Let Gary Johnson debate

Libertarian nominee for president, Gary Johnson, was excluded from the first presidential debate. He did not meet threshold of 15% polling.

Two term New Mexico Governor, Gary Johnson. He is the Libertarian Party nominee for president.

Yesterday, America missed out on the opportunity to have a debate that was more than something for entertainment value. While we could have been focused on the issues, we sat there and watched two petulant children bicker and keep the focus on themselves. There was not a mature adult on the stage who actually seemed to care about what is going on in America. We have the two most unlikeable candidates in history, so by omitting Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson from the debate, we are leaving the majority of America in the dark about a third party candidate.

According to the Huffington Post, 66 percent of Americans have not, or are not sure if they have heard of Gary Johnson. However, he will be included on the ballot in all 50 states for the upcoming election, therefore having the first requirement to be in the debates (being on enough ballots to win according to the electoral college). The one requirement he was not able to meet was the 15 percent poll numbers he needed.

That second rule of the 15 percent threshold was only put in place after the strong showing from Ross Perot in 1992. Prior to the debates, he was polling at 9 percent. After being included, his numbers climbed all the way to 19 percent. They then did not allow him to be included in the debates in the following election four years later, despite his strong showing in the prior election.

Johnson is currently polling at around 10 percent, but the most important factor in obtaining votes is name recognition. His recognition went up with his “What is Allepo?” gaffe, but the American public has yet to see him in a positive light due to his exclusion in the media and debates. His track record proves his intelligence, but thus far there has been a largely underwhelming coverage of his accomplishments.

If people actually knew his records, they would know how successful he has been. Serving as a Republican in the largely Democratic state of New Mexico for two terms, he was one of only two governors who had a balanced budget at the end of his terms. There was also a significant job growth as well as tax cuts and a stable economy for the duration of his terms.

Johnson was not only successful in politics. In 1976, he started his own construction company, Big J Enterprises, with himself as the only employee. He eventually grew the company into a multimillion-dollar corporation with over 1000 employees. When he sold it in 1999, it had grown into one of the largest construction companies in New Mexico.

This success was not due to riding on the coattails of a successful husband or through million dollar loans from a rich father- this was purely him and his own abilities. He has arguably the best and most honest record of any of the candidates, however his exclusion from the media and the debates is preventing people from even considering a third, and viable, option.