The Libertarian Party is America’s third largest and fastest growing political party in the United States, According to lp.org. Yes, that is correct, the fastest growing. Liberty and its ideals have lit a fire amongst young voters in both the U.S. and across the world.
In 2012, the Libertarian Party is running former, two-term New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson with retired California Superior Court Judge, Jim Gray in the presidential election. Make no mistake, Johnson and Gray are running to win. The Libertarian Party believes most Americans are “fiscally responsible and socially tolerant,” and are offering a candidate that espouses these policies.
Johnson is arguably the most qualified candidate for president. As governor of New Mexico, Johnson vetoed over 750 bills, more than all other governors combined from 1995-2003. He cut taxes 14 times and never raised them. When he left office, New Mexico was one of only four states in the country with a balanced budget. Gray offers an equally impressive résumé. Serving in the Judge Advocate General corps for three years, Gray is the only candidate on the ballot with military experience. After his time with JAG, Gray served in private practice for five years before being appointed to a municipal court in California. In 1989, Gray was appointed to serve on the Orange County Superior Court until retirement in 2009. Much of his time in public office was dedicated to studying drug policy—a topic he has published three books about.
On the issues, Johnson believes the federal government’s out –of-control spending and $15 trillion deficit are the biggest threat to our economy and security. To combat the deficit, Johnson would submit to Congress a balanced budget in 2013. No other candidate offers this level of fiscal responsibility. To balance the budget, Johnson would put an end to stimulus programs, farm subsidies, and earmarks. Johnson promises to bring our troops home from Afghanistan and Libya and to deploy troops only in self-defense, following a constitutional declaration of war. Johnson supports the legalization of marijuana.
According to Harvard professor Jeffrey A. Miron, the legalization of marijuana would generate a federal savings of $15.6 billion and $8.7 billion in new revenues.
By now, you should see a common theme from a Johnson administration—smaller government and greater civil liberties. From banking crisis to problems in the Middle East, it should be clear to you that more government intervention and regulation does not solve problems— it can only exacerbate them. Because of the brevity of this article, I cannot go into further detail on Johnson’s platform. I encourage you to check out garyjohnson2012.com for more information.
Lastly, I would like to address third party voting. Many think that a vote for a third party is a “wasted” vote. On the contrary, a vote for someone who you believe represents your principles is not a wasted vote. Voting for “the lesser of two evils” is what has gotten us into this mess— a mess far too complex for the two-party system to solve. In closing, if you believe government has grown too intrusive in the economy and the private lives of Americans, vote for the Johnson/Gray ticket. Regardless of the outcome of this election, America will have a long road to recovery via good government. Federalism does not allow change to occur quickly, no matter who is in office. If you would like to be involved in the liberty movement after the election, I further encourage you to check out non-profit organizations like Young Americans for Liberty and Students for Liberty.
Reach Brad Omland
President, USD College Libertarians at Brad.Omland@coyotes.usd.edu