Election 2016

Ranking the Presidential Candidates

From Rand Paul to Jill Stein.

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My list of best to worst possible presidents:

  • Rand Paul (R)
  • Gary Johnson (Libertarian)
  • Carly Fiorina (R)
  • Jeb Bush (R)
  • Ted Cruz (R)
  • Scott Walker (R)
  • Rick Perry (R)
  • Marco Rubio (R)
  • John Kasich (R)
  • Ben Carson (R)
  • Bobby Jindal (R)
  • Jim Webb (D)
  • George Pataki (R)
  • Donald Trump (R)
  • Lawrence Lessig (D)
  • Chris Christie (R)
  • Martin O'Malley (D)
  • Lindsey Graham (R)
  • Lincoln Chafee (D)
  • Rick Santorum (R)
  • Jim Gilmore (R)
  • Bernie Sanders (Ind./D/socialist)
  • Joe Biden (D)
  • Hillary Clinton (D)
  • Mike Huckabee (R)
  • Jill Stein (Green)

OK, my list isn't very scientific. It's also probably unfair that I give demerits to candidates such as Huckabee, Christie and others who explicitly and cluelessly denounce libertarians.

But basically, I rank presidential candidates on how much they want to micro-manage our lives, or involve us in dubious foreign wars. Those who recognize the harm done by state control and government overreach gain points.
One candidate got bonus points just for not being politically correct (you know which one).

And yes, all 26 people above really are running, or are probably about to run.

What do you think of my ranking? Tell me why I'm wrong or why I'm right!

I love Donald Trump's willingness to speak his mind. But it's absurd to think that Mexico will fund construction of a giant wall between the U.S. and Mexico. Whatever Trump is doing, it isn't "outreach." One poll has Hispanic voters favoring Clinton over Trump by 70 to 13.

What I'd like to hear from presidential candidates is the message that liberty is good for everyone, not something that divides people. I like Marco Rubio's speech about his parents leaving Cuba to seek opportunity in the U.S.

I want an America that trades with the world and brings the message of free markets and liberty to every subset of the population, not just angry white guys.

For a change, I'd like to see a president who's humble, something Trump and Clinton are definitely not.

Sen. Rand Paul and ex-governor Gary Johnson lead my list because they are the only candidates who consistently talk about what I consider the most important issue: limiting the destructive power of the state.

Unfortunately, in the big Fox News debate, Sen. Paul didn't appear very likable, and since then he's fallen in the polls. I hope we'll hear more about his good ideas, like limiting government spying, limiting the drug war, cutting spending and reaching out to minority voters. But I fear that talking about limits on government power is too subtle for a press and public that is excited by building giant walls.

I assume that former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson will soon announce that he'll run on the Libertarian Party ticket. Maybe his campaign will catch fire. I doubt it, but it's possible! He and Sen. Paul understand that giant walls, more war and bigger government are not what we need. Johnson says he believes in "making government actually do less." 

I wish more politicians believed in that.

Luckily, politicians don't really determine most of what goes on in our lives. The foolish media talk about them "running the country," but fortunately, politicians don't. They just run government.

The important stuff in life, friendships we form, products that fill our homes, the books, videos and music we consume, the languages we use, all go on happening thanks to free markets and individual initiative, independent of who is president.

COPYRIGHT 2015 BY JFS PRODUCTIONS INC.

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  1. Sen. Rand Paul and ex-governor Gary Johnson lead my list because they are the only candidates who consistently talk about what I consider the most important issue: limiting the destructive power of the state.

    Johnson, of course. But apparently Stossel is okay unleashing the power of the state on social issues … like Rand Paul’s fascist stand on marriage equality, plus his call for religious Tent Revivals across America, pandering to the very worst extreme social conservatives. And pissing on the Constitution (9th and 14th Amendments)

    If it ain’t in the Constitution, as his father says, then power over marriage has never been delegated to ANY level of government. And it ain’t in the Constitution. But hell, that’s just strict constitutionalism.

    (A few goobers join southern racists and the Klan, insisting that the 10th amendment applies, as if states can violate fundamental rights with powers that have never been delegated … and that we have no right to defend our unalienable rights in Court … all asserted by some who claim to be defending liberty. Yeah, Orval Faubus made the same claim, and the Klan.) Let the bully spewing begin.

    1. Rand Paul’s stance is that the government should get out of the marriage business. He doesn’t want his marriage nor his guns registered in Washington. He believes marriage should be privatized and treated as a contract between consenting adults.

