We’d hear a critical third perspective from two former governors with solid views and records.

Gary Johnson and Bill Weld can lay claim to being two of the most popular state governors in recent history, both having won their second terms as Republican governors of “blue” states in landslide victories.

They are running for president and vice president, respectively, on a fiscally conservative, socially liberal Libertarian platform.

As the only other presidential ticket that will be on the ballot in all 50 states, they deserve to be on the same debate stage as the candidates nominated by our polarizing two-party system.

Johnson and Weld offer a capable, credible, and compelling alternative at a time when 58 percent of Americans are dissatisfied with their historically unfavorable established party options.

As evidenced by their interviews with the Chicago Tribune Editorial Board and ReasonTV, they would bring an honest, thoughtful, and pragmatic approach to the executive branch.


Their Libertarian platform offers serious proposals aimed at reducing our national debt, a strong defense of civil liberties, a precautionary approach to military entanglements, and a well-reasoned argument for winding down the “War on Drugs.”

At the same time, Johnson and Weld maintain refreshingly open minds with respect to gun control, health care, tax reform, social security, environmental protection, and a number of other important issues facing our nation.

While both certainly have their own opinions on such matters, they appear willing to be flexible and their success as minority party governors demonstrates that they are comfortable working across party lines.

Even for those issues which Johnson and Weld feel passionate about, both are quick to point out that they are not running for dictator or king, and that their capacity to act unilaterally through the executive branch would be limited by the other branches of government – a concept so often lost on presidential candidates and presidents alike.

This is the kind of pragmatic approach that thrust Johnson to a 55 percent victory in left-leaning New Mexico in 1998, and Weld to a record-setting 71 percent victory in left-leaning Massachusetts in 1994 – a year in which Weld won all but 6 of Massachusetts’s 351 municipalities.

These are respectable, proven candidates who have exhibited a propensity for effective leadership. While I believe that they deserve your consideration, I simply want them to be included in the upcoming presidential and vice-presidential debates.


Their perspectives on individual liberty, fiscal responsibility, military interventions, and criminal justice reform would do much to enrich a political dialogue in dire need of enrichment.

If you are voting for Trump because you support his immigration policies, because you want a businessman as president, or because you’ll do anything to prevent Hillary Clinton from being elected, you’ll need to explain how the federal government is going to physically deport 11 million men, women, and children without laying waste to the Fourth Amendment.

You’ll also have to defend the failed record of a man who inherited his “success” – as opposed to Gary Johnson, who actually started and ran a successful construction business from scratch.

And you’ll have to have faith that Trump would actually break through his well-established ceiling of support, or that millions of Americans will ultimately decide to vote for someone who mocks the disabled, disparages POWs and minorities, and dishonors the parents of fallen soldiers.

Alternatively, you may be voting for Clinton because you believe in a substantially higher federal minimum wage, an American military presence in almost every dark corner of the world, and a federal government whose size and scope are even more powerful and expansive than the present form.

At some point, however, you’ll need to acknowledge that a more expensive labor market will potentially increase low-wage unemployment and make labor-free alternatives much more attractive.


You would also have to defend a policy of military intervention that has arguably made us less safe, and confront the possibility that in some future presidential election, once your larger, more powerful vision for the federal government has been implemented, our country might elect a power-hungry demagogue like Donald Trump to run it all.

Johnson and Weld offer alternative perspectives on all of the above.

Their inclusion in the debates would reduce the probability of an embarrassing Clinton-Trump death match and will offer Americans a compelling third perspective.

For the sake of our national dialogue, please let Gary Johnson and Bill Weld debate.


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