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.