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A Better Choice

A Commentary by John Stossel

Hillary Clinton is a manipulative, power-mad liar.

Donald Trump is a selfish, sexist, narcissistic bully.

These are our choices Nov. 8?

The leading candidates' avarice is bad enough. Their ideas are worse.

Clinton wants to micro-regulate America into poverty and stagnation. Trump would start a trade war, if not an actual war.

While America is going bankrupt, both candidates brag that they will spend more -- Trump on the military and his pointless wall, Clinton mostly on social programs.

Both promise a new child care entitlement: paid maternity leave. I'd think a Republican presidential candidate would resist promising more "free" stuff. But Trump, with daughter Ivanka standing behind him, offers Clintoncare "lite": paid leave for six weeks instead of 12.

Naturally, the Clinton media want more. Socialist cheerleaders at Fortune complain that Trump's proposal is stingy compared to Clinton's and very stingy compared to real family leave, offered by civilized nations in Europe -- especially Greece.

Hello? Have you not noticed how Greece suffers largely because of "generous benefits" like that? You think it's a coincidence that Greece's unemployment rate is 25 percent? Why would employers hire workers if they must later give them 12 weeks of pay not to work?

I'd think Fortune writers and Democratic and Republican presidential candidates would understand that "free" benefits come with nasty costs. But they don't understand. Or if they do, they just ignore it.

Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson doesn't ignore these problems. He promises to avert America's bankruptcy by cutting spending 43 percent.

But the candidate of the third party (I should call Libertarians the first party, since they respect the Constitution) is in a tough spot. He must both convince voters that he has better ideas -- and that he's not strange. That's tough to do when you're a politician who stumbles over words and the RepubliDems won't allow you into the debates. Recent polls show that almost 40 percent of Americans don't even know that Johnson's running.

That's too bad. If there were ever a year for a third party to thrive, this was it. Most voters -- from both major parties -- are unhappy with their party's nominee.

Sadly, they are not unhappy enough to vote for Gary Johnson. I have to respect the betting; bettors give Johnson just a .1 percent chance.

The bettors also say Clinton is favored 84 percent to 15 percent over Trump. Get ready for President Clinton. Sigh.

Polls suggest about 6 percent of Americans will vote Libertarian.

Some will be Bernie Sanders supporters. How can that be? Sanders is a socialist! He's an economic illiterate who wants government to control (SET ITAL) more (END ITAL)!

But on civil liberties, Sanders is better than Trump and Clinton.

Both Sanders and Johnson are sympathetic to immigrants. Johnson knows that most become workers, customers and entrepreneurs who boost economic opportunities for everyone.

Like Sanders, Johnson wants to avoid getting bogged down in foreign wars.

Like Sanders, Johnson has long been in favor of marriage equality, whereas Clinton only recently decided it was politically safe to endorse it.

Like Sanders, Johnson knows that some complaints from the Black Lives Matter movement are valid and that the drug war does more harm than good.

Obviously, those positions upset some conservatives, but Johnson still has plenty to offer Republicans. He's more sensible than Donald Trump.

Unlike Trump, Johnson knows that free trade decreases poverty and makes the world a better, happier place. He understands that the minimum wage makes most people poorer and that free speech is a good thing.

Like Trump, Johnson opposes gun control, Obamacare and increasing regulation.

A vote for Johnson will give Americans more choices and freedom in the future. Johnson getting 6 percent of the vote this election means easier ballot access, more money and more advertising next time. More people would know that there are other -- better -- options.

That's why I'll vote for Gary Johnson. He did a good job as governor of New Mexico. He vetoed the excesses of power-hungry state legislators 750 times. He'd stand up for limited government in Washington, too.

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton won't.

John Stossel is host of "Stossel" on Fox News and author of "No They Can't! Why Government Fails -- But Individuals Succeed." For other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit www.creators.com.



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