September 29, 2016.
The idea sounds democratic. Don’t let the Democrat and Republican parties decide our choice for president. Give voters viable alternatives, even if the candidates are less likely to win.
That’s particularly appealing in a year when most of the nation wants change, and the combined negatives of both major party candidates are higher than any pairing ever. Or at least in the history of American presidential elections for which there is survey data.
Along comes Gary Johnson, the Libertarian and leading third party candidate, who reminded us this week how woefully unprepared he is to pass even a high school current events test, much less to be president of the United States.
Asking “What is Aleppo?” when interviewed a couple of weeks ago was bad enough, but when Chris Matthews asked Johnson at a town hall forum to name a favorite foreign leader, he stammered and could not come up with a single name. After prodding by Matthews, the best he could do was say the former president of Mexico, but he couldn’t remember the name. Running mate Bill Weld offered the save, calling out “Fox” and then naming “Merkel” as his own favorite.
It came across as two guys scrambling to remember what they crammed for last night for the class quiz. These same two are the former governors of New Mexico and Massachusetts, respectively.
Then there’s Johnson’s bizarre tongue-sticking-out-of-the-mouth answer to a MSNBC reporter’s question last week, which went viral. Mr. Johnson behaved more like an alien from Men In Black than a candidate for political office on Earth.
To those who are struggling with the choice between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, and considering a vote for Johnson or Jill Stein, candidate of the Green party, we say sober up.
It’s Clinton or Trump. Choose one and vote. Rationalize it any way you want, but don’t throw away your opportunity to decide the next president of the United States.
Want different choices? That’s for next time.