      You can read more about his position here: http://time.com/3939374/rand-p…..eme-court/

      That is about as far away from fascism as you can get.

      No, he doesn’t have positions that go against the 9th and 14th amendments. Please show evidence that he does.

      1. Don’t bother, you’re trying to argue with Hihn. Do something more productive and scream at a cinder block. It will accomplish just as much, and there’s a greater chance of getting an intelligent response from the cinder block.

        1. Don’t bother, you’re trying to argue with Hihn.

          Shame on Hihn for defending the Constitution, equal rights and individual liberty. The bastard,

          There’s a greater chance of getting an intelligent response from the cinder block.

          An example of an “intelligent response,” stated in a comment totally devoid of substance. Not a singe word. But that’s how cinder blocks function.

          1. You would know all about cinder blocks Crybaby Hinh. You have been tying them around the necks of those who promote Liberty for years to the point where 91% of voters reject the Libertarian label.

            1. (snicker) You’re the one they reject, with your trashmouth response, totally devoid of relevant content

              1. You ass was just handed to you down thread. I can’t wait to see the epic wailing and crying from you Hinh. =D

                1. You ass was just handed to you down thread.

                  Hmm. You agreed him. t.

                  I can’t wait to see the epic wailing and crying from you Hin

                  I’m laughing too hard. My favorite laugher is that marriage equality is about subsidies (and also gets it backwards who’s being subsidized)

          2. Michael Hihn|8.26.15 @ 8:53AM|#
            “Shame on Hihn for defending the Constitution, equal rights and individual liberty. The bastard,”

            Don’t bother wrapping yourself in the flag, you shameless piece of crap.

            1. Don’t bother wrapping yourself in the flag, you shameless piece of crap

              See? The cyber-bullies are indeed attacking me for defending the Constitution, equal rights and individual liberty!!!

              Why does Sevo oppose individual liberty? Because his tribe does.
              (lol)

          3. So……you aren’t going to refute all your errors about Rand Paul. Ok. Guess there is no point arguing with you.

            1. (laughing) Even if I was wrong (I’m not), why do you think that people refute their own arguments? Refuting is your job, and you’re clearly not capable doing it.

      2. I know who Rand Paul is, having been a libertarian for over 40 years,

        He believes marriage should be privatized and treated as a contract between consenting adults. So do I, but as long as government is involved, equal rights and individual liberty must be defended. Until he says what he’d do under the current government system, he has no position. But a worthy goal

        The 9th Amendment guarantees all ndividual rights, unenumerated the Constitution, forbiidding ALL levels of government any power over fundamental rights. Where was marriage ever delegated, which he should be pushing, not me?

        The 14th affirms birthright citizenship, which was the norm since well before our constitution, as part of the common law we adopted, birthright was established by common law in 1608. That’s the anchor babies.

        For individual liberties, state governments are explicitly denied any power to deny equal protection of the law.

        The 14th was intended to add ex-slaves, because everyone already had citizen and birthright (except indians, slaves, and employees of a foreign government.)

        I find Senator Paul’s Senate website to be amusing. Abortion should be a state issue, but he also brags of sponsoring a FEDERAL law to ban all abortions … and to do everything he can (as a federal Senator) to ban all abortions)

        1. I LOVE YOU MIKE HIHN YOU ARE TEH BEST LIBERTARRIEN EVAR!!!11!1!!!

        2. Mr. Hiln, I am going to make a number of statements. They may require thought, try to keep up.

          Gay Marriage

          So long as government subsidizes and activity, it is going to define, and restrict that activity. Marriage, in general, represent a set of actions, fundamentally no different that economic activity like buying hybrid cars, that are government favored behavior patterns.

          The position that, because government subsidy (taxes, social security, etc.) is available to heterosexual marriage, it must be provided to homosexual marriage implies that government cannot favor one sort of behavior over another.

          While I have no basic issue with you marrying you bf, gf, pet duck, I do have a problem with your expectation that I subsidize it. Rand Paul’s position is the first step in a true libertarian position, that of getting government out of managing or subsidizing personal relationships.

          Your position is not a libertarian one, it is a progressive one that insists that govenment subsidize all.

          1. Abortion

            Is not a topic that is or should be, a libertarian litmus test. The key point, and one that divides libertarians, is when does the fetus become a child. If it is a child, then the fundamental basis of libertarian thought, the NAP, says that killing that child is the ultimate violation of the child’s rights.

            So what does that mean? It means that most will have a problem with partial-birth abortion at one extreme, and that some will have a problem with the morning-after pill at the other, and lots of soul searching in between.

