Is Gary Johnson democracy’s safety valve?
So the conventions are finally behind us now. Thanks be to God, humanity, or whatever deity you prefer. Both parties have finished making their cases for why their anointed candidate should be the next president of the United States of America. Yet as I write this — just under a hundred days from election day— we remain very, very far from united.
It’s been an odd few weeks as the partisans tried desperately to explain why we should use “least worst logic” to ignore all the deep flaws within their candidate.
How messed up is that?
Honestly, how many of you would choose to board a rocket that had just a few major flaws, but supposedly wasn’t as bad as the one already on fire?
We need another moon landing, not a disaster on the launchpad! This presidential cycle is clearly not the best America has to offer. Every sane person out there knows we can do better.
Whether we like it or not though, politics today remains a reflection of us as a nation. Even those that choose to sit out on the polls. So try this exercise, find a picture of your current candidate of choice and look at it as you would a mirror. Then ask yourself — is this really who I am?
If the answer is “no,” or even “not exactly,” then you are probably part of the 91 percent of Americans that did not choose Trump or Hillary as a candidate. That’s right, only 9 percent of our nation is responsible for the illusion of choice that we have today.
In 2016, we can destroy that illusion. Whether you are a progressive that got Berned by party politics or a conservative that refuses to get in line behind a truly unhinged candidate, Gary Johnson offers an incredibly unique opportunity.
Right now, this is not about swearing to vote for him come November (remember, we still have almost 100 days). It is also not thinking he has to win the popular vote or even the electoral college. It is about denying the party machines from insisting that we have no other choice but to accept what they have to offer.
If the duopoly were to split most states and Johnson won just enough to ensure no one had a majority of electoral votes, the 12th Amendment would throw the decision to the House of Representatives. In the House each state would get just one vote, which means that the entire game changes.
This does not automatically mean Gary Johnson would become president, but given how many establishment players see Trump as a the death of their party and the frequent disagreements he has with House Speaker Paul Ryan, Gary Johnson represents the perfect safety valve.
As the House stands today, 33 states are majority Republican, 14 are Majority Democrat, and 3 are tied. It will take 33 states to form the required majority. If Johnson were to win a red state like Utah — where he is already closing in on Trump — he could easily tip the balance. This would then force both parties to do something they have failed to do for almost a decade now — compromise.
By recognizing Johnson as a credible threat, we can secure him a spot in the debates. Once in the debates, millions of Americans that have never heard of him will get a chance to learn why Gary may just be the best thing to happen to politics in 156 years.
Johnson’s place in the debates would open the door to winning the entire election outright. In an age where 88 million eligible voters have given up on casting a ballot, Gary has the chance to represent far more than just hope for or belief in change. He is the change.
Just how Lincoln became the first Republican president after the 1860 election to usher in freedom for slaves, Johnson could become the first Libertarian president to usher in greater freedom for us all.
Forget what you have ever heard about the Libertarian party. With millions of new members flooding in, it will become completely refined. By combining the best aspects of fiscally conservative and socially liberal thinking, the Libertarian party can modernize itself into a truly powerful alternative to the two party dinosaurs. It is time America.
Election after election we have watched helplessly as partisan bickering rose ever higher and louder. In Congress, nothing meaningful is accomplished when members spend 100 percent of their time fighting and raising money for the next election. We need not be helpless anymore though. There is more than just an illusion of choice. We have a third choice this time and he will be on the ballot in all fifty states.
We desperately need a paradigm shift. The decline of a party representing “cranky old white people” and the rise of a modern alternative to represent millennials and the millions of disenfranchised would be incredibly healthy for representative democracy. If you have given up on voting or never thought your vote would count, 2016 is your chance.