The Debate and Gary Johnson, the Ghost on the Stage

Last night, Gary Johnson was conspicuous in his absence.

Trump is an ignorant buffoon who knows nothing about policy, government, or even basic civics.  He’s the rich kid who walks into the final exam unprepared and blames the teacher when he gets a D.  His toxic mix of ego, narcissism, and immaturity will not allow any challenge to go unanswered, and Hillary played him like a fiddle.  He rambled incoherently, constantly interrupted, passed up obvious avenues of attack, and finally collapsed into non sequitur.

His performance might have been enough for Trump’s die-hard supporters or Republicans resigned to voting for the lesser of two evils, but I doubt he inspired anyone new to his cause.  Or maybe he did.  I’m becoming increasingly cynical about the quality of today’s electorate.

It goes without saying that Hillary is an ice cold robot, less personable than HAL-9000.  Like Trump, she is a congenital liar.  She is also an economic illiterate whose policy proposals to fix everything from energy to unemployment is to expand government and make each problem worse.  Hers are the failed policies of LBJ and Jimmy Carter in a pantsuit.

Hillary insults intelligence when she misrepresents free market policies as “trickle down economics” and cites George W. Bush and the housing collapse as textbook examples of capitalism gone wrong.  Or maybe she doesn’t.  It’s tough to tell in a country where Trump is the nominee of  a major political party, and he is certainly in no position to offer an effective counter-argument.

Unlike Trump, however, Clinton has firmly held principles.  She truly believes government is the font of all prosperity.  Or maybe she doesn’t.  Big government, after all, is a racketeering tool on steroids that makes the Clinton Foundation seem small potatoes indeed.

In this contest of the misinformed, the uninformed, the dishonest, and the grotesque, Johnson could have become the third party candidate with a real chance.  Standing between Trump and Clinton before an audience of millions, he could have emerged as a reasonable option for those horrified by the alternatives on offer from the two major parties, but it was not to be.  The debate commission’s 15% poll standard protects Democrats and Republicans alike.

It’s a real shame.  America deserves better than it’s getting.  Or maybe it doesn’t.  If we were engaged, informed, educated, and possessed of good judgement, this wouldn’t be happening in the first place.