Illustration by Carly Jean Andrews

9 Reasons Millennials Love Gary Johnson

Decoding the ditzy appeal of the 63-year-old New Mexican

Zak Stone
Sep 30, 2016 · 5 min read

He wants you to get high.

Johnson not only wants to decriminalize weed, he wants to make money off of it: In 2014, he became CEO of a medical marijuana industry business based in Nevada. He says the right things about other drugs, too, like that drug abuse should be treated as a health problem, not a crime.

Before he was in politics, he was basically a Task Rabbit.

Johnson made money as a college student in the 1970s as a “door-to-door handyman,” so he totally gets the gig economy in which oh-so-many of our millennial brethren toil. Y0u know if Postmates and Uber had existed, he would’ve done those too.

He’s also kind of a tech bro.

Johnson’s handyman business took off after Intel contracted with him for repairs at their Albuquerque-area campus. Soon the door-to-door-handyman-who-could was bringing in eight digits in revenue and employing about 1,000 people.

He’s into mountains.

Recently Johnson bragged to Wired that he’s a “‘fit for life’ athlete” (whatever that means) and he’s climbed not just Mount Everest (as is commonly known, thanks to his Wikipedia page) but also the tallest peak on all seven continents. He also talks about his plans to go on a 3,000-mile bike ride at some unspecified point in the future. Zamn, zaddy.

He’s so young, he’s practically one of us.

This election is all about old people. While the average U.S. president assumes office in his mid-50s, this year we’ve got Trump at 70, Clinton at 68 and Stein at 66. A spring chicken at 63 years old, Johnson is basically a millennial himself.

He has minimal professionalism, just like us.

Millennials want jobs, but we don’t want to behave according to the traditional decorum of said jobs, doing things like not texting when our co-workers are speaking to us. Gary Johnson doesn’t like to be professional, either.

He’s not into tough questions, just like us.

Many people hadn’t even heard of Johnson until a few weeks ago when MSNBC asked him one of the hardest questions any presidential candidate will face this election cycle: What are you going to do about Syria? Except the interviewer employed the shady Greek tactic of synecdoche, referring to Syria by the name of its largest city, Aleppo. “What is Aleppo?” Johnson wondered, as millennials rushed out the door to register as Libertarians.

He’s pioneering the self-drag, and we know how brave that is.

Johnson may have climbed mountains on every continent, but he doesn’t know the names of anyone calling the political shots on those continents. After Chris Matthews stumped him by asking him to say the name of someone who is currently president of a country, Johnson had an incredible response: He called out his own idiocy as an “Aleppo moment.” This is very relatable for millennials, who fear nothing more than a public call-out; therefore, we have no choice but to respect someone courageous enough to drag themselves.

We know our votes don’t really matter, anyway.

For people living in solidly red or blue states, it kind of feels like your vote is worthless so maybe voting for a third-party candidate is a fun thing to do, cuz why not? You’ve got nothing to lose voting for someone who’s sure to lose.

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