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Johnson: Conventional wisdom has never been a guiding principle in my life or career. Conventional wisdom held that a businessman who had never been in elected office could not run and win as a Libertarian-Republican in New Mexico. And conventional wisdom would argue against a former governor with a not-yet-healed broken leg making it to the summit of Mt. Everest. My candidacy is not about a message of protest. It is about defying conventional wisdom and giving voice to what I believe is a majority of Americans who today do not feel comfortable in either the Democratic or Republican Party.

Likewise, I do not accept the premise that my candidacy siphons more votes from Republicans than from Democrats.As I hold online town halls, travel the country and read the emails and messages coming into our campaign every day, it is obvious that we are connecting with at least as many Obama voters as McCain voters from 2008. A lot of people who thought they were voting for change in 2008 are today very disappointed that what they achieved was only a slightly different version of the same business-as-usual they wanted to reject. The desire for a truly new approach cuts across all parties and independents alike.

Brett M. Decker is editorial page editor of The Washington Times. He is coauthor of the new book “Bowing to Beijing” (Regnery, 2011).