            It also means, that depending on where you fall on the STATUS of the fetus, will cause libertarians who might otherwise agree, to disagree on abortion. I, personally, believe is is murder, but am hesitant to favor making it illegal because I recognize that my belief is not actually provable at this point.

            Once again, your position, hard and fast as it is, represents progressive thought far more that libertarian thought.

            1. Birthright Citizenship

              The concept of birthright citizenship is derived from feudal times. At that time the peasants were considered part of the land, and by extension, the property/responsibility of the landowner. When you were born in a place, it defined what property you were part of.

              The United States did not, prior to formation, nor in the years immediately afterward, have the ability to decide who was, and who was not, a citizen. Further, this was not a great issue since most voting was generally reserved to those who owned real property (land). There was no military draft, no welfare, no social security, etc.

              During the first century of the United States, many do not know that a significant percentage of immigrants left and went back to the countries they came from. Those that did not find “streets of gold” left. Those that stayed supported themselves, or starved. No negative economic impact, no tax burden on others.

              Still, immigration tended to come in waves corresponding to economic conditions in other countries, and periods of little to no immigration took place. The waves of immigrants assimilated to a significant extent during these periods when the culture sustaining flow of immigrants fell off.

              During this period, birthright citizenship was generally a non-issue because regulation of immigration was economically regulated rather than legally regulated.

              1. Later, we began to legally limit immigration, largely in the effort to duplicate the assimilating effect of the natural waves that happened before. Birthright citizenship continued to be a non-issue because illegal immigration was small.

                Our current high level of immigration (legal and illegal) from 3rd world countries represents a problem libertarians should be concerned about. The culture of the United States, that has in truth be more libertarian than nearly any country in the world (imperfect as it is) is threatened by an unbroken pattern of immigration from places without our culture. Assimilation is not progressing as before because the external culture is constantly refreshed.

                Progressives, forgive me for disparaging their motives, recognize this and see these largely illegal immigrants as new voters to support socialist government. Not unreasonably, they expect that these immigrants will vote for the same sort of government they voted for in the places they came from. Not an unreasonable assumption, and one libertarians should carefully consider.

                So, once again, your strident position is more progressive than libertarian.

                1. I could continue, but it is not necessary for my point. If you had an issue on which you agreed with the progressive position, I could accept that you, like me, are less than a “perfect” libertarian. But, since you seem to be most strident on progressive issues, and less strident on small government and economic ones, you would appear not to be a libertarian as you claim, but rather a progressive.

                  1. (laughing) The blowhard spews pages of nonsense,, but never equal rights .. except the bizarre definition of subsidy.

                  2. “you would appear not to be a libertarian as you claim, but rather a progressive.”

                    nailed it

              2. MJBinAL|8.26.15 @ 9:58AM|#
                Birthright Citizenship

                Birthright traces to the English common law, which we adopted. This ruling was 1866, two years before the 14th amnendment

                All persons born in the allegiance of the king are natural born subjects, and all persons born in the allegiance of the United States are natural born citizens. Birth and allegiance go together. Such is the rule of the common law, and it is the common law of this country, as well [**18] as of England. There are two exceptions, and only two, to the universality of its application. The children of ambassadors are in theory born in the allegiance of the powers the ambassadors represent, and slaves, in legal contemplation, are property, and not persons. 2 Kent, Comm. 1; Calvin’s Case, 7 Coke, 1; 1 Bl. Comm. 366; Lynch v. Clarke, 1 Sand. Ch. 583.

                1. yep, none of that contradicts what I said. The movement of allegience from the feudal lord to the king naturally led to the movement of the defining of natural born subjects.

                  I do appreciate you supporting my point!

                  1. yep, none of that contradicts what I said

                    (snicker) Here:

                    The United States did not, prior to formation, nor in the years immediately afterward, have the ability to decide who was, and who was not, a citizen.

              3. In America, we go by court rulings, not blowhards inventing history, We had citizen birthright in our very first settlement, in British Common Law since 1608. We were a British colony!!! And we later adopted the common law.

                This ruling, two years before the 14th amendment confirms it all. United States v Rhodes

                All persons born in the allegiance of the king are natural born subjects, and all persons born in the allegiance of the United States are natural born citizens. Birth and allegiance go together. Such is the rule of the common law, and it is the common law of this country, as well as of England. There are two exceptions, and only two, to the universality of its application. The children of ambassadors are in theory born in the allegiance of the powers the ambassadors represent, and slaves, in legal contemplation, are property, and not persons. 2 Kent, Comm. 1; Calvin’s Case, 7

                AFTER the 14th. birthright was confirmed in United States v. Wong Kim Ark

                http://bit.ly/1MtAHyZ

                Finally, this starts a 5-part series tracing birthright from Alexander Hamilton. On a Prog website masquerading as far right: redstate .com 🙂

                http://bit.ly/1NUxDKR

                Then again, Soros and his minions have been converting judges into progs since the 1700s.

