Conservative Column

Gary Johnson is best choice in disastrous two-party election

/ The Daily Orange

I am tired of empty promises, I am tired of partisan bickering and I am tired of the two political conglomerates dominating the political scene in the United States.

It brings me great pleasure to share why I, a registered Republican, am endorsing third-party candidates Gary Johnson and his running mate Bill Weld for president and vice president of the United States.

My vote for Johnson is not a protest vote, but a sensible one. I truly believe the Libertarian Party — with initiatives including curbing the federal deficit by ending wasteful government, simplifying current tax code and protecting civil liberties — represents the beliefs of the American people more than the two major parties at this point.

And apart from the Libertarian Party offering common sense policy solutions for the country, neither Johnson nor Weld are rookies to the political scene. Both men have served governorships in their respective states of New Mexico and Massachusetts.

Over the past few months, I’ve heard my fellow peers talk about feeling disgruntled about the two major party candidates. Many have even said they are not voting. Look, this is the first presidential election we are eligible to vote in and I definitely wish the circumstances in which we cast our ballots were different. But this is the hand we’ve been dealt.

I am not saying in this endorsement that Johnson and Weld have the solutions to all of the problems currently facing the U.S. But I believe it would be a shame to overlook what these candidates have to offer, which seems a whole lot better than voting for the “lesser of two evils.”

On the Republican side, the party failed to change the way the party is perceived to the public — the party of “no,” the party of “old white men,” the party that “advocates only for the rich,” among other stereotypes. What’s more is that the politically seasoned and sound candidates who could have restored the party’s image were sidelined in favor of a demagogic, unseasoned, unpredictable and temperamental celebrity like Donald Trump.

Words can hardly express my disenchantment with the Republican National Committee after this election season. Like many other Republicans, I am at a loss.

But besides not supporting a candidate who lacks respect for women, people of color and just about everyone who disagrees with him, I cannot support a candidate constantly surrounded by scandal and prone to flip-flopping on multiple policy positions. Not only would it be in the country’s best interest to support the Libertarian candidates for their platforms, but it also provides an alternative to mainstream politics.

Fellow students, faculty and the rest of the Syracuse community: By continuously supporting the major two-party candidates, despite our true sentiments toward them, we are allowing the two parties to hold a monopoly over our elections. If you are #NeverTrump or #NotWithHer, use your vote for Johnson to show your frustration.

Vanessa Salman is a senior political science major and history minor. She can be contacted at vksalman@g.syr.edu or on Twitter @VanessaSalman.

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