The infighting and ineffective nature of the polarized red and blue parties in the United States may be in its death throes.Libertarian party presidential nominee, Gary Johnson, is having a steady rise in popularity which will help break ground for the future diversity of the American democracy. Johnson is getting close to the percentage he needs to debate Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump on the national stage. Many undecided voters feel he can offer the American public more than the “dog and pony show” they have watched during the chaotic primaries. The purpose of this sample argumentative essay from Ultius is to show Americans there are more choices than simply red or blue. Aside from the topic, Ultius offers a variety of writing services that can help guide you in writing or ordering argumentative essays, or simply explaining your position on a particular issue.
Breaking the two-party dominance for a third-party candidate
The two party system necessarily polarizes the nation with its strict limitations of the debate on matters of state and culture. Around the world, two party systems have given way to multiple parties which represent more interests of the complex voter demographics of the culture. Voter turnout in the United States has been consistently low, and this may be due to the limitation of the parties and the lack of desire to participate in a system which does not offer a voice that many people resonate with. However, for more than two candidates to have a chance, the voting system itself would have to be reformed to place greater value individual votes. This could be done with instant runoff voting.
Third-Party candidate, Gary Johnson’s platform
Gary Johnson has served two terms as governor of New Mexico as a Republican, and is a self-made millionaire. His current running mate is former Massachusetts governor William “Bill” Weld, who was named the party’s vice presidential candidate during its convention in May.
“Like many Libertarians, Johnson projects himself as socially liberal, fiscally conservative and dovish on foreign policy” (Campbell).
His stance on the issues is refreshingly clear headed, harkening back to a less sensational past.
Johnson’s stance on gay marriage was made in 2011, when he framed the question not in a religious or personal one, but from the perspective of the freedoms of the nation. As a presidential candidate in 2011, he affirmed,
Individual freedoms and “keeping government out of personal lives.” Johnson’s statement said he “long supported civil unions” and concluded “government has no business choosing who should be allowed the benefits of marriage and who should not.” (Campbell)
In 2010 Johnson penned an op-ed piece for The Huffington Post emphasizing the outdated policies of the military. Entitled “Let’s Finally End ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,'” in this work,
“Johnson argued that the United States is one of the only significant military powers in the world clinging to such [a policy] and pointed to a national poll showing 77 percent of Americans in favor of DADT’s repeal” (Campbell).
It is outspoken and clear headed approaches like this which may have helped the president accomplish just these changes, for the president does not work in a vacuum, and must reflect the cultural climate.
Surprisingly for a Republican governor, Johnson has been mostly supportive of a woman’s right to choose her own reproductive options. Voicing the opinion many women would desire from men, Johnson said,
“I want to give women choice in dealing with that issues, period. Unbelievably difficult decision… I’m going to make it for a woman? Government’s going to make it for a woman? I don’t want to play a part in that role.” (Campbell).
This is largely viewed as the opinion all men should take, having no concept of the difficulties of pregnancy, and the ultimate responsibility of caring for a child for the rest of their lives. Having the courage to stay out of the debate, and not pander to religious insecurities is a strong standing point for this third party candidate.
Johnson’s financial proclivities are strictly Libertarian, representing a hands off approach which is decidedly different from how data analysis of the American economy has presented itself previously, and very different from how America has been doing business. His record shows new options towards fiscal responsibility:
- As New Mexico’s Republican governor from 1995 to 2003, Johnson earned a “B” rating from the free-market, conservative think tank, The Cato Institute, for proposals to reduce income taxes on top-earners and never increasing the cigarette tax.
- Earning the nickname “Governor No” for his record-setting number of vetoes against increased government spending, Johnson instead looked for private companies to build things like highways.
- Johnson line-item vetoed $5 million to expand Medicare and Medicaid in a statewide budget — a move he said he would repeat at the national level. (Campbell)
Gary Johnson and legalizing marijuana
Johnson supports the legalization of marijuana, which means that he sees through the lie of the “War on Drugs,” and knows a better way to manage substance use. Having been the CEO of a medical marijuana company, he knows the value of the plant, and does not see the need to demonize it. Johnson cited:
A poll which shows 56 percent of Americans believe marijuana should be legalized, Johnson told the Telegraph he is “the only one still to this day – at the level of a state governor or U.S. Congressman – who advocates marijuana legalization. (Campbell)
Johnson understands the amazing tax potentials of legalization, as Colorado has shown, and is not hung up by unnecessary fears not to want to help his state capitalize on it. However, he has stepped away from marijuana’s advocacy during this presidential run in order to avoid sensationalism.
