Wednesday, October 19, 2016

A millennial explains why she's voting Libertarian

I’m voting for Gary Johnson. My vote is a message of dissent. - Vox - Stephanie Page, as told to Karen Turner:

October 19, 2016 - "As a believer in small government, I’m voting this year for Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate. I’m a 21-year-old first-time voter in the swing state of Ohio, and in this election, my vote represents a protest. It’s a way for me to voice my bone-deep distaste for both candidates, and to send a message to Washington that they can’t expect us to all fall into line when they offer such abysmal choices. They need to do better, and it’s our responsibility to tell them that....

"There's a quote from Charles de Montesquieu that sums up how I feel: 'Unnecessary laws weaken the necessary laws.' I’m scared of gratuitous restrictions that take away our guns, which to me are a symbol of our power as citizens. I don’t want “we the people” to keep handing over our individual rights to a powerful centralized government. While I understand that the individual gun control policies proposed by Democrats do not include literally rounding up firearms from individual homes, I fear that even small gun restrictions will just give way to bigger limitations down the line. I’m scared of a slippery slope to ever-more-infringing laws.

"It’s one big reason I simply can’t vote for Clinton. Her threats to increase gun control, along with the threat of appointing a liberal Supreme Court justice who might reinterpret the Second Amendment, are just too big of a risk to me. And that’s just the beginning. Every new scandal she is involved in, from the State Department emails to her private Wall Street speeches unveiled by WikiLeaks, smacks of the corruption of the powerful. Her desire for secrecy, her 'private position and public position' — all of her actions embody the corruptive, corrosive risk of handing over increased power to our elected officials.

"I really can’t get past Trump’s offensive and impulsive comments.... Early on in this election, I supported Marco Rubio for the conservative ticket; despite my misgivings with some of his social policies.... But now that Trump has taken over, I feel even more distaste for my party’s choices. How could they have let someone with such bigoted and hateful language come to represent small-government, conservative values in our country today?

"I sometimes worry that the Republicans’ more socially conservative, deeply religious stances will further alienate me and voters of my generation. As a gay woman, I was really bothered by the Republicans’ staunch stance against same-sex marriage in the past. I’m also a Christian, but I just don’t see a place for far-right-leaning religious rhetoric in our government policies. These institutions need to stay separate.

"More and more, I see myself aligning with the Libertarian Party. I’m really attracted to their pragmatic, mind-your-own-business-and-stay-out-of-people’s-way philosophy toward governing. I see them as the only political party with real hope for compromise and getting things done in a government afflicted with gridlock.

"I like where Johnson stands on social issues, such as gay rights and guns, while also supporting his responsible fiscal spending and lower tax policy. He seems like a genuinely likable and nice guy, which is important.

"I also really like Johnson’s views on immigration, which are to expand our work visa options and let even more immigrants into the country legally to work, spend, and contribute to our economy. Immigrants are what have always made this country great, and so many of us descend from immigrants, whether generations ago or recently. Trump’s hateful rhetoric about them stealing our jobs is just untrue and unhelpful....

"I understand that Johnson has little to no chance of becoming president, but I need to use my voice to tell our government that we need to change the way things are done. If everyone who thinks like me does the same, using their vote against the current party system, the Libertarian Party will have a chance at becoming the future of conservative political thought in our future. My vote is a message of dissent."

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