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Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson of New Mexico and his running mate, former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld, during an interview at the Union Leader. 

Johnson-Weld 2016: A better choice

It’s a binary election, we’re told.

Trump or Clinton. Pick a side.

That’s a lousy choice, and a false one. As our Publisher writes on today’s front page, we refuse to choose the lesser of two evils. Not when there’s a reasonable, and honorable, alternative.

Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson has a stellar record as a fiscal conservative in a swing state. His running mate, former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld, proved that it’s possible to hold off a big spending Legislature, even in Taxachusetts. They are both intelligent, competent, experienced executives.

Running on the Libertarian Party ticket, Johnson and Weld don’t stand a chance, unless American voters demand better than the horrible candidates foisted on them by the two major political parties.

Electing a third party President might be just the ticket to snapping a squabbling Congress out of its partisanship. Both Republicans and Democrats would be independent of the White House, and freer to debate issues apart from tribal loyalties.

Restoration of these checks and balances might be the most promising benefit of a Johnson presidency. The pattern of presidential overreach stretches back not just eight years, but eight decades, as every commander-in-chief worked to consolidate political authority in the Executive Branch, and every Congress meekly consented.

Gary Johnson would be the first President in modern memory to limit the scope of both the federal government, and his own power as President. Neither Hillary Clinton nor Donald Trump show any signs of such political humility.

As the Winston-Salem Journal of North Carolina wrote in its endorsement of Johnson and Weld, “They are principled and honorable in a time when our country sorely needs such qualities.”

The Richmond Times-Dispatch of Virginia argues “Johnson’s clear and consistent support for limited government, free enterprise, social tolerance and individual freedom appeals to our own philosophical leanings.”

After the two major parties failed to produce a decent presidential candidate, Johnson and Weld offer voters a lifeline. But voters need to know it’s there. This is the best chance for a third party ticket in more than a century. Johnson and Weld are on the ballot in all 50 states, and should have significant appeal to disaffected conservatives and liberals looking for a better option. They must be included in this fall’s presidential debate.

If you’re curious about Johnson and Weld, we urge you to watch our recent interview with the two former governors as part of our Voters First series at

Don’t waste your vote on candidates who don’t deserve it. Gary Johnson and Bill Weld are the only choice for President and Vice President.

Eric Church
Saturday, 8 p.m.

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