Students in my summer course were given the opportunity to complete a candidate statement for extra credit where they were asked to write a 300-400 word statement about which candidate they supported and why. They were required to focus on two to three policy issues on which they agreed with the candidate on.
Out of the students in the class, 49% supported Hillary Clinton, 20% supported Donald Trump, 17% supported Gary Johnson, and 14% supported other candidates. Every few days, I will post some of their statements to this website in order to a) highlight their work and b) to provide some context on how today’s college students feel about the 2016 presidential candidates.
Here’s the schedule for the postings (in alphabetical order by candidate):
Today, we will hear from a student who personally supports Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson.
Response 1, Alex C.*
Gary Johnson is the Libertarian Party Presidential Candidate. The Libertarian Party believes that individual rights are the most important (Libertarian Party, 2016). I support Gary Johnson for multiple reasons such as his position on gun control, same sex marriage, and abortion.
In terms of gun control, Johnson was quoted as saying, “if you outlaw guns, only outlaws will have guns” (On the Issues, 2011). This quote aligns with my beliefs because criminals will always be willing to break the law but if guns are illegal it keeps them out of the hands of law abiding citizens who would use them for self-defense. He points out the fact that tragedies such as the shooting in Orlando, Florida happened in a gun-free zone (Page, 2016). If law abiding citizens had been allowed to carry legally in these places, they may have been able lessen the tragedy by stopping the shooter sooner.
On the topic of same sex marriage, Johnson says “I support gay unions … government ought to get out of the marriage business” (On the Issues, 2011). I think that everyone should be allowed to have the same rights. He also expresses that different religions have the right to believe in anything they choose, but it is not the government’s role to interfere when it comes to peoples’ rights (Ballotpedia, 2011). I agree that people have the right to believe in whatever they choose, but their beliefs should not infringe on the rights of others.
Finally, Johnson supports a woman’s right to choose abortion up until a certain point (On the Issues, 2011). This belief aligns closely with my beliefs on same sex marriage. I think that people have the right to believe and practice anything they want. However, these beliefs should not take away the rights of others. When it comes to an individual’s body, we should not be able to regulate how they treat it.
Even though Johnson is a member of a third party, he takes issue stances that I support. Though he does not have a serious chance of winning, I will vote for him because his beliefs align closely with mine. I think it is good to have options in politics, and Johnson is a good one.
What about you? Why (or why not) do you support Gary Johnson?
*Responses shared with written permission from the authors. Replication in any form, without permission from the author, is prohibited.
- Gary Johnson on Abortion. (2016, March 12). Retrieved August 02, 2016, from http://www.ontheissues.org/2016/Gary_Johnson_Abortion.htm
- Gary Johnson on Civil Rights. (2016, March 12). Retrieved August 02, 2016, from http://www.ontheissues.org/2016/Gary_Johnson_Civil_Rights.htm
- Gary Johnson on Gun Control. (2016, March 12). Retrieved August 02, 2016, from http://www.ontheissues.org/2016/Gary_Johnson_Gun_Control.htm
- Gary Johnson presidential campaign, 2016/Gay rights – Ballotpedia. (n.d.). Retrieved August 02, 2016, from https://ballotpedia.org/Gary_Johnson_presidential_campaign,_2016/Gay_rights
- Page, S. (2016, June 16). Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson on guns, debates and pot. Retrieved August 02, 2016, from http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/elections/2016/06/16/libertarian-nominee-gary-johnson-guns-debates-pot/85982250/
- Platform. (2016, May). Retrieved August 02, 2016, from https://www.lp.org/platform