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Celebrate the 4th of July with a third voice at debates?

July 3, 2016

The 4th of July is about more than beer, barbecue and fireworks.

This year we celebrate the adoption of America’s Declaration of Independence, the birth — 240 years ago — of our nation. But most importantly, America in 1776 declared freedom not just for the nation, but for each of us as individual citizens.

Thomas Jefferson penned the immortal words:  We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Wow.  Here was a new nation that was willing to turn history on its ear.  Instead of making people beholden to the government, the founders made the government beholden to the people.  People would be free to pursue their own happiness. Government would be limited.  There would be no ruling class.

It was an idea so radical that freedom-loving people everywhere wanted to come to America.  And not just to come to America, but to become Americans.  They embraced freedom, worked hard, loved their country, and helped their neighbors.  Together — each in individual pursuit of happiness — they built the greatest nation in history.

But 240 years is a long time for any idea — even liberty — to maintain its passion.  Too many of us take for granted the freedoms that the founders fought so hard to give us.  It is easier to ask the government to provide our happiness than work for it ourselves.   Just as the founders feared, government keeps getting bigger and more intrusive.  Just as the founders feared, we have allowed a permanent ruling class of career politicians and bureaucrats to emerge.

It may too late for us to achieve a return to the values that made America great.  But there are signs in this election year that we the people are sick of ever-bigger government and sick of rags-to-riches politicians.

Many of us don’t want to vote for Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump.  In the name of public service, the Clintons have used politics to become enormously wealthy.  And Trump has used big government and politicians like the Clintons to feed his own wealth and ego.

There is a glimmer of hope in the form of the only third party that will likely be on the ballot in all 50 states.  The Libertarian Party stands for the things that made America great.  Personal liberty. Individual responsibility. Limited government.

But the Democrats and Republicans — with the cooperation of those who benefit from “politics as usual” — have rigged the system to ensure that third parties can’t win much support.

If the Libertarian ticket — former Gov. Gary Johnson of New Mexico and former Gov. Bill Weld of Massachusetts — achieves at least 15% public support in the polls, they will be able to participate in this year’s presidential debates. If enough of us tell pollsters that we prefer the Libertarians, it could happen.

If Johnson and Weld participate in the debates, it would be up to them to win over voters. If it doesn’t appear that Johnson and Weld can be elected, we could still vote for either Clinton or Trump on election day.  But don’t we at least want the opportunity to consider a third alternative during the debates?

Here’s where you can learn more:

One Comment
  1. Don permalink

    Once again, Joe, you’ve hit the nail on the head. It’s interesting to note that EACH of the Libertarian candidates have more Executive experience AND have been elected to office more than BOTH of the major party candidates combined. Why wouldn’t we want to consider them and hear what they have to say? They’re for smaller government and they mean it. Johnson reportedly vetoed more legislation while Governor of New Mexico than all 49 other governors combined in the same time period. Go Gary!


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