Beth Duren Lancaster has been interested in political conversation since a very early age. At the tender age of 15 or 16 she took a writer to task in the Atlanta-Journal Constitution for dissing young people for perceived disinterest in the political system. Her letter to the editor was published. I think we still have it in a scrapbook somewhere.
I think she gets her interest in politics from her mother. I know she did not get it from me ;^) Today she is a guest contributor in support of Gary Johnson the Libertarian candidate for president. Gary Johnson began his campaign as a Republican, but, following an early exit, became the Libertarian candidate for president. To read the first two parts of this series see Keysha Hogan’s support of President Obama here and Brian Gass’ support of Mitt Romney here.
The distinction between the two major parties seems to shrink with every election cycle, and although many Americans are disenchanted with the two major parties, their allegiance to their party of choice seems stronger than ever during presidential elections. Disappointed, disillusioned, and yet still fiercely loyal to the two-party system, I presume out of the hope that maybe this time will be the turning point.When his 2-term limit was up, Johnson left New Mexico with a budget surplus (one of only four states with a balanced budget), even after cutting taxes 14 times. All this demonstrates what can happen when a candidate actually follows the Constitution, instead of merely giving it lip service. Johnson would submit a balanced budget to Congress next year, if he were to be elected. He puts to shame candidates who can’t find a way to balance the budget before I turn 55. His plan cuts spending, period. No massive spending increases in some pet areas and cuts in others. The spending is cut, the budget is balanced; all very cut and dry. Let’s get even more cut and dry: You have a Democrat running who will increase the national debt by trillions, you have a Republican running who will increase the national debt by trillions, and you have a Libertarian who will cut the national debt. At the most basic level, that’s the election.
So we have two candidates with, personalities and backgrounds aside, only a few distinctions and loads in common, and we act like this is “the most important election ever.” For me, Obama and Romney simply don’t cut it, but fortunately they aren’t the only options. In this election I will be casting my vote for Libertarian (formerly Republican) candidate Gary Johnson. During his time as Governor, New Mexico saw an 11.6% increase in job growth, more than any of the other gubernatorial candidates who ran during this election. More important than these figures is the fact that Johnson understands that he didn’t create these jobs: “We proved in New Mexico that what government can do to stimulate job growth is get out of the private sector’s way and provide an environment of tax and regulatory certainty. Government does not create jobs, but it can certainly create obstacles to job growth. In New Mexico, we worked every day to remove those obstacles, and doing so produced real results.”
Johnson would also push to repeal the “PATRIOT” Act and would seek to limit the
gropescope of the TSA. When a President has a proven record of upholding the Constitution (if you can imagine that with me for a moment), there’s no need to worry about the NDAA, SOPA, PIPA, the DHS, drones, or any other liberty-leeching laws, departments, and practices that threaten our freedoms.
Most importantly for me is that he recognizes that (and I love this!), “you can’t have limited government at home, but big government abroad.” Our military presence is bankrupting our country and it’s killing our troops and innocent citizens of those countries. We have no primary objective, so these wars and troop occupation of foreign countries could conceivably go on for decades to come. Once we have troops in a region of the globe, we build bases and we pretty much stay there permanently. We spend $750,000 building a soccer field for prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, many of whom will more than likely never see due process of law. Our foreign policy is absolutely unsustainable, and the debt we are amassing serves only to cripple our economy.
Let’s get one thing straight, if we do not cut spending, our debt will be our end. Both parties criticize the other’s excess while defending their own. This has to stop. Whether it’s unchecked welfare & other social spending on the left, our bloated military budget on the right, or bailing out Wall Street on both sides, a vote for the two major parties is a vote for more debt.
When the bar is set so low it’s resting on top of your shoes, any lackluster candidate will do. I think we deserve better. Let’s raise the bar and vote for the guy who can exceed our expectations. The Constitution protects our rights and liberties, and when a candidate or President doesn’t consistently use the Constitution as his or her guidebook and actually uphold their oath of office, they cannot be trusted to consistently act in the best interest of the people instead of the interests of lobbyists, rich donors, Wall Street, and the other Powers That Be. Let’s get past the temptation to consider who looks more Presidential or who will act more “leaderly” and start looking at actual, proven, radical results.
Now, I realize that Gary Johnson will not win this election, and many will say that a vote for Johnson is a vote for Romney or for Obama (whomever you’re against), but that isn’t the case with me. Under no circumstances will I vote for either of those two candidates, because I simply cannot support a system that produces candidates who promote bad policy and show poor leadership, and that seeks to exclude third parties from debates and state ballots. I don’t go to the polls to vote against someone, I go to the polls to vote for the person I believe will be the best person for the job. The only way to bring about true change is to vote for someone who’s proven they can change things for the better. Gary Johnson has done just that.
Beth Lancaster, a 2007 Georgia State University graduate (B.A., Philosophy), is a barista at a local coffee shop. She enjoys pulling killer espresso shots and chatting with customers. She and her husband hope one day to own a farm where they raise goats and grow herbs.