            2. The key point, and one that divides libertarians, is when does the fetus become a child. If it is a child, then the fundamental basis of libertarian thought, the NAP, says that killing that child is the ultimate violation of the child’s rights.

              The key point is that fetal child and woman each have fundamental rights which are precisely equal, See dictionary “unalienable”

              Once again, your position, hard and fast as it is, represents progressive thought far more that libertarian thought.

              Umm, you’re supposed to call me a “prog.” Shame on me for defending equal, unalienable and/or God-given rights

              , but am hesitant to favor making it illegal because I recognize that my belief is not actually provable at this point.

              Equal and unalienable rights trace to 1776. The fetal child obtained full individual rights at conception … but so did the woman.

              1. Clearly you read my personal position, what part did you not understand?

                “Equal and unalienable rights trace to 1776. The fetal child obtained full individual rights at conception … but so did the woman.” That is the easy part, it is balancing those rights when they are physically tied together that is the trick.

                The positions vary from “the fetus has no rights as property of the mother”, to “the mother has no rights that interfere with her role supporting the fetal child”. All of which can be defended using individual rights and libertarian thought. Doesn’t mean you, or I, agree, but still legitimate libertarian positions.

                I called you a Progressive, because I do not intend it as an insult. Words mean things, it is a statement of “what is” not an insult. I have friends who are Progressives, I do not agree with them,but they remain my friends.

                Insults are really more your style than mine, although I do get frustrated at times and let it show, and you certainly can be frustrating. (and I can’t help but suspect you enjoy it)

                1. Insults are really more your style than mine,

                  Your very first comment in this thread belies your statement.

                  https://reason.com/archives/201…..nt_5541575

            3. I agree with your statements here, good job explaining libertarian views. On the (legal) status of the child (or fetus) this is my view; the natural right to life (among other rights) is conferred on one because of their humanity, because they are human beings. So the question then is at what point does their humanity begin?
              DNA is universally accepted as the scientific identifier of life. As an example consider; if DNA were to be found on Mars would we not all agree that evidence of life had been discovered? Also if blood is found at a crime screen it can be identified to an individual human being even at the cellular level. Individual cells can be identified as not only human but as belonging to a specific person.
              So at what point ,scientifically speaking , is the child a separate , distinct individual? At what point can their DNA be distinguished from their mother? At the point they receive their first strand, conception. It is at that point that the child ( fetus, zygote, etc.) is no longer part of their mother but an individual distinct human. It is at that point their natural human rights begin. Legal rights are another matter.

              1. A nervous system or brain capable of some level of consciousness higher than mere sensory response.

          2. Your objection is to Social Security and tax credits, not marriage. To be consistent, you should oppose all marriage.

            Most of the benefits of marriage accrue through private contracts, because tons of property rules default to spouses and because most employee benefits favor spouses. You are denying gay people access to those benefits.

            1. I am denying nothing. Nor do I disagree with your point, EXCEPT, I like Rand Paul want to see the property rules corrected, and employee benefits are already largely changed. You do not fix the problem by expanding it.

            2. Your objection is to Social Security and tax credits, not marriage.

              No, your objection, in this context.

              To be consistent, you should oppose all marriage.

              I do, but that’s so … superficial. For the third time, as long as government is involved, equal rights cannot be denied. The Constitution?

              Faux libertarians have always developed complex arguments for what they oppose … with no clue what to do in the interim … so they have nothing to offer voters. The Purity Possee sneers at the notion of seeking votes, getting elected and … governing (gasp)

              Most of the benefits of marriage accrue through private contracts,

              Another strawman.

              because tons of property rules default to spouses and because most employee benefits favor spouses.

              Those are laws (or rules) not contracts.

              You are denying gay people access to those benefit

              Now it’s ME denying marriage equality!

              You say all the tax and property benefits (among others) flow to married couples, and nobody else. But that’s NOT a subsidy. Marriage equality would place gay and hetero couples in exactly equal rights … but you say THEY (gays) would be subsidized.

              Orwell did it first. War is Peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is Strength. And now … RECEIVING subