Government major makes his election choice in third-party candidates

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Photo Credit: Jenan Taha | Daily Texan Staff

Editor’s note: This is the seventh profile in a series The Daily Texan is publishing during the 2016 election season, featuring a wide variety of student political perspectives. Beginning with the first day of early voting, Oct. 24, the series will run until Election Day, Nov. 8.

Brian Bensimon made a decision to not support either major party candidate when he opted to vote for Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson.

Bensimon, a government junior, said he believes neither Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton nor Republican nominee Donald Trump adequately addresses his three chief concerns: the national debt, civil liberties and criminal justice reform.

Bensimon said neither major party candidate seemed concerned about cutting spending, citing Clinton’s record on supporting spending increases and Trump’s proposed tax plan.

“Trump’s tax plan is revenue-neutral, it doesn’t make cuts to anything,” Bensimon said. “It seems like a preservation of the status quo. I don’t think most people associate that with Trump, but you kind of have to analyze the plan he’s given us.”

Overall, Bensimon said he saw First Amendment concerns with Trump and Fourth Amendment ones with Clinton, but Green Party nominee Jill Stein and Johnson are forthright with their policies.

“They’re honest with the American people,” Bensimon said. “They’re not caught lying and flip-flopping.”

Bensimon said he would be open to supporting Stein over Trump and Clinton as well.

Bensimon said Stein’s courage to denounce Clinton’s foreign policy, especially her decision to vote for the war in Iraq, was admirable. 

Bensimon, who identifies as politically right-leaning, noted if the Libertarian nominee received more than 5 percent of the vote this election cycle, the party would receive federal funding for the 2020 election.

While Bensimon predicted a narrow Clinton victory on Election Day, he said it was possible the Republican nominee could pull off a Brexit-style win, especially given last week’s FBI reopening Clinton’s
email investigation. 

“I wish there was a candidate that was pro-Constitution and pro-civil liberties,” Bensimon said. “I think that voice is really missing, and I’d love to see someone in 2020 run on that platform.”