COMMENTARY: I am a mother of three young children, a feminist, a farmer, a millennial, and this election season I refuse to continue enabling the lesser of two evils. I am voting for Libertarian Gary Johnson for president.
Yes, I do think that one major party option is worse than the other, but I am tasked with casting my vote for the candidate who I believe will best lead our country into a peaceful and prosperous future and who can bridge the partisan gap in our society. I am unwilling to play it safe and continue further down this deteriorating road of divisive partisan politics that I believe is a poor representation of modern America’s political diversity.
A balanced federal budget is important to my generation. I realize that to many older people this is a non-issue. Medicare and Social Security top the list of many people’s priorities. My generation knows that Social Security isn’t solvent and many of us don’t expect it to be there when we reach the federal retirement age.
While we all have things that we would like to see our federal dollars spent on, a $20 trillion budget deficit is terrifying to many of us. This is the tipping point, economically speaking. I don’t want to leave this elephant in the room for my children to deal with, especially if the room comes crashing down while we ignore it.
I have seen nothing but war for most of my life. Older generations remember periods of peace, but those of us who are younger have lost acquaintances, friends and family members to the never-ending meddling in the Middle East, and there appears to be no end in sight.
We value the lives of our peers. We want our young people to remain safely at home unless we have been actually attacked and need to defend ourselves (which, yes, has happened). It’s time for peace. I don’t want to be involved in costly and bloody civil wars, and many of us are tired of being involved in regime change. Frankly speaking, it’s none of our government’s business.
I don’t care what people do with their own bodies if they don’t harm others. I am tired of the federal government being used to legislate morality. It’s unethical, it doesn’t work, it’s expensive, and most importantly, it’s not the appropriate role of government. Enough is enough.
I don’t want a border wall. I want us to value the hard workers who come here from the south and to grant them work visas and simplify the path to citizenship. I’ve spent my life working and learning alongside undocumented immigrants. The suggestion that we uproot people who live and work here and break apart families in order to deport people who aren’t here with the government’s permission is abhorrent to me.
I don’t see how Donald Trump is possibly going to win in New Mexico. From where I stand, the GOP is crashing and burning and he’s riding it to the grave. The only chance that we have of preventing a Hillary Clinton win is to stand up together and choose to take a risk and vote third party.
Gary is our former governor. He can win this state (as he’s done twice before) if we put bipartisan politics aside and send a message to the entire country: We really don’t like either of the two major party candidates.
If Johnson wins enough electoral votes to prevent either Clinton or Trump getting to the magical number of 270 and winning outright, the newly elected House of Representatives will be tasked with voting for one of the top three electoral-vote-winning candidates. Each state will get one vote and a majority must be reached in order to select a winner. They keep voting until they figure it out.
Meanwhile, the Senate must choose a vice president from the top two choices based on electoral votes. It’s an interesting scenario and one where Johnson is substantially appealing, in spite of his exclusion from the presidential debates.
What better candidate to gain a majority of votes in the bipartisan House? Clinton is hated by the Republicans and Trump is loathed by the Democrats — and plenty in his own party as well. Johnson has a serious chance in this scenario.
New Mexico has very little to lose. The Clinton camp assumes they will win here and the Trump camp is drowning. If the disenfranchised #neverclinton folks cast their ballot for fiscally conservative Johnson (who is also a political outsider), we could change things. Add in the #nevertrump people who are still angry about the rigged game against Bernie Sanders, and those who are generally fed up with the tone of this election, and we have a wide swath of angry and empowered voters who can do something to break the political duopoly and keep America centered instead of swinging on its wild two-party pendulum.
That is a risk I am definitely ready to take.
Jessica Murphy is a small vegetable farm owner and operator who lives near Truth or Consequences. She identifies as a small “l” moderate libertarian with a passion for decentralized power and the non-aggression principle. She spends her spare time volunteering for a local nonprofit dedicated to empowering and connecting families with young children in order to prevent child abuse and neglect.