by Luke Terry
In many ways, last night’s Presidential Debate was great television. Both sides delivered as expected:
Trump acted like a buffoon and Clinton lied through her teeth. Overall Hilary won by staying quiet and letting Trump ramble on like a drunk uncle at a family BBQ, but Trump did manage to land a couple of heavy blows against her by pointing out that she lied about NAFTA and her emails (by the way, what does it say about Hilary that even Trump can land such blows on her?).
But in another way, the debate was a great disappointment. The candidates spent almost all their time on personal attacks, barely touched on policy and, when they did, just argued about different ways to be authoritarian.
If only there had been some range, some variety, an alternative perspective.
Well, there could have been. But the Debate Commission (which is run by the Democratic and Republican parties) decided a third voice would have been too threatening, and ignored the 62% of the country that wanted Libertarian Presidential Candidate Gary Johnson on the stage last night.
So, in honour of Governor Johnson’s non-appearance, and as a plea to get him into the next debate, here are the four most important, different, sensible and interesting points Gary Johnson didn’t get to make to America last night:
1. The US spends waaaaaaay too much on the military
Neither Clinton nor Trump have ever suggesting cutting America’s rampant military spending (which is the highest in the world and greater than the spending of the next 19 countries combined). Trump actually wants to increase it.
Had Gary been allowed on the stage last night, he might have spoken about his plan to cut military budget by 20%. But he wasn’t. And America missed out.
2. The US should stop putting people to death
Both Trump and Clinton believe in continuing the death penalty. That alone is a great reason not to vote for them.
I could argue here that the death penalty doesn’t work as a deterrent, that it puts to death innocent people and, oh yeah, IT’S WRONG FOR THE STATE TO MURDER PEOPLE WHO ARE JAILED AND NO THREAT TO ANYONE.
Maybe if Johnson had been allowed to address the 100 million viewers last night, he could have said that for me.
3. The US should stop droning Pakistan and Yemen
Numerous experts have insisted that the US’s drone policy is ineffective and turns the people of the Middle East against us. Common sense tells us this too. After all, if you drop bombs that kill innocent people and aren’t around to clean up, are people going to be:
A) Glad you neutralised some perceived threat they didn’t even know existed or
B) Terrified of the robotic sky murderers?
Yet Trump and Clinton insist on supporting this failed policy. If Governor Johnson had been there he could have outlined his firm opposition to dropping bombs on countries America isn’t even at war with.
4. The US should legalise marijuana and decriminalise other drugs
Clinton gets some credit here: she supports the legalisation of medicinal pot. Trump doesn’t get any credit. Ever.
Yet neither candidate would legalise this mostly harmless drug, stopping people going to jail. Gary Johnson would.
Shame he wasn’t allowed onstage huh?