell you this. According to a rough count in my YouTube history, I’ve watched well over 20 hours of video on Gary Johnson and Bill Weld — primarily town hall’s, media interviews, and more. I’m not casting a “protest vote.” I’m making an educated decision and giving my vote to someone who deserves it.

Here are some of the reasons Gary Johnson has EARNED my vote.

  • Gary Johnson and Bill Weld will put forth a balanced budget in their first 100 days in office.
  • He wants to reduce or eliminate foreign aid, especially to those countries that have ties to terrorism.
  • Truly end the unending wars and get out of the business of foreign nation building and instead reinvest the money here at home.
  • Gary Johnson has been completely honest. For example, when asked about the #BlackLivesMatter movement, he candidly responded that he didn’t know enough about the movement to have an opinion and needed to understand more. He has since done just that and has communicated intelligently about the point.
  • I get the sense that he and Bill Weld truly want to do the right thing and want to serve with the best interest of the nation and the American people in mind.

Now, some may argue that he’s less informed and as a result, less qualified to be POTUS. Let me share some interesting stats with you.

  • 40% of the American public cannot name either Vice Presidential Candidate. (Source)
  • 6% of American’s couldn’t correctly identify Independence Day on a calendar. (Source)

Not only that, but we’ve all seen these videos which put American’s knowledge and understanding of the world into perspective.

While Gary Johnson may not have known where Aleppo is, he has explained with great detail what’s happening in the region and has admitted that he should have known.

When was the last time you have seen or heard a politician admit they were wrong?

So, if you want to fault him, or even disqualify him from the Presidency because of this, then perhaps voters should be disqualified from voting all together because apparently the American public is far less educated and informed than Mr. Johnson.

It’s also unfair. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have much more to be disqualified over than a geographical slip up.

Have You Done Your Homework?

With all of that, let me return to the initial points in this post. My vote matters, and so does yours. The American public needs to take the initiative and explore the options, and vote based on the information and facts being presented.

We cannot rely on television commercials or snippets of information here or there to provide the full, clear and unbiased picture of the candidates. When it’s all said and done, we’re being fed a bunch of bull sh*t marketing with blurred facts and opinions.

Read the candidates positions on their websites, and third party sites. Watch full interviews, press conferences, and more on YouTube so you can get the full context of the conversation.

Here are some resources that will help:

Next, engage in meaningful, polite, and productive conversations with those around you. The goal isn’t to “convert” but to educate others on your positions, and learn about other’s positions. If we could bring back the concept of healthy political conversation in America instead of this back and forth accusatory approach, we may actually be able to learn from others and get more done.

Don’t be a sheep and just follow the heard — unless your decision to follow the heard is an educated and informed one.

And, if you want to waste your vote, then vote for someone you don’t believe in.