INDIANAPOLIS — If Gary Johnson, Libertarian candidate for president of the United States, had been allowed by the Presidential Debates Commission to participate in last Wednesday's debate, viewers would've heard from a candidate who doesn't comfortably fit in either the left or right of the political spectrum.
As Johnson, a former two-term Republican governor of New Mexico, noted during a campaign stop last Thursday at IUPUI, he believes marriage equality is a constitutionally guaranteed right, the war on drugs should be a health issue rather than a criminal justice one, the federal budget should be balanced now and not over several years, federal income and corporate taxes should be replaced with one consumption tax, and the Federal Reserve and legal tender laws should be abolished and replaced with ones that allow for competing currencies. And that's only part of his ideological platform.
But alas, the CPD only allows for candidates garnering at least 15 percent support in three national polls to participate in its debates. Johnson, who's currently on 47 of the 50 state ballots (and having to fight swing states and those with tough ballot laws to reach that point), is currently polling about 6 percent nationally. That's despite little media attention.
So instead the American people got a presidential debate between Democrat incumbent Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney that, in Johnson's words, was "much ado about nothing."
"I find it remarkable that Obama and Romney are debating over who's going to spend more money on Medicare, when we have to slash the spending for it," Johnson said during a meet-and-greet with supporters Thursday before a scheduled speech on the IUPUI campus.
As it stands, he says citizens are paying an average of $30 into the program and getting $100 back.