The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

48° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Under the radar parties deserve a voice too

    Come November, I will most likely vote for Barack Obama for president. I do not particularly want to do this, but the reality in this country is that you often choose between the lesser of two evils. This time around, it’s Obama or Mitt Romney. Obama continues to have ideas with potential that are stopped dead in their tracks by a stingy Republican Congress. Romney on the other hand, has ideas that I believe will bring the United States even closer to financial ruin. This is the country we live in.

    However, our country does not have to be like this. You may have never heard their names, but there are other people running for president. One of these candidates is former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, Libertarian party nominee. Johnson’s website represents the core ideas behind his campaign. The front page shows the former governor standing confidently behind the slogan: “Liberty needs all of U.S.” The website also contains a reason to support Johnson, stating “You’re a Libertarian, too. I’ll prove it to you.” Simply put, Gary Johnson knows he has your support … he’s just waiting for you to realize it.

    Johnson runs on a platform of ideas that many people, particularly young voters, might agree with. In his appearance on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” Johnson outlined a plan to end our engagement in the Middle East, curb irresponsible federal spending in order to balance the budget and end the war on drugs. That’s right, if you’re into marijuana legalization, Johnson is your man. And if you’re into lower taxes, less federal government in your life or the repeal of the Patriot Act, Gary Johnson is still your man.

    Unfortunately, it is highly unlikely Johnson will be our next president. According to his blog, he is currently polling around 6 to 12 percent in each of the 50 states. In order for Johnson to be given a spot on the debate stage, he must poll at 15 percent nationally. This is the core problem with our system. It is likely that more than 15 percent of Americans want to see Johnson on that stage, but because of the current system we see a vote for anyone other than the Democrat or Republican candidate as a vote for someone incapable of winning, and therefore wasted. But that can change. If we allow more candidates onto the national stage, we give legitimate parties a means to have their voices heard. If we do that, more people might realize their two current choices just aren’t cutting it.

    You don’t have to vote for Johnson in the presidential election. But if you are polled in the coming months and want more party variety, then tell them you’re something other than Democrat or Republican. Tell them you’re a Libertarian, a Green Party member or even a member of one of America’s four major Socialist parties. If we do that, there’s no telling who will be on the ballot in November.

    ­­— Tyler Johnson is a journalism senior. He can be reached at or on Twitter via @WildcatOpinions .

    More to Discover
    Activate Search