Vote your conscience

As with all elections, knowing your candidates is important. | PC:

As with all elections, knowing your candidates is important. | PC:

Emotion is the death of reason

Running a marathon in two hours and forty-eight minutes, sixteen races in total (including a Boston Marathon appearance); completing an Olympic triathlon in two hours; finishing an Ironman in ten and a half hours; crossing the finish line of a one hundred mile race in just under thirty hours; scaling the highest peak on each continent, including Mt. Everest.

These accomplishments, while impressive, seem as though they would belong to a professional athlete or a lifelong fitness addict. Maybe a highly motivated electrician.

But no. Rather, this list of achievements belongs to Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson.

Certainly mental fortitude and physical stamina are necessary for the presidency; however, they’re far from all that is required.

I would be remiss if I tried to sell you on a presidential candidate based solely on a speedy marathon time. Lucky for me, I don’t have to.

In elections past, it’s possible the aforementioned list of feats would shine compared to the third party candidates nominated. After all, it makes sense that in a two party system, most candidates would choose to represent the party that gives them the best chance to hold office.

That isn’t the case in this election—far from it.

Gary Johnson was the governor of New Mexico from 1995 to 2003. A Republican in a blue state, simply being re-elected to a second term was a feat, demonstrating his ability to work with those across the political aisle (not to mention the fact he won in a landslide).

During his tenure, he cut taxes fourteen times, never raising them once. When he left office, New Mexico was sporting a balanced budget and a healthy billion dollar surplus. His fiscal success as a governor speaks for itself.

But rather than subscribing to rigid ideology or strict party lines, Johnson believes in practicality and common sense.

After the 2012 presidential election, Johnson changed his party affiliation from Republican to Libertarian because of his strong convictions regarding personal freedom and social tolerance.

For example, one of his campaign’s favorite slogans is that he wants to “get government out of your pocketbook and out of your bedroom”.

Finally, in one of the most divisive and tense ages in recent history, who better to solve the problem than an individual who isn’t part of the two groups that have caused the problem?

People have criticized Johnson both for not being conservative enough or for not being liberal enough, but who better to unite people and get things done than someone who incorporates aspects of both major parties into his own personal beliefs?

In short, if you’re a Republican, don’t vote for Gary Johnson because you feel Donald Trump has corrupted your party and destroyed Republican values.

If you’re a Democrat, don’t vote for Gary Johnson as a protest vote or to stick it to the DNC for manipulating the primary and robbing Bernie Sanders of a fair shot.

Vote for Gary Johnson because he’s the best, most-qualified candidate to be President of the United States.

People will tell you voting for a third party is the same as throwing away your vote. But if not now, when? When will there be two candidates as universally disliked as Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, affording the third party a golden opportunity?

In the words of Gary Johnson, the lesser of two evils is still evil. The only wasted vote is a vote for someone you don’t believe in.

Stand for principles. Promote diversity of thought. Vote your conscience.

Jonathan Deemer is a sophomore studying biomedical science