By Glynn Wilson –
SANTA FE, N.M. – On our recent journey out west, we ran across Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party’s candidate for president, speaking in The Plaza.
On a beautiful autumn day, with the aspen trees beginning to shed their yellow leaves, we listened to the former governor of New Mexico knock Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton and try to make the case for why people should vote for him instead.
He started in front of a sympathetic crowd by talking about the partisan polarization of politics in Congress.
“Is the polarization going to get any better if either one of those two get elected? No way,” he said.
Watch the video:
Johnson said he is with the 60 percent of Americans who consider themselves to be fiscally conservative, socially inclusive, skeptical of military interventions abroad and for “free markets.”
“When we get involved in regime change it never works out,” he said. “Government picking winners and losers, that’s crony capitalism.”
Johnson claims to be leading in three demographic groups: young people between the ages of 18-34, voters who self identify as independents, and active military personnel.
While he said 28 percent of Americans identify as Democrats and 26 percent identify as Republicans, 50 percent register to vote as independents.
“It just slays me that what we have are two choices,” he said. “It’s a snow job.”
He said abortion is a difficult choice, but it should be up to the “woman involved” making that choice.
“Then we have the highest incarceration rate of any country in the world,” he said. “The roots of that lie in the drug war. Let’s bring an end to the drug war. Let’s legalize marijuana.”
He said California is set to legalize it this fall to join states such as Oregon and Colorado.
“I think when they do that, that’s going to be the toppling of the wall,” he said. “When that happens this country is going to look at the drug issue first as a health issue rather than a criminal justice issue.”
He said if the people elect Hillary Clinton, the government is going to grow.
“It’s going to get bigger,” he said, along with the national debt and deficit.
“It doesn’t really matter if it’s a Republican or a Democrat. It doubled under Bush and it doubled under Obama,” he said. “It is just not an option to do nothing when it comes to reforming Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security.”
On military spending, he said even the Pentagon says spending could be reduced by 25 percent on foreign bases.
“But there hasn’t been the political will to do that,” he said. “We’re putting our military in a situation that is absolutely unwinnable” in the Middle East.
“When it comes to military intervention she (Hillary Clinton) is going to be a hawk,” he said. “It’s going to continue. We are going to continue to find ourselves as the world’s policeman with no end.”
He said there is one certainty when it comes to Trump.
“Uncertainty,” he said. “That guy has no compass whatsoever, and he is done. He is toast. He is not going to win.”
He called Trump’s stand in deporting Latino immigrants “an ugly situation.”
“What we should do is make it as easy as possible for somebody who wants to come into this country and work,” he said. “Building a wall across the border is just nuts. It’s just wacko.”
He also attacked Trump for his stance on raising tariffs on imported goods to 35 percent.
See Johnson’s full remarks in the video.
© 2016, Glynn Wilson. All rights reserved.