It’s finally happened. The media has gotten something right! They’re no longer ignoring third party candidates and have started to give them the respect they deserve. Instead of assuming that voting for a third party is a spoiler they’re including candidates in their coverage as legitimate alternatives to Trump and Clinton. During his most recent appearance on CNN, Gary Johnson was labeled the ‘GOP’s Trump Alternative’. Although there might have been a question mark at the end it’s still putting the thought into the minds of voters that they do have another choice. Being legitimized in this way is a major step forward for the Libertarian Party.
Michael Smerconish began the segment by affirmatively announcing “there is an alternative” for those who don’t want to vote for Trump or Clinton. He introduced Gary Johnson as a “popular two-term former Governor of New Mexico” that will be on the ballot in all fifty states alongside the other two.
After that positive introduction, they jumped right into the Libertarian Party platform. As described by Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party is all about being “fiscally conservative, socially liberal, [realizing] the government’s too big, it spends too much, it taxes to much, it takes away my individual freedom and liberty”. That’s the perfect way to describe the party to independents who don’t fit in on either side. We take the best parts of both parties and leave individuals with the most freedom.
Smerconish also brought up the recent Monmouth poll which showed Gary Johnson at 11% nationally. That’s the first time he’s been included in a poll this year and only 4% from meeting the Commission on Presidential Debates’ threshold. If Gary Johnson can continue to be included in the polls he could earn his way onto the debate stage. That’s when things would really get interesting.
The man who interviewed Gary Johnson, Michael Smerconish, has always given libertarians a fair shake on his show. You may remember him from his favorable coverage of Ron Paul in 2008 and 2012. Smerconish has hosted a daily radio program catering to independents for many years. Thankfully his profile has only risen since then and he now has his own show on Saturday mornings at 9 AM EST. Hopefully this will be the first of many interviews with Gary Johnson.