Two-Party System Diminishes Gary Johnson’s Slim Prospects

BY AMEER MUSSARD-AFCARI staff writer

Over the course of the past year, the entire world has become transfixed by the 2016 U.S. presidential election.  Not a day goes by where we aren’t exposed, in one way or another, to the  disappointing reality of this year’s election: an election in which the American people have to choose between two of the most disliked candidates in US history.

No matter where I am, it is made clear to me just how disliked both Trump and Clinton are. At my job, the cooks play YG’s hit song “F**k Donald Trump” at least once a day. Seemingly every news article I come across is so blatantly anti-Trump that the headline might as well be “F**k Donald Trump” . One out of every three YouTube videos I stumble upon are about “crooked Hillary,” and they all promise that I won’t vote for her after watching. Of course there are millions of people who believe that either Clinton or Trump would make a great president, but for many there is a feeling of “picking your poison,” or choosing the lesser of two evils. I mean, we have to vote for one of them, right?

But wait! Let us not forget that we (technically) do not have a two party system! Surely there are other, more appealing presidential candidates to the many people who are dissatisfied with both the Republican and Democratic nominees. 

There must be someone out there besides Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump that could fill the position of commander in chief and lead our country with strength, poise, and sound judgement (shout out Barack).  Unfortunately, that person is not the Libertarian party nominee Gary Johnson. Johnson, the former governor of New Mexico, is running for president for the third time, and is currently polling around seven percent according to Real Clear Politics. For a third party candidate, Johnson is doing pretty well, given that him, Jill Stein of the Green Party, and all other presidential candidates besides Trump and Clinton are more or less ignored by the media and the American public.

Johnson’s relative popularity is largely due to the fact that Clinton and Trump’s disapproval ratings are exceedingly high and people see him as an alternative.

In addition, Johnson has some socially liberal ideals that appeal to many young voters, such as his pro-choice stance on abortion and his support of the legalization of marijuana. However, there are some serious issues with Gary Johnson as a presidential candidate.  First, he has a poor fiscal track record. According to The National Review, the state of New Mexico’s debt was at $1.8 billion when he took office as governor and had risen to $4.6 billion by the time he left. Not great numbers.

In addition, one of the few times the media ever payed attention to Johnson was while covering his two most embarrassing gaffes, both of which tell a lot about him as a politician: his “Aleppo moment,” when he revealed that he didn’t know what Aleppo was, and more recently, his inability to name a single foreign leader while on “Hardball with Chris Matthews”.  These may seem like mere “brain farts,” but in reality they show just how incompetent and ignorant Johnson is of foreign affairs.

The Aleppo incident is especially worrying given that Aleppo is the epicenter of the conflict in Syria and will most certainly be an important topic for our next president to be knowledgeable about.

Unfortunately, these gaffes are not isolated incidents, and they shed light on Johnson’s overall lack of knowledge. The fact of the matter is, the guy’s a deeker (watch some of his interviews and you’ll see what I mean), and we can’t have a deeker as president.

All in all, while Gary Johnson’s campaign may be appealing to many of the Americans that are dissatisfied with both the Republican and Democratic nominees, he simply isn’t fit to be commander-in-chief. His experience pales in comparison to Clinton’s, and while I’m aware of the many things that are problematic about her, there’s just no way he is more prepared, qualified, or suited for the presidency than she is.

Even if Johnson was the perfect candidate that every disillusioned voter had been dreaming of, his status as a member of a third party in our two party system makes his chances of becoming president next to zero.