For the longest time, Hilary Clinton and Donald have dominated news headlines. Every day there is another story, every day there is another controversy. Both conservative and liberal members of the media have closely examined the political philosophies of these candidates, and the unfavorable ratings for both Clinton and Trump are quite high. As a result, the possibility of a third part candidate’s success in this election is more likely than in years past.


Multiple third-party candidates are running for the presidency, but none of them are garnering as much attention as Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson. This past week, CNN hosted its second Libertarian Party Town Hall event with much success. Over 1.6 million people tuned into the town hall, which is emblematic of Johnson’s decent poll numbers for a third-party candidate. There is a rising fascination with Johnson, but who exactly is he and what are his principles? For those of you who do not know the answer to these questions, the political portrait below will prove valuable.


Gary Johnson is the former Republican governor of New Mexico. In addition to holding his state’s governorship for two terms (1995-2003), Johnson started a construction company in 1976. Since its inception, the construction company, no longer under Johnson’s ownership, has become a multi-million dollar enterprise. Politically, Johnson describes his Libertarian views as “fiscally conservative, and socially liberal.”


When it comes to financial policy, Johnson’s platform seeks to defund much of the government’s activities. Johnson supports a constitutional amendment mandating balanced budgets. He has publicly expressed a willingness to abolish certain government agencies, and he is also not against limiting spending on the military. Johnson’s platform is supportive of embracing certain free market principles. He stands against the Export Import Bank, an agency that many believe hinder our free market, and he has publicly supported the idea of abolishing the federal reserve, which he believes to be the cause of economic volatility. He is opposed to government-set minimum wage laws, and he also expressed support for “eliminating corporate tax, income tax, and abolishing the IRS.”


When it comes to social policy, Johnson’s positions certainly live up to the liberal label he places upon them. Johnson stands against religious liberty laws, as he views them as means of legitimizing discrimination based on sexual orientation. He expresses distrust with Voter ID laws, and he has linked such ballot integrity measures to methods for suppressing minorities. Johnson strongly supports the Court’s ruling on gay marriage, and he even actively joined a brief urging them to rule in support of this “constitutionally guaranteed right.” He is an ardent advocate for ending the drug war, and he has even expressed a desire to “unemploy the DEA.”


The above policies are just a few of the many within Johnson’s platform. Whether or not he truly embraces Libertarian principles is highly debatable. Nevertheless, it is always healthy to analyze the political portraits of all who seek to hold our nation’s highest office.