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The Common Ground Candidate

Gary-Johnson-800x430I, like most Americans, am a libertarian. As Gary Johnson said recently on CNN, most Americans are libertarians, they just don’t know it. I wholeheartedly agree. My Republican friends tell me that my fiscally conservative beliefs make me a part of their party, no matter how many gay weddings we attend for our friends. On the other side, my Democrat friends try to reason that because of my socially liberal ‘live and let live’ mentality, obviously I should be shaded blue on Election Day, even with that pistol in my purse. What I decided early on was that I was an independent voter, which is true, but moreover, I believe in the Libertarian Party’s platform most of all.

I always laugh when my friends complain about my criticisms of ‘their candidates’, because they will start a sentence with “Well yeah, but..” and inevitably the shortcomings of the other candidate will follow. This year is worse than ever. Parties at my house have strict no-politics rules because the rookie cop in the corner with a beer knows that Black Lives Matter, because he is, in fact, black and wearing the blue. Nobody needs to have that conversation because common sense says that in my kitchen when my kids call him uncle Johnny, he is family, he is human, and he is not a talking point or a vote. With the country so divided that even a fish fry can turn into a debate stage, it’s really nice to be an independent. In this election in particular, it’s awesome to be a Libertarian because no matter who is spouting off, I can at least find common ground.

Everybody is an issue, or a sum of issues from the perspective of the campaign trail this year, some of my favorite topics to compare are also some of the biggest points of contention between rivals. Bernie Sanders is as far from my fiscal policy as can be, but he wants us to stop supporting regime change in our foreign policy, and I can agree with that. Ted Cruz is a constitutionalist and believes in small government, and I do too, including the right to the pursuit of happiness, even if that means marrying someone the same gender as I am. Hillary Clinton wants to make great leaps in equality across her platform and as a woman with two daughters, I can agree her. It’s an admirable goal, in theory, however, the path to equality and who pays for it, is not something I can support while trying to shrink the presence of government in my life and my wallet. Donald Trump is harder to compare, but I do agree with his views on lobbyists, and pay for play politics. He is more socially liberal than most within his party, but then I imagine him representing America globally and the movie Idiocracy comes to mind.

Oh, if only there were someone who believed in balanced budgets, minimalist government, tax reform, and freedom to ingest what I want with the spouse of my choosing while not fighting foreign wars. If only there were a third party, a party of common sense and common ground, a leader with legislative experience and the ability to say no to lobbyists and the political elites. If only Gary Johnson were running for president and on the ballot across the nation. Well, if only he made it to 15% in the polls, the national debate stage will see that the Libertarian Party is the party of common ground, and moreover that Gary Johnson is the common ground candidate. I, for one, am hoping he makes it.

* Lauren LaCount is a ‘millennial’, a mom, wife, a small business owner, community volunteer, animal activist, and most recently a city council representative. In her free time she tries her best to encourage critical and common sense thinking and participation in local governance.

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