Those 'Aleppo Moments' Don't Bother Me. Here's Why.

What Gary Johnson lacks in foreign policy experience, he makes up for in executive experience.
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US Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson speaks at a National Press Club Luncheon on July 7, 2016, in Washington, DC.
US Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson speaks at a National Press Club Luncheon on July 7, 2016, in Washington, DC.
MOLLY RILEY via Getty Images

In November, I will be voting for Gary Johnson. I’m not voting for him out of spite for the two-party system, although it might be time for that to end. I’m not voting for him because it’s the “cool thing to do.” My vote for Johnson isn’t a vote for Donald Trump (thanks, President Obama) or Hillary Clinton. And no, I’m not super concerned with his “Aleppo moments.”

I am voting for Gary Johnson because the job of the President of the United States requires someone with experience, integrity and the ability to fix what is truly broken in our government: Congress. Gary Johnson is the only candidate who possesses all three of these requirements.

So, perhaps, instead of spending time bullying third party voters on social media, Clinton supporters should be asking themselves why their candidate is not compelling enough to gain the support of independents, Republicans and millennials alike who cannot support Donald Trump.

And if they were to spend a second thinking about it, they might find that they already know the answer, because she was not compelling enough to earn many of their votes in 2008.

Most – if not all – of our problems stem from the inability of Congress to work together to pass laws and compromise. Because despite what presidential candidates might have you think, all of their campaign promises are empty unless they can rally Congress to get on their side. The president does not make the laws, Congress does. Gary Johnson is a former Republican governor from a blue state with proof that he can make that happen. Hillary Clinton’s senatorial experience shows she is part of the problem, rather than the solution we desperately need.

Clinton supporters say, “but Johnson has no foreign policy experience!” Which may be true, but neither did Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan or either of the Roosevelts. You see, foreign policy experience gained on a senatorial committee just isn’t the same thing as being commander-in-chief of the U.S. Armed Forces. Besides, what he lacks in foreign policy experience, he makes up for in executive experience – both in the public and private sector – of which Ms. Clinton has none.

“But he can’t even name one foreign leader!” they might counter. Well, first of all, that wasn’t even the question, as they asked him to name one foreign leader he admires. And second of all, I wouldn’t want the sitting president of the United States to answer this question, because people would read into which sitting foreign leader he chose, and wonder why some leaders were not brought up. I highly doubt that this question will be asked during the second presidential debate, because it reads more as a final question for Miss America than one to help us decide who is best suited for the most important office in the world.

Here’s the bigger point: People assume that those of us that support Gary Johnson have the same knowledge of Johnson as they do ― two sound bytes from him at his worst. They haven’t watched his CNN Town Halls, read his bevy of editorials for the New York Times and other publications, or researched his time as governor of New Mexico, and so, they assume that we haven’t done so, either.

But if we were to judge Ms. Clinton by her two worst sound bytes, we wouldn’t be talking about Aleppo moments, we’d be talking about that time she called young Black men “super-predators,” or the years in which she spoke on the “sanctity of marriage” as being between a man and a woman. We’d see her destroying the careers of young women that Bill Clinton took advantage of within his position of power as president of the United States, and claiming that Benghazi was the result of anger over a video.

Fortunately for them, Ms. Clinton’s moments are replaced daily by her activity on the campaign trail. She is privileged to have her every move covered, and she is prepared enough after all of these years as a career politician to have learned how to speak well.

Perhaps the biggest reason third party voters upset Clinton supporters so much is that Gary Johnson forces Clinton to actually run for president. Because Donald Trump is so offensive to many, the Democratic Party hasn’t actually had to pitch their ideas and policy proposals to the American voter. They can sell Ms. Clinton as the only moral choice for president (although many would disagree). They can talk about how sexist or bigoted or misogynistic Trump is, rather than talking about policy at all.

Which is why she won’t ask that Gary Johnson be included on the debate stage. If Ms. Clinton were interested in actually debating the issues, or even if she truly believed that Gary Johnson had no idea what he was talking about, she would debate him. But if she were to have to debate a candidate who would disagree without yelling, let her finish talking, and offer her the respect she deserves as a former Secretary of State, the American people would actually get to consider the issues, and chances are, despite her experience, she could lose the debates for the same reasons she did in ’08. She’s just not that likable, and it turns out that the American people value trustworthiness and charisma more than we value experience.

People write third party voters off as if we just “don’t understand.”

Here is what I understand: If Hillary Clinton being the “most experienced presidential candidate of all time,” somehow makes her supremely qualified to be president, she would have been elected in 2008. The fact is, in 2008, she lost to a then-one term senator from Illinois.

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