Appearing on Fox Business News, Libertarian presidential candidate and former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson explained:

[Donald Trump] talks about deporting 11 million undocumented workers. That has a basis in complete misunderstanding of the situation. Immigrants are not taking jobs that U.S. citizens want. We should be embracing immigration. We should make it as easy as possible for somebody that wants to come into the country and work to be able to get a work visa. And a work visa should entail a background check and a Social Security card so that taxes get paid.

He added, “Look, building a wall is just crazy. … And by the way, the illegal crossings right now are like at a 10-year low. So I’m not proposing anything change on the border.”

Thank you, Gov. Johnson! It is a message Republicans need to hear, both because it is true and it comes from someone on the right. Now, it is true Libertarians claim to be neither right nor left,  but many on the right consider them kindred spirits on the size of government, regulation, taxation, etc. When Democrats say these things, Republicans roll their eyes; when Johnson spells out the arguments, making clear that the “lump of laborfallacy (i.e. only so many jobs) is hogwash from zero-population-growth nuts and uninformed talk-radio personalities, they might listen.

Johnson might also explain free trade to Democrats and Republicans, who insist on misleading the public. “Free market really is the answer,” he said in an interview in June. “It’s the answer to unifying the whole planet, in my opinion, and if China wants to subsidize the goods that it sells to the United States, who benefits from that? Well, we do. And at the end of the day, who pays for any sort of tariffs? We do.” Apparently he’s the only one willing to sign the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal.

Republicans and the country at large also need to hear someone in this campaign explain that nixing “waste, fraud and abuse” won’t save Social Security, as Trump says, and it’s patently irresponsible to expand benefits, as Hillary Clinton wants to do. It’s a shame neither of the major-party candidates are willing to show the voters the math.

Unfortunately, Johnson and running mate Bill Weld are averaging just a tad above 8 percent support; 15 percent is the cutoff for the presidential debates. The vast majority of Americans therefore won’t hear intelligent arguments in favor of entitlement reform and trade; Republicans won’t hear the conservative (not the nativist) argument on immigration.

That’s a shame, but the fault lies not with the presidential debate commission. It has to draw a line somewhere. Even if it cut the requirement by a third to 10 percent, Johnson would not qualify. It will be up to Republicans, likely to be in the minority in at least one if not both houses, to advance responsible budget and trade legislation. If need be, the Democrats, White House and Republicans should get TPP done in the lame-duck session. As for immigration, perhaps losing another presidential election by a mile will compel the Republicans to stop pandering to the nonexistent white voters who were supposed to have stayed home in 2012 and instead support reasonable immigration reform that addresses security issues and provides a pathway to legalization. But don’t hold your breath.

UPDATE: Many Johnson supporters have pointed out that if one uses only the five polls (CBS, NBC, CNN, ABC and Fox) that the presidential debate commission will use to determine eligibility for the debates, Johnson’s support rises to 11 percent. That’s still short of the 15 percent currently required, but it gives his supporters hope that he might make the cut.