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Politically-frustrated libertarian voice grows in Mississippi

JACKSON, MISS– A recent poll showed that Mississippi is overwhelmingly Trump territory, but there’s a minority both in the state, and nationwide, that is reaching historic volume. Inline image 1

Republican Donald Trump held the favor of 54 percent of Mississippians surveyed in the latest polls. Democrat Hillary Clinton took 39 percent, and Gary Johnson, the presidential candidate for the Libertarian party, held three percent. 

Not to be confused with liberalism or anarchy, Libertarians have a simple platform.

“We believe everyone has the right to do as they please, as long as they don’t hurt someone else or take their stuff,” said Aaron Barksdale, head of the Mississippi Libertarian Party. “That’s libertarianism in a nutshell. Don’t hurt people, don’t take their stuff.” 

The third party candidate  has held onto that motto with his own campaign claim of being “fiscally conservative, socially liberal.”

Hailing from New Mexico, Johnson has consistently claimed less than 10 percent of potential votes nationwide. While the impact of the Johnson campaign is seemingly small, it appears the voice of the libertarians, or dissatisfied conservatives, is growing louder.

 

“There’s definitely more public outcry for something else,” said Barksdale.  

The push for a third party candidate got its start before this current and oftentimes theatrical presidential election. 

“When Mitt Romney came up, people were like ‘yeah, he’s not that great of a republican,” said Barksdale. “But now we’ve got a guy, that up until 2011, was one of Hillary Clinton’s biggest supporters, running as the republican candidate.” 

Barksdale said that Trump’s history of supporting Clinton, coupled with his controversial remarks, has left many searching for a candidate that deviates from the two major parties. 

“It leaves people scratching their heads, wondering what’s going on, saying ‘I can’t get behind this person, something’s going on, we need someone else,'” said Barksdale. 

The call for change from the libertarian party is welcomed by Barksdale, as he said the party’s desire for change has grown to historic heights. 

“And it’s high time, too,” Barksdale said. “The last third party candidate to get elected, the last time the voters wanted someone else, was Abraham Lincoln.” 

As far as Johnson’s campaign, he’s focused more on the states with higher electoral counts and his growing online support. But there could be a few visits from the third party candidate in the Magnolia state’s future. 

“We’re working with his campaign,” said Barksdale. “And we’re trying to get him here for a few different locations.”

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