Election 2012

Gary Johnson Says "Waste Your Vote!"


NEW YORK—During an appearance at New York University, Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson put a unique spin on the wasted vote and spoiler accusations being thrown at him by Republicans.

"I'm going to argue not that I am the third choice in this election but that I am the only choice in this election. What happens if you all waste your vote on me? I will be the next president of the United States," he said, drawing an ovation from the crowd.

As Mitt Romney's campaign has struggled over the last three weeks the spoiler noise from the conservative blogosphere has grown increasingly loud. Republican-led efforts to knock Johnson off the ballot have mostly failed, but he is still in dire straits in Michigan and Oklahoma.

Johnson closed his speech saying, "I want to tell you, we can make a difference in this election. Waste your vote!"

A Reason review of previous versions of Johnson's stump speech found he barely referenced the wasted vote or spoiler argument.

Johnson is on the ballot in at least 47 states plus Washington, D.C., and he could be the margin of difference between Romney and President Obama in some swing states.

He doesn't mind the spoiler talk, however, because he thinks it's better to be on the "radar screen" than not at all.

"Mitt Romney can bear total responsibility for his losing, if that's what transpires. Obama, the same," Johnson said in an interview.

Johnson thinks the lack of attacks from Democrats is because he is similar to Obama on social issues but has actually backed up his rhetoric, unlike the president.

"They are walking on eggshells. They recognize that any attention I get is going to be the Obama word music with an actual resume that would suggest carry through. I don't think I could have said it any clearer. Obama, when it comes to the words. Wow! Wow! But the reality is just totally removed from the words," Johnson said. 

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  1. But is he a Red Sox fan? I’d bet that Quinn would be off the GJ bandwagon if he found out he was a Yankees fan.

    1. Sorry, no baseball alt text today, guys.

    2. Patriotic Americans hate both the Red Sox and the Yankees.

  2. “They are walking on eggshells. They recognize that any attention I get is going to be the Obama word music with an actual resume that would suggest carry through. I don’t think I could have said it any clearer. Obama, when it comes to the words. Wow! Wow! But the reality is just totally removed from the words,” Johnson said.

    What the hell does that mean?

    1. It means, Fuck You, that’s what.

      1. That will win a lot of votes.

        1. I should be Gay Jay’s campaign manager.

    2. That he can actually carry through on Obama’s false promises on certain social and military issues?

      1. I get that. But I don’t get why that means that Obama won’t attack him. It is a very confused paragraph.

        1. They don’t want him in debates and they don’t want to draw attention to him because he would be able to legitimately challenge Obama for his failed promises. By ignoring him, they let him appear as a straight-up Romney spoiler, since they have already convinced their base disingenously that libertarians = conservatives.

          If the Obama campaign attacked him more directly, the Left might actually see Johnson’s actual policies, which are far better than Obama’s from a civil libertarian and foreign policy perspective.

          1. You would think that Romney would be pointing that out. Maybe not directly but via surrogates.

            I don’t think that is happening because I don’t think any Leftists care about civil liberties. You are right. Johnson should be getting a big protest vote from the Left. Hell, he should be drawing more from Obama than Johnson. But for that to be true, liberals would have to mean what they said in 2008. And they didn’t.

            Hell, what do you want to bet Glen Greenwald endorses Obama? And he is the only liberal I can think of that will even publicly criticize Obama on civil liberties.

            1. Be careful not to conflate voting blocs with party leaders. Plenty of leftists care about civil liberties but have convinced themselves that Obama does too, his record be damned.

              1. Plenty of leftists care about civil liberties but have convinced themselves that Obama does too, his record be damned.

                Then they don’t really care much about civil liberties do they?

                1. Like you, they’re utterly convinced that as bad as Obama is, Romney would be much worse. That’s what team blinders do to people.

                  1. Make that, “like you in the partisan mirror image.” Some self-awareness would be nice sometimes.

                  2. No they are not proprietist. They just don’t care. If they thought what you are saying, they would at least be criticizing Obama even if they still voted for him. But they are not doing that. They are defending Obama. They think what he is doing is just great.

