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The Libertarian party: Gary Johnson

Sydney Freeman, Staff Writer

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Due to the upcoming election, MHS students are learning about alternative candidates to the two main party figures.  One such alternative is former New Mexico governor and Libertarian Gary Johnson. Both major party candidates of this election are well known figures who are often associated with their mistakes, scandals, and bad decisions. However, most of the American population is unaware of their other options. Usually third party candidates are not widely known, but in this election they may serve as a more attractive alternative.

Gary Johnson is formally running on behalf of the Libertarian Party along with running mate former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld.  In contrast to prior elections, Johnson is on the ballot in all 50 states, which is quite rare for a third-party candidate. He is often known as a strong supporter of preserving each person’s individual rights. This is often reflected in his opinions surrounding controversial topics.

According to Johnson’s campaign website, he believes that abortion should be each person’s decision, and outlawing it would limit American freedoms. Johnson also believes that legal immigration should become easier to apply for in an effort to eliminate the amount of illegal immigrants entering the country. He has also advocated for privacy and freedom of online interactions.

Social Studies teacher Mr. Stephen Castellani revealed that, though his candidacy is more popular than prior third-party candidates, it’s still statistically improbable that he would be elected. It was questionable if he could be elected by the Electoral College, but Mr. Johnson does qualify.  However, his mere candidacy does not make his chances of winning more likely.  Johnson’s candidacy is not well known, but it could be better advertised through social media.

Mr. Castellani compared the projected outcome to the success of President Obama’s campaign through YouTube. On the other hand, campaigning would not change the outcome by much, as a large portion of voters would remain loyal to the political party with which they are affiliated, no matter their issues with either major candidate.  Both major party candidates are seen as dangerous or untrustworthy by many voters. Johnson is no exception to this.

“The majority of the candidates running this election are not qualified to be president,” Mr. Castellani said, when considering the possibilities of actions the candidates may take when in office.

Out of 884 students polled, 54.3% of students have heard of Gary Johnson running for president. Juniors Morgan Camarda and Jack Murphy shared their opinions regarding the upcoming election.  Although Jack had heard of Johnson before, neither he nor Morgan had any idea as to what he stands for. After being given some background information on Johnson, they both agreed that he would be a better option than either of the major party candidates, as neither are fond of Trump nor Clinton.

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Massapequa High School's chief source of news.
The Libertarian party: Gary Johnson