Gary Johnson deserves to be included in debates
By Chris Skarnulis, Arts and Entertainment Editor
With the 2016 Presidential Election coming up within the month, Americans have gathered their final thoughts in preparation for Election Day. Needless to say, in recent months, Americans have anxiously waited to tune in to the presidential debates. However, at all presidential debates, the Libertarian party nominee is always absent. Regardless of views on the relevance of less prominent political parties, the Libertarian party has the right to have their party’s nominee be heard at debates.
Gary Johnson and running mate, Vice Presidential candidate Bill Weld are the Libertarian Party candidates. Their support and name recognition is getting higher, as exemplified by the Quinnipiac University poll released. It shows the Libertarian ticket at 13 percent nationally. This poll puts them within the margin of error for obtaining 15 percent
nationwide. The Electoral College basically makes the election into a series of 50 state contests. A national poll is essentially worthless in predicting November’s winner. In addition to polling in the double digits in 42 states, the Libertarian candidates are at 15 percent or higher in 15 states, and 19 percent or higher in four states.
The focus of the presidential debates is to let the Republican, or Grand Old Party (GOP), and Democrat presidential nominees tackle a number of issues that concern America. What would be the problem with adding a third candidate to the debate?
By standards, Johnson is the candidate for a high-ranking political party that is showing prominence in the upcoming election. It does not have to be a strong commitment either, just a more frequent habit. This year, Johnson fulfilled one major requirement: he is on the ballot in enough states to hypothetically win the Electoral College.
Given the political climate of this year’s presidential election, Americans are looking for a new and different alternative to the very unpopular Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton candidacies. This is a key reason why Johnson should be permitted on that debate stage with Trump and Clinton. The nation needs to know that there is a credible alternative on the ballot in all 50 states to the polarizing nominees from the Republican and Democratic parties.
Over the past 20 years, the percentage of independents has gone up six percentage points, from 36 percent to 42 percent. The GOP dropped from 30 percent to 26 percent, and the Democrats dropped from 34 percent to 29 percent. This may be one reason why, in 2016, politics is seeing the failure of the two-party system to pick candidates that appeal to the majority.
Gary Johnson should have been allowed to debate in the presidential debates. Johnson has made a milestone for the Libertarian Party and reserves the equal right to represent his party in the debates.