Also, refreshingly, Johnson is a regular critic of the American military intervention policies. Throughout his career, “Johnson has taken the opportunity to condemn President George W. Bush’s ongoing ‘War on Terrorism’ and President Obama’s escalation of drone strikes, declaring both options as unjustifiable means of war” (Campbell). He is not alone in his opinions, and much of the American public is tired of feeling like such an international bully. Johnson appears to understand that violence only makes way for more violence, as he said in 2015, “When it comes to drones…I think it makes a bad situation even worse. We end up killing innocents and fueling hatred as opposed to containing it. It just hasn’t worked” (Campbell). The increased instability of the Middle East is largely due to American involvement, and these situations cannot be aided by more military action.
However, Johnson’s biggest platform is on government spending, which he considers to be more dangerous than terrorism. His opinions on the economy and the budget are what sets him apart the most from the other candidates:
- National debt, approaching $20 trillion, is bankrupting us. (Jan 2016)
- National debt of $20 trillion is obscene & unsustainable. (Jan 2016)
- Lay out a process for state bankruptcies. (Aug 2012)
- No bank bailout; no farm subsidies; no stimulus. (May 2012)
- Cut federal budget by 43% to bring it into balance. (Feb 2012)
- Trillion-dollar stimulus failed; so will another $450B? (Sep 2011)
- We could have avoided default without raising debt ceiling. (Aug 2011)
- Ending the fed OK, but that’s only part of the solution. (Aug 2011)
- Stop incurring more debt; balanced budget by 2013. (Jul 2011)
- Our debt is greatest threat to our national security. (Jul 2011)
- Opposed TARP, stimulus & Fannie Mae bailout. (Jul 2011)
- End the Fed; they’ve devalued the dollar by printing money. (May 2011). (Ontheissues.org)
Fiscal responsibility has been somewhat of a joke in America for a long time. Its value decreases when debts go unpaid. Money that is printed without value must be revaluated and can have catastrophic results on global currency in general.
The new American
Rather than sounding “un-American”, Johnson’s policies may reflect more of a truly American perspective of the people. The two party system’s candidates have been extremely far removed from the experience and feelings of everyday American’s for some time, and the tide could very well be turning against such deluded elitism. Currently, Johnson is at 13% just two percentage points short of the 15% needed to get into the national debate. In typical elitist fashion,
“The other two candidates have done their level best to pretend Johnson isn’t there, but soon they may not have a choice, and will have to deal with the Libertarian candidate face to face” (Morse).
One of the fastest growing political blocs, the independents, favor Johnson, and no matter what happens with this election is appears that the American public is tired of having only two bad choices for their national leader (Welch).
As a result of the consistent in-fighting in the two party system, which virtually hog-tied Obama’s entire career, the American public is growing impatient with the two party system. While it is becoming clear,
Independents are not automatically libertarians, but libertarians are more likely to appear among their ranks, and are far more likely to be independent themselves. More importantly, even those majority of independents who otherwise adhere predictably to one of the two main political groupings are still more open to ideas and politicians outside their tribe. Their disloyalty, combined with the shrinking popularity of party affiliation and America’s ongoing calamity of misgovernance, make our political moment continuously dynamic and unpredictable. (Welch)
This trend is becoming more sharply defined by the Millennial generation who are largely unaffiliated due to total mistrust of the system, and with good reason. This demographic could provide the momentum to enlarge the party system into a more diverse representation of the populace (Welch). Zogby’s analysis of this force is
“Donald Trump’s support is miniscule among this group and Clinton does not generate any enthusiasm among younger voters because she appears to many to be a combination of too establishment and too disingenuous” (Welch).
This is pretty obvious when Clinton makes a speech about inequality while wearing a $12,495 Armani jacket (Whitten). These are some of the tells which Millennials choose not to ignore, though there are many others.
Hopefully the stranglehold of the two party system is losing its grip on the fractured American psyche. Politicians who are able to speak beyond the rhetoric are beginning to reach demographics who have been disillusioned by the transparent corruption of the three ring circus of business as usual. Gary Johnson is just such a candidate paving the way for a more diverse, critical, and new American approach to managing the country. Those who are dissatisfied would do well to throw away their vote on him.
Campbell, Ricky. “Gary Johnson on the Issues: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know.” Heavy, 15 Jul. 2016.
Insidegov.com. “Gary Johnson: 2016 Presidential Candidate.” Insidegov.com, 2016.
Morse, Brandon. “Gary Johnson On The Verge Of Appearing On The Debate Stage.” Red State,18 Jul. 2016.
Ontheissues.org. “Gary Johnson.” Ontheissues.org, 2016.
Welch, Matt. “Gary Johnson Reaches All-Time Polling High of 13% on Eve of GOP Convention.” Reason.com, 17 Jul. 2016.
Welch, Matt. “4 Other Reasons to Be Bullish on Gary Johnson’s Polling.” Reason, 17 Jun. 2016. y Clinton wore a $12,495 Armani jacket during a speech about inequality.” CNBC, 6 Jun. 2016.