Why I’m Voting Gary Johnson in 2016

When my Oregon ballot arrives, in its hack-proof paper form, I’ll open it, select Johnson/Weld for president/vice president and mail it back without pause. Here’s why:

  1. I side with Gary on more issues than I do the other candidates. This is as good a reason as any, I think.

2. I think a non-Democrat, non-Republican president could help break our partisan fever. Johnson and Weld made this point throughout their campaign. Given their combined 16 years as Republican governors of blue states, I’m inclined to believe them.

“I think it would be refreshing to have a party that was not terribly partisan holding the White House, and we would hire the best from the Democratic Party, the smartest people from the Republican Party and the best people from the Libertarian Party.” —Bill Weld

3. I long for a president who encourages the government to try new ways of doing old things. I expect innovations in the products and services I use, innovations that will disrupt my way of living for the better. Why shouldn’t I expect the same from our government?

Gary Johnson campaigned, convincingly so in my opinion, as the most pro-innovation candidate (contrast his eager “Uber everything” vision with Hillary’s skepticism about Uber itself). But the matter was resoundingly settled during debate number 2 when Hillary explained away her husband’s claim that Obamacare was “the craziest thing in the world”:

“Look, we are in a situation in our country where if we were to start all over again, we might come up with a different system. But we have an employer-based system. That’s where the vast majority of people get their health care.”

This, to me, was a staggering admission that inertia rules in Washington. Health insurance and healthcare costs are an important issue to voters, yet Clinton admitted the system is built on a subpar foundation while announcing her intention to do nothing about it. Somehow this is more acceptable to voters than being open to foundational changes. It’s not acceptable to me.

If Uber had said “Look, we have a medallion-based taxi system…” we wouldn’t have Uber. If Google had said “Look, only humans are licensed to drive cars…” autonomous vehicles may not be near. Aren’t we glad the technologists in our country don’t accept the status quo as willingly as our government does?

I’m OK with the government ripping something up and starting from scratch — eager for it, even. I dream of a president willing to throw political certainty to the wind in advocation for a fresh start. A president willing to admit that in order to meet the demands of tomorrow we have to say “to hell with yesterday.”

Gary Johnson is the one candidate campaigning as though tomorrow’s answers aren’t all known to us today, the one candidate honest enough, humble enough, to say “I’m not sure what the answer is, but I bet we can figure it out.”

His open mindedness to radical reforms, honesty on the issues and willingness to admit he doesn’t know everything may have lost him your vote: It helped him earn mine.