                    They just don’t care.

                    1. And I guess you just don’t care at all about the debt and spending because the candidates you’ve been shilling for won’t actually cut either and will continue to expand entitlements based upon their own track records, right? Seriously?

                      I know plenty of leftists mad at Obama for the drone strikes, bailouts and TSA expansion. They are still convinced that Romney will continue to worsen all these things and start new wars, and like you they are trapped in the false dillemma of the lesser of two evils.

                    2. I criticize Republicans all of the time for the debt. I actively loath nearly every Republican in Congress over the debt.

                      And I am sorry but your lefty friends are lying to you. They don’t care about TSA. If they did, they would demand something be done. Where is the Democratic version of the Tea Party? Where is the Democratic version of Ron Paul? They don’t exist because no one in the Democratic Party cares that Obama is doing these things.

                    3. So Jane Hamsher is a figment of my imagination?

                      The Democratic version of Ron Paul is Dennis Kucinich, who is pretty darn consistent on such issues and called Libya an impeachable offense.

                    4. The Democratic version of Ron Paul is Dennis Kucinich

                      Who got how many votes? Oh that is right he didn’t run and no one pays any attention to him.

                      Thanks for concerning my point. Why is it so hard for you to admit that maybe your lefty friends are not so friendly to freedom? Do you want to be liked that badly.

                    5. Which is EXACTLY what happened to Ron Paul was for 20-some years. And Kucinich lost due to redistricting.

                      I’m not saying Kucinich is a libertarian. I’m pointing out your completely false argument that all Lefties don’t care about the bad stuff Obama’s doing and if they say they do, they’re obviously lying.

                    6. ‘m not saying Kucinich is a libertarian. I’m pointing out your completely false argument that all Lefties don’t care about the bad stuff Obama’s doing and if they say they do, they’re obviously lying.

                      If they cared, why isn’t Kucinich getting more support and a bigger deal? You know why Republicans didn’t revolt over Bush’s spending? Because they thought the war on terror was more important than spending.

                      It is the same thing now. You know why liberals haven’t revolted against Obama? Because they care more about getting the big government and socialist policies than they do about civil liberties. It is that simple. At some level they probably care. But they don’t care enough to endanger their socialism.

                    7. Why didn’t Ron Paul get more support during the Bush years? Kucinich was plenty popular and had a nice following when Democrats were in the minority and being anti-war and pro-civil liberties was in vogue.

                      Answer my question: if a lefty civil libertarian must be lying because he votes for Obama because Romney is purportedly worse, isn’t a righty fiscal conservative like you lying about supporting limited government when you vote for Romney because Obama is purportedly worse?

                    8. And the point stands: if a civil libertarian Lefty who criticizes Obama for his record on civil liberties votes for Obama because Team Red is marginally worse, he obviously does not support civil liberties.

                      Yet if you criticize Romney/Ryan for increasing spending and debt but still vote for them because they’re marginally more fiscally conservative than Team Blue, in what way are you any different from them?

                      If I were you I couldn’t stand the cognitive dissonance.

                    9. Jane Hamsher and Glenn Greenwald. BFD. You point out two people. Where are the anti-war protests? Where was the primary run against Obama?

                      How many times have people on here rightfully slammed the TEa Party for not arising when Bush was in office? Now you give lefties a pass for sitting on their hands while Obama made fools of them.

                      Did it ever occur to you that they don’t say anything because economic policy is more important to them than civil rights? Yeah Romney would be worse, on economic policy and that is what they care about.

                    10. “Where are the anti-war protests? Where was the primary run against Obama?”

                      Where was the Tea Party in 2004? The problem with teams is that they turn people into hacks who will say one thing when they’re out of power, and will do the complete opposite when they’re in power.

                      The fact that most politicians and activists are hacks and fall in line with their team does not mean there aren’t principled conservatives or progressives who are appalled when their party acts hypocritically. Many of these principled people are stuck in they false dichotomy that they have to join their team or else they are supported the other “worse” team.

                      The funny thing is you EMBODY for Team Red exactly what you are criticizing on Team Blue.

                    11. They are supporting Obama Proprietist because they care more about getting free goodies and having a socialist government than they do about civil liberties. As long as those rights violations come with a big old helping of lefty economic policy, they are perfectly happy.

                    12. You should start a festival in the desert and call it Straw Man. It will just be you running around naked hitting scarecrows with a sword, since that’s your special talent.

                    13. So as long as GOP big spending comes with a big old helping of righty military policy, you must also be perfectly happy, right? That’s the mirror image of your asinine argument.

                    14. One last thing Proprietist. Why are all Republicans supposed to vote for Johnson but Liberals are not required to vote Green?

                    15. I didn’t say all Republicans are supposed to vote for Gary Johnson – many Republicans don’t even pretend to care about limited government. I said if limited government is purportedly your priority and you vote for Romney, you’re a hypocrite.

                      And I already said that true progressives should vote Green or Libertarian and that voting Obama is hypocritical.

                    16. Progressives vote Libertarian?
                      Only after the Nazi Party corners the Jewish vote.

                    17. I think if you take the economic definition of the word “progressive” at face value as support more advancement and mobility for the poor, small business and the environment, the government should be the last entity you trust to bring this about. Libertarians are more progressive than welfarists who breed dependency and perpetual poverty.

                    18. the economic definition of the word

                      Central planning is progressive economics. 5 year plans, New Deals, and Great Leap Forwards weren’t to support more advancement and mobility for the poor, small business and the environment,

                    19. PROGRESSIVE
                      1. A person who actively favors or strives for progress toward better conditions, as in society or government.
                      2. Promoting or favoring progress toward better conditions or new policies, ideas, or methods.
                      3. Increasing in rate as the taxable amount increases.

                      None of the above definitions contradict libertarianism in any way, nor do any require statism or totalitarianism. That’s why I specified “at face value.”

                    20. If you want to talk cognitive dissonance. You sit here and say any Republican who doesn’t vote Johnson is a fake. But then you never would expect any liberal to vote Green. The Greens are horrible on economic policies but they are not bad on traditional civil liberties.

                    21. “But then you never would expect any liberal to vote Green.”

                      Where did I ever say that?! You’re such a freaking liar, John. I have never, ever said true progressives should vote for Obama.

                    22. And that question was to John. I don’t understand the comments on this site. I need to drink more.

                    23. Here’s a test: who would conservatives vote for if the race were 33-33-33 in the polls between Obama, Romney and Johnson, and all 3 were being treated like serious, qualified candidates by the media, and conservatives honestly looked at the candidates’ records in office?

    3. He is saying Obama speaks well:
      when it comes to the words. Wow! Wow!

      But he does nothing to backup his “neat” speeches:
      But the reality is just totally removed from the words

      Much like 08, but much more watered down, because he cant claim the same as he did in 08, because he actually has a record now.

    4. He’s delusional? And drunk?

  3. As Mitt Romney’s campaign has struggled over the last three weeks

    The polls don’t say that. They show Obama’s convention bounce evaporating.

    1. They actually seem to show both candidates becoming less and less likable.

      1. Advantage Romney. No one likes him so he has much less to lose.

  4. As Mitt Romney’s campaign has struggled over the last three weeks the spoiler noise from the conservative blogosphere has grown increasingly loud.

    Ignoring a bloc of your would-be voters that you think is large enough to cost you the election has consequences.

    1. But Libertarians are not Republicans. And aren’t Democrats guilty of the same thing? Didn’t Obama make a fool out of every civil libertarian who voted for him?

      1. No, he made a fool out of everyone who voted for him, and he’s going to do it again.

        1. He didn’t make a fool out of the liberals who voted for him. He gave them exactly what they wanted. You don’t think they gave a shit about the war or civil liberties do you?

          1. I think they pay lip service to them. I think they care about them marginally when an R is in the white house… I know I see the occasional facebook page of a committed Obama supporter with a lot of posts about civil liberties. Lately that’s been compartmentalized to gay rights (marriage equality), so they like to think they care about “civil liberties”.

  5. Obama 2008, when it comes to the words. Wow! Wow!

    Fixed. His rhetoric is as bad as his policies now.

  6. A vote for Gary Johnson is a vote for Gary Johnson!

    1. Johnson: The Candidate with BALLS!

    2. Seriously. Just because Republicans say they are the party of “small government….”

      Well, I don’t need to tell the commentariat here that’s simply not true.

      I won’t vote for evangelicals. I won’t vote for socialists. I refuse to vote for TEAM BLED.

      1. What about TEAM DREDD?

    3. A vote for Gary Johnson is a vote to send every household in the country a monthly government check. He proposes a new federal tax to pay for it.

      1. Well, that’s one disingenuous way to present it.

        1. Disingenuous? No the fair tax exactly as proposed by GayJay.

  7. It’s only wasting your vote if you vote against your conscience.

  8. I might vote for the Republicans, *if* they didn’t jerk me around by denying my right to vote in order to manipulate me into voting for them. If they’re unwilling to oppose third parties openly and on a fair field, if they don’t trust me to choose them over the third parties and want to cut off all alternatives to the Demopubs (except for the Green Party of course), then for that very reason I am hesitant to vote for them.

    Again – if the Reps had their way, only the Reps, Dems and Greens would be on the ballot – and they would tell me that it’s either them, Obama or the Green lady.

    If they’re so confident of their superiority over third parties, let them permit equal ballot access to their third party opponents – if they won’t do that, they’ve got something to hide.

  9. What do I care? I live in California, I’ll happily vote for Johnson.

    1. If you don’t live in a competitive state, it is just a waste of time anyway. I am tempted not to vote at all. But I hate not being able to vote to recall every judge and “no” on every bullshit ballot initiative.

      1. You could say it’s a waste regardless of where you live if that’s your logic. Even in a nailbiter, your vote isn’t going to decide it

      2. Watch that “no” vote on ballot initiatives, they often word those things so a no actually means yes.

        1. I am careful about that. But mostly it is “no”. No and recall is a good general rule.

          1. My state puts those kind of issues on the primary ballot. I only vote in primaries.

      3. I live in Colorado, which, according to polls, is likely to be one of the closest races in the country. So, in accordance with the monumental importance of this election, I’m voting for Johnson.

    2. I live in California as well. I consider a vote for TEAM BE RULED to be the wasted vote. I encourage everyone I meet to vote for a third party candidate, whether libertarian, peace and freedom, or writing in Eugene V Debs for fuck’s sake. Each one of those represents less of a wasted vote than one for either Obama or Romney considering the final tally in this state is so damned predetermined.

  10. Over the last 40 years, voting for the winner has essentially been wasting your vote anyway.

    1. TEAM BLED!

      I’ve been bled e-fucking-nough.

  11. If you are live in California, and you vote for Romney without believing he is the best candidate, you have most definitely wasted your vote. All you’ll do is send a message to the Republicans that you support their bland statist candidate.

    1. Amen.

  12. I know a ton of people who think there should be a third party but refuse to vote for one because “the future of America rides on this election.” Maybe they are right; the future of America rides on Gary Johnson getting 2-3million votes, or more, and the Libertarian Party actually getting organized in every county in the country.

    1. Gary Johnson won’t draw 400,000 votes.

  13. Dude knows he is talking a whole lot of smack dude.


  14. A wasted vote is for Obamney and NO change.

    Gary Johnson and Judge Jim Gray are the only choice to Save the American Dream: Self-Government, freedom from big government tyranny and oppression…. and to Restore Justice, the guardian of Liberty! The people believe in self-government and self-medication.

    1. Another fan of the prebate check! She’ll probably spend it all on weed.

  15. As a Californian with a brain, any vote is a throw-away vote. So I’m voting for Gary Johnson to make a statement to the loser Repubs.

  16. Or just vote for the candidate you prefer, so your vote isn’t wasted.

    Since your vote will have effectively zero impact on who wins, the only value it carries is in expressing your preference for the best candidate. Since only those on the ballot will be reported in the results, voting for Gary Johnson (if you prefer liberty) is better than voting for a write-in candidate.

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