Libertarian Gary Johnson

Johnson ran for president in 2012 where he received a little more than 1.2 million votes, tries again in new political climate

The word “libertarian” can be defined as one who advocates for autonomy and free will while emphasizing political freedom. For Gary Johnson, libertarian presidential candidate for the 2016 General Election, this rings true.

The candidate, who prides himself on resisting the lure to solve every problem with government regulation and spending, offers a different perspective in the nearing election.

Born in 1953, Johnson is a New Mexico native. At a young age, he started a door-to-door handyman business, which became one of the largest construction companies in New Mexico.

Johnson decided to run for governor of New Mexico in 1994. Despite the state of New Mexico being predominantly Democrat, Johnson won the gubernatorial election as the Republican candidate.

Johnson served as the 29th governor of New Mexico from 1995 to 2003. Up until his first term as governor, the only political experience Johnson had was his political science degree from the University of New Mexico.

During his time in office, Johnson used his veto power more than 750 times, more than all other New Mexico governors combined. He also cut taxes 14 times while never raising them, according to his presidential campaign website.

Johnson ran for president in 2012 as the libertarian candidate. He received a little more than 1.2 million votes, or 0.99 percent of the popular vote.

After the 2012 presidential election, he claimed it was too soon to be talking about a possible bid in in 2016. Now, less than a week away from the election, the libertarian nominee is remaining true to his goals and positions he has had since

day one.

Johnson is known for his philosophy of considering everything from a cost-benefit ratio. His political views are described as being economically conservative and socially liberal.

Johnson thinks the reason for tuition and student debt increase is due to “guaranteed student loans.”

In an online Town Hall Q&A through he said, “I suggest that if student loans did not exist — and I am not advocating that — tuition would be a lot lower because colleges and universities want to deliver their product, and if there weren’t as many kids going to school because it costs too much, they would find ways to lower their price.”

So what should college students expect if Johnson were to be president? The answer is unclear. In an interview with Politico’s Glenn Thrush, Johnson said he would look at possibly lowering interest rates on student loans, a departure from his previous statements on the subject.

But just a short time later he said, “Students have been sold a bill of goods, and the bill of goods is that there’s no excuse for you not to go to college because of guaranteed government student loans, and because of that, in my opinion, college tuition costs twice as much as it would have cost if there would have been no government guaranteed student loans.”

Johnson critics have judged him in the past for being vague when it comes to policy plans and being unaware of foreign matters.

Johnson also sees the Department of Education as a waste of money and his plans would be to abolish it.

On his presidential campaign website, it states that as president he would eliminate the Department of Education. Johnson thinks the state and local governments should have control over education policy saying, “Washington bureaucrats can’t educate our kids,” in his video “Principles of a Better, Smaller Government.”

This ideology is true to his libertarian roots for supporting a decrease in the size of the federal government.

For those who are unsatisfied by the Democratic and Republican candidates, Johnson could be seen as a good alternative from the two major party candidates. His philosophy, which combines conservative and liberal beliefs, offers a different political point of view.

Although the national polling averages show Johnson garnering 4.6 percent in popularity, the libertarian candidate hopes to be elected into the Oval Office.

In a recent interview with CNN’s Brooke Baldwin, Johnson said, “I do think there’s an honorable alternative, it happens to be me and Bill Weld — two former Republican governors that served in heavily Democrat states. Hey, maybe we will still occupy the White House. Maybe it’s a possibility here.”