Due to the polarizing nature of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump as presidential candidates, third-party candidates are quite trendy this election, with Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson being the most well-known.
This is nothing new. Every few elections, third-party candidates see a spike in popularity as people frustrated with the two-party system begin clamoring for more options. However, as I’ve pointed out before, the way our government is constructed, a three-party system is nearly impossible. Because of our Constitution, our government is set up in a way where the majority has nearly all of the power. If one party splinters into two, all that will ultimately end up happening is the party that doesn’t splinter will take unprecedented power over our government. While I understand the dream of more than two parties is enticing for many who feel “both parties are the same” (they’re not, by the way), based upon how our government governs, a third-party system would be a disaster for whichever party split. (If you want to read my extended thoughts on third-parties, you can do so here.)
Despite what I might think about third-party candidates, it’s undeniable that they’re having an impact on this election. While he didn’t make the cut for the first presidential debate, Johnson came much closer to qualifying than most third-party candidates have in the past.
Unfortunately for Gary Johnson, with a rise in popularity comes a rise in scrutiny.
For instance, his embarrassing interview where he was asked about the key Syrian city of Aleppo — only to prove that he clearly had no idea what Aleppo was. While some of his supporters tried to claim that he was simply confused about what he was being asked, if you watch the video, it’s obvious Johnson didn’t have a clue. That’s definitely not a good thing for someone who wants to be President of the United States.
Well, once again, Johnson made a fool out of himself on Sunday morning when he was asked about the explosion that rocked New York City the night before.
“First of all — just grateful that nobody got hurt,” Johnson said. “Secondly, law enforcement is on the scene, responders are on the scene. If there’s anything I learned having been governor of New Mexico for eight years is that these people really do care, they are really qualified.”
For the record, 29 people were injured, many of whom needed to be sent to the hospital for further evaluation, after an explosive device was put in a dumpster at 23rd Street and 6th Avenue in Manhattan.
Now, did Johnson simply misspeak? Maybe. It’s easy enough for his supporters to say that he meant to say he was thankful that nobody died.
However, considering how lost he looked when he was asked about Aleppo, the last thing Johnson needed was to do another interview where he came off totally and completely clueless about a major event.
While I’m not going to pretend to be an expert on Gary Johnson, aside from detesting Libertarian ideologies, what I have seen from him hasn’t been good. I understand the appeal he may have for some voters, especially as it relates to his stances on war and drugs, but it’s fairly obvious that the guy is completely unqualified to be president.
If he’s embarrassing himself this much already with the minuscule amount of media attention he gets, I can only imagine how bad things would get for him if he were actually vetted like candidates from one of our two major political parties.