Presidential candidate Gary Johnson spoke at the Rosenthal Pavillion on Tuesday. Joining Gov. Johnson was Gov. Jesse Ventura, Judge Andrew Napolitano, Lisa Kennedy and Kristin Davis of Eliot Spitzer fame. NYU College Libertarians organized the event.
According to President of the club William Cromarty, the event was an effort to introduce or remind young voters to look outside the two-party system as the time to vote nears.
“Young voters are rapidly learning that elections don’t have to be a matter of choosing the lesser of two evils, and that rational candidates do exist,” Cromarty said.
Emcee Travis Irvine started the event by recalling his first impression of Ross Perot, well-known for Libertarian views and his popularity as a third-party candidate in the 1992 presidential race. To Irvine, Perot exemplified a candidated not afraid to point out flaws in arguments of Democrats and Republicans.
“Perot called out Democrats and Republicans when they were both wrong,” Irvine said. ”That’s something we need in our political discourse.”
Each of the speakers discussed civil liberties, the ubiquitous disdain for the war on drugs, and the importance of third parties.
Jesse Ventura, an Independent and the former governor of Minnesota, stressed the importance of third parties and spoke mainly on why voting for third party is not a pointless attempt.
“All those wasted votes made me Governor,” Ventura said.
“If Democrats and Republicans choose low quality candidates, they’re the ones
wasting votes,” said Cromarty.
Ventura’s final appeal to the audience left students feeling hopeful about the success
of their third party leaders.
Johnson’s parting words to the audience urged young voters to consider the third party rather than choosing from Democrats or Republicans.
“Waste your vote,” Johnson said.
Some audience members were reassured by the fact that they would have a viable third option in the upcoming presidential election.
“Johnson realizes the need to end the wars, fight for our civil liberties, end the failed war on drugs, audit the Federal Reserve and most importantly balance the federal budget,” said Peter Majcherczyk, a recent NYU graduate.
A version of this article appeared in the Wednesday, Sept. 19 print edition. Mark Secada is a contributing writer. Email him at [email protected]