Drew's Blog

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Opening the debates up to Gary Johnson and Bill Weld

2016-05-28_11.53.31.jpgThe Commission on Presidential Debates has been explicitly organized by the two major political parties to keep viable alternatives — including Libertarian Party candidate Gov. Gary Johnson and running mate Gov. Bill Weld — off the podium.

The CPD may seem like a government agency. It is instead a private charity under 501(c)(3) of the tax code that may not “endorse, support, or oppose political candidates or political parties.”

And yet the CPD endorses the bipartisan system, and it opposes other political parties. When 42 percent of the population tells Gallup that it identifies as independent, that’s a problem.

Today, Johnson and Weld are surging. According to a national Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday, the ticket is at 13 percent nationally. That’s within the margin of error for obtaining the CPD’s arbitrary 15 percent threshold for being on the debate stage.

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A visit with my neighbor about politics, presidents and Libertarian Gary Johnson

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The presidential election is getting so much attention that neighbors are beginning to talk. Here’s how I expect a visit with one of my neighbors — who was also a delegate to our neighboring Republican Party precinct — would transpire:

My neighbor: "Hello and come in, Drew, I've been looking forward to our visit."

Me: "That's very kind of you. How's the family?"

"They're all downstairs. But before I call them up here, I have a question about politics."

"Uh-oh. Sounds serious."

"At the state caucuses in March, we were both elected delegates by our precinct for the Republican Party state convention. We both favor practical, pro-immigration and free-market conservatives. On a national level, now that the Republican Party has nominated Donald Trump, I don’t know what to do. I've been a life-long Republican!"

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The conservative case for Gary Johnson and Bill Weld, not Donald Trump and Mike Pence

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In this election, I cannot in good conscience cast a vote for either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. Neither of them has the character,

They are each an archetypical model of the type of candidate that a responsible and self-governing citizenry needs to reject.the experience or the principles that commend themselves to the American electorate.Like many Americans, I've voted for different political parties over the years. I voted for George W. Bush in 2000. I voted for Barack Obama in 2008.

Fortunately, we have another choice: Gov. Gary Johnson of New Mexico and Gov. Bill Weld of Massachusetts, the presidential and vice presidential nominees of the Libertarian Party.

I consider myself a conservative because I am skeptical of government power. I have a deep love of the Constitution and its checks and balances. And I believe that our national unity depends upon civility and a certain sort of refinement.

Johnson and Weld both have those traits. As the Republican governors of their respective states, they wouldn't both have been overwhelmingly re-elected if they hadn't reached out and worked well with Democrats.

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Will 2016 be the breakout year for the Libertarian Party?

My column from Sunday's Deseret News. The complete list of columns are available here.

The Democratic and Republican parties are preparing to select Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump as their nominees. Do voters have any reasonable alternative?

Gary Johnson, the former Republican governor of the very Democratic state of New Mexico from 1995 to 2003, hopes to provide that choice.

And if he can make that choice seem real to American voters, he could be an agent for something much greater: A realignment of our political parties.

"If I can win the Libertarian Party nomination [next week], I will be the only third-party candidate on the ballot in all 50 states," Johnson said in an interview in Salt Lake on Wednesday. "And I'll be running against the most polarizing figures in U.S. politics."

Johnson also announced that he had selected William Weld, the former Republican governor of the very Democratic state of Massachusetts, as his vice presidential running mate on the Libertarian Party ticket.

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