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Lib­er­tarian Party pres­i­dential can­didate Gary Johnson (theoddyseyonline.com / courtesy).

Hun­dreds of speeches were given at the Repub­lican National Con­vention, but Ted Cruz’s stood above the rest: “vote your con­science,” he said.

Ted was right. Con­ser­v­a­tives should vote their con­science because this election year, one shouldn’t feel con­strained to voting for either the Repub­lican or the Democrat.

According to the Real­Clear­Pol­itics average of favor­a­bility polls between Oct. 24  and Sep. 1, Trump has an average favor­a­bility rating of 36 percent, and Clinton is only at 40 percent.

Never have the favor­a­bility ratings of the Repub­lican and Democrat nom­inees been so low.

Whether a can­didate is expected to win by a land­slide, or lose by one, a con­sci­en­tious citizen is obligated to vote for the can­didate that best rep­re­sents their beliefs. If a can­didate fin­ishes with twenty percent of the vote, that still speaks louder than the one percent they may have had four years before. Perhaps that same can­didate will have made enough of an impact to affect future elec­tions.

There is a better option this election: Lib­er­tarian Party nominee Gary Johnson. Johnson is the only can­didate with the tem­perament, expe­rience, and cre­den­tials to be pres­ident.

Con­ser­v­a­tives should not fear that a vote for Johnson will not spoil the election for Trump. According to the Huff­ington Post, both Trump and Clinton lose roughly equal amounts of support to Gary Johnson when his name is included in the polls. If Donald Trump loses the election in November, it will not be because of a Lib­er­tarian spoiler, but because of his own inep­titude in running a political cam­paign.

Gary Johnson and Bill Weld were both two-term Repub­lican gov­ernors in solid-blue states. They also both won their reelection cam­paigns by his­toric margins. The Johnson/Weld ticket show­cases an impressive 14 years of exec­utive expe­rience, sur­passing the Clinton and Trump tickets.

While some value Trump’s self-pro­claimed business qual­i­fi­ca­tions,  Gary Johnson has a better business record. Donald Trump likes to boast about his suc­cessful real-estate business, the Trump Orga­ni­zation, but his business has filed for bank­ruptcy. Twice.

Johnson started his door-to-door handyman business by himself. This company, Big J Enter­prises, grew to be a multi-million dollar con­struction company and one of the largest employers in New Mexico by 1999.

Con­trary to Trump, Johnson is a proven fiscal con­ser­v­ative. He cut taxes on busi­nesses and the middle class, and vetoed more than 200 big gov­ernment bills during his first term. His tax cuts and reduc­tions in spending bal­anced the budget in New Mexico, making it one of only four states with a bal­anced budget when he left office in 2003.

For the first time in more than a century, we have an oppor­tunity to forge a wedge through the heart of America’s two party system– a system that the country was not intended to have, yet one that has existed for far longer than any of us have been alive. It’s polar­izing and cor­rupting effects have been a barrier to American progress for far too long.

Fellow con­ser­v­a­tives beware: despite the image some Repub­licans have imposed upon him, Trump is not an American messiah that will “make America great again.” While Johnson may not be perfect, his cre­den­tials and the oppor­tunity he has to remove the chains of the two party system, makes him a can­didate worth voting for.

Diet­derich and Millius are freshmen studying pol­itics.