By Paul E. Gable
Gary Johnson has heard it all before.
“You can’t win.” “A vote for you is a wasted vote.” “A third choice.”
And, that sits just fine with the Libertarian candidate for President of the United States.
“I’m not the third choice, I am the only choice,” Johnson told a group of approximately 500 Thursday night on the campus of IUPUI. “A wasted vote, in my opinion, is voting for somebody you don’t believe in. The way you change the country is to vote for somebody that you do believe in. So, yes, go ahead and waste your vote because if everyone in this country wastes their vote on me, I’ll be the next president.”
Several times during his speech Thursday, Johnson referenced the fact that he has a resume. As a two-term Governor of New Mexico, Johnson cut taxes 14 times, reduced the size of government 10 percent without firing a single state worker and left office with a billion dollar surplus. Johnson earned the nickname “Governor Veto” as a result of having a veto record of over 750 vetoes while in office, which was more than the other 49 governors combined.
“Both times I ran for governor, I didn’t mention my opponent’s name in television or print. I think the people of this country are ready to elect leadership. I did it with a common-sense approach, which is smaller government and living within our means. I think people do appreciate good stewards of tax dollars. I did not create one single job as Governor — the private sector did,” Johnson said.Johnson said he also has a unique distinction in New Mexico.
“People in New Mexico wave at me with all five fingers, not just one,” he said to a roar of laughter and applause.
In a new Reason-Rupe poll, Johnson is getting six percent of the vote, and in a recent poll conducted in Ohio, Johnson polled at 20 percent. However, due to the “nonpartisan” Commission on Presidential Debates, Johnson has to meet the requirement of 15 percent support in a major poll to appear on the debate stage against Democrat and incumbent Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney. Johnson is currently suing the Commission on Presidential Debates.
“People are hungry to vote for someone instead of the lesser of two evils,” Johnson said.
And, despite not being a part of the first debate, that didn’t stop Johnson from sounding off Thursday about what he watched on television between Romney and Obama.
“It was a debate that was much ado about nothing. This country is in deep do-do,” Johnson said.
Johnson said what the American public saw was two slightly differing versions of defending the Republican and Democrat status quo that has given America war after war, a $16 trillion debt and a government that is the answer to everything.
“Nowhere was there a real plan for reducing government, balancing the budget anytime in the near future or a path that will put Americans back to work,” Johnson said.
So what would a debate with Johnson look like?
That question brings a smile to Johnson’s face and the crowd to its feet when he begins by saying Americans would see the only candidate on stage who does not want to bomb Iran.
“You bomb Iran, and we’ll find ourselves in a two-year bombing maintenance program in Iran. After 9-11, Iranian citizens showed their support to us and we’re going to bomb Iran? I am also the only candidate that would stop the war in Afghanistan tomorrow,” Johnson said.
Johnson further explained that, in his view, marriage equality is a constitutional right on par with civil rights and he would end the drug war.
“Over 50 percent of Americans support legalization of marijuana. Ninety percent of the problem is prohibition,” Johnson said.
Johnson also spoke in favor of doing away with the Patriot Act, and mentioned if Congress would not abolish TSA and Homeland Security, he would “control it.”
Backed by a chant of “End the Fed,” Johnson said that he would abolish the Federal Reserve system.
“What an inside job. I would love to see the balance sheet of the Federal Reserve. This is Bernie Madoff with a printing machine,” Johnson said.
Johnson also said that he is in favor of a free market system and only having one federal consumption tax — the Fair Tax.
“That would reboot the economy. Republicans and Democrats wouldn’t know free markets if it bit them in the rear,” Johnson said.
(Ed. Note: In this week of the first debate between President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney, Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson has been ignored. Last night, Johnson spoke to a crowd at the campus of Indiana University/Purdue University Indianapolis. This story was sent in by my son who covered the event for the Shelbyville (IN) News.)
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