Thursday, October 20, 2016

The Other 2016 Presidential Candidate #IRL #IRLToday

I was 29 the first time I voted in a presidential election. I knew what I didn't want so I just voted the other way. Little did I realize there is so much more on the ballot.

This year, the main thing I want to focus on sharing is the other presidential candidate and political party. That candidate is Gary Johnson for President, along with the Vice Presidential Nominee William Weld, both of the Libertarian political party.

Getting to know a Presidential Nominee during their race to become a Presidential candidate requires a huge investment of time; time that many folks just don't have. Even if you make the time, how well do you really get to know that person?

With that, how many of you even knew there was another candidate? Johnson's name came up here and there, but he's not included in the Presidential debates. I didn't understand this myself, so I asked Google "why isn't Gary Johnson included in the debate?". I didn't even have to click a link to learn that one must "qualify".

Next I asked Google "how to qualify for presidential debate". Apparently there is a commission that oversees this decision. The Commission on Presidential Debates requires candidates seeking to participate meet the following criteria:

1) Meet the eligibility requirement for president
2) Have enough ballot access to win an Electoral College majority
3) Have at least 15% support of the national electorate in five predetermined marquee polls

Johnson, along with Jill Stein, both met criteria one and two, but not three. That makes sense to me, but I didn't understand what #3 actually meant. From what I'm reading, that criteria uses data from polls conducted by ABC-Washington Post, CBS-New York Times, CNN-ORC, Fox News and the NBC/Wall Street Journal. Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't that simply news media?

Either way, if you don't qualify for the first presidential debate, that doesn't mean you can't qualify for others. Unfortunately, neither Johnson or Stein made any of the three. I'm not sure what happened to Stein, but she's not on my Georgia sample ballot. Johnson will be the first third-party presidential candidate on the ballot in every state and Washington D.C. since 1996.

So, just what is this third party, you ask? After watching most of each of the three presidential debates filled with bickering and bantering like little children, my research about Gary Johnson and the Libertarian party continued.

I don't know how many people there are like me, but I've got life to live. While the future of our country is extremely important to me, no matter how much time I spend learning about the candidates it will never be enough.

To narrow my field of vision since the race begin, I took a quiz at to see where my stances matched the candidates. If you spend the time to take the full quiz, which allows you to rank the importance of each issue (with explanations of each), it gives you a good start. Of course, as nominees drop out of the race, things will change. Your best option might be gone.

I'm there right now. I'm left with three, so now I have to really decide which issues are most important to me. You can retake the quiz as many times as you'd like. At this point, many folks only see Hillary and Trump as their only choices. Again, I'm not sure if Jill made it on other states ballots, but she's not on mine.

So, I present you with Gary Johnson and the Libertarian party. I'm not encouraging you to vote one way or another, but rather trying to enlighten folks who don't feel they have a choice but to vote for the lesser of two evils, which I hear a lot.

Here's some info for you to explore. Feel free to share your thoughts or ask questions, but keep it civil folks. I put this out here to educate you, not to sway your vote.

From here you should be able to do a bit of your own research. I wish you the best of luck in whatever you decide.

UPDATE 10/24/2016: My Dad says (and he's right) there is no way a 3rd party candidate will win this year. So, please vote for the lesser of the TWO evils.

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