Everything you need to know about Gary Johnson, our best option for president

Because the current top candidates just aren’t cutting it

In order for a third presidential candidate to make it onto the debate stage this fall, he or she would need to reach an average of 15 percent in a series of five polls (Fox News, ABC-Washington Post, CBS-New York Times, CNN-Opinion Research Corporation, and NBC-Wall Street Journal).

Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson is currently polling at around 10 percent in major polls and as high as 16 percent in some states (New Mexico, Colorado). Here’s everything you need to know about his views on some of the most important issues – which are generally the perfect medium between republican and democratic arguments.

Johnson is fairly moderate on abortion and same-sex marriage

Johnson believes that women have the right to make their own decisions regarding abortion. In a 2011 Rolling Stone interview, he said, “I don’t want for a second to pretend that I have a better idea of how a woman should choose when it comes to this situation.” Really, is there any better answer?

He also strongly supports same-sex marriage and repeatedly enforces the idea that the government should not get involved in personal issues, like regulating who can marry who.

He’s a little more conservative on drugs, guns, and healthcare

Johnson favors fewer drug laws because he believes, as most of us do, that the war on drugs has led only to a loss of money and high incarceration rates. He says that marijuana is safer than alcohol and the legalization of marijuana will lead to less crime and less border violence with Mexico.

The libertarian candidate is against stricter gun laws and believes that the right to bear arms is an essential human right – because one good person with a gun can save a lot of lives.

He also strongly opposes Obamacare and doesn’t want the government to have a role in healthcare, but “rather, real competition, freedom to innovate and a working marketplace will provide Americans with the health care they want and will demand,” according to his book Seven Principles of Good Government.

Throwback Thursday ? #tbt

A photo posted by Gov. Gary Johnson (@govgaryjohnson) on Sep 1, 2016 at 12:05pm PDT

On the economy – taxes, minimum wage, college tuition, immigration – he’s slightly conservative

Johnson hopes to eliminate corporate income tax to increase jobs and cut government spending by 43% to help the economy recover. If it was up to him, the IRS and income tax would be abolished (thank you, Gary) and replaced with a flat  federal consumption (sales) tax.

He does not believe in a minimum wage set by the federal government, or in guaranteed government loans for students, because he believes that college tuition would be far less expensive if students were not guaranteed loans, which would bring colleges into the pulls of supply and demand.

Johnson is for immigration reform and wants to use immigration as a way to add diversity and culture to our country. He believes in amnesty for contributing illegal immigrants, more easily-attainable work visas, and in social services for all members of society.

Johnson is far from the green giant, but he’s aware

Johnson acknowledges global warming and agrees it is caused by man, and he believes in protecting the environment and in the EPA’s role. However, he feels it is not the government’s job to put these restrictions in place – he feels that fewer restrictions on energy production would provide millions of new jobs. At the bottom of the Johnson-Weld website for environmental and energy issues, it says, “Protect the Environment. Promote Competition. Incentivize Innovation.”

Internationally, he is quite liberal

Johnson believes in lowering military spending and shrinking the size of the military so that it is used for defense rather than for control. He wants to lower military spending and foreign aid by 43% each. Johnson also hopes to open free trade with every country in the world.

If Gary Johnson can win even one state’s electoral votes, he may prevent Trump or Clinton (two of the most hated presidential candidates ever) from receiving enough electoral votes to clinch the win. This would send the presidential election to the House of Representatives, which has happened only twice in U.S. history.

University of Miami