A lot of Arab-Americans are disappointed that Bernie Sanders is all but out of the running for the nomination for president. Our community supported him because he listened to our concerns. He was the first major presidential candidate to bring up the rights of the Palestinian people as a major concern. He stood for social justice of all people. For these reasons, it is tough for Arab Americans, and all Bernie supporters, to stomach that he has a slim-to-none chance of winning.
I believe that Bernie’s biggest draw was not his economic or trade policies, but rather his authenticity. He truly has fought for everything he has believed in for over 50 years. He has a true passion for wanting to better the American people, and he works tirelessly to do it. Socially, he believes that all people should be treated equally under the law, and he practices what he preaches. I may not agree with every single policy he has put forth, but I really admired that the policies he introduced were genuine.
With Bernie Sanders just about out of the presidential race mathematically (barring an indictment of Hillary Clinton), a lot of Bernie supporters are looking to see who they would vote for in the general election: Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. These two candidates are probably the two most disliked people to ever be vying for the presidency at the same time. Hillary Clinton is the embodiment of the political system. When you think powerful families, you think of the Bush family, Kennedy family, Rockefeller family, and the Clinton family. When people look at Hillary, they think of a person who has been planning to be president since she was young and will stop at nothing to do it, like Frank Underwood. On the other hand, there is Donald Trump. He is the anti-Hillary. He’s very rich, and won’t hesitate to tell you. He has also been known to deliver some controversial remarks toward African-Americans, Hispanics, Muslims, and just about every other minority group you could think of. With these two, many feel trapped. They feel like they have to choose between bad and worse.
If I had a nickel for every time I have heard someone say “America needs to get rid of the two-party system,” I would be a very rich man. Now, it is time to act on it. Why don’t we take a closer look at Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson? Many people do not know much about the Libertarian party. It is a party that places a premium on personal liberty with little governmental interference. In the American political spectrum, Libertarians are socially liberal and fiscally conservative.
Fiscally, Gary Johnson believes in truly free markets. The government should not be intervening in the economy as much as they do, but that doesn’t mean that the government should not be punishing large corporations for illegal behavior. He also believes in term limits for Congress. This can help limit the power of super PACs. When congressman are subject to a term limit, they can focus on serving the people rather than getting elected and staying in their seat.
Socially, Gary Johnson believes in personal freedom for all. He believes that closing the borders are idiotic and stupid. In his view, illegal immigrants should be put on a path to legalization. He also believes in protecting the constitutional rights of all people of all races and religions. The Libertarian philosophy is that everyone is free to do and believe what they want as long as it does not interfere with the rights of others.
For Arab-Americans, Gary Johnson is a good candidate. He stands for social justice, opposes giving any money to Israel (which seems to be increasing every year), and believes that America should not be in the business of meddling in Middle Eastern affairs, namely because we have done more harm than good there. For all upset Bernie supporters, I urge you to look at Gary Johnson as a serious candidate. For the people thinking “My vote will be wasted, he will never win,” don’t be so sure that he cannot make an impact. If he gets over 15% of the vote in polls, he is invited to the debates. He is currently polling around 10% nationally. Ask Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders how debates have helped their popularity. Now is the chance to look into a third party. Let’s not limit ourselves.
I’ll add my name as someone who will be voting Libertarian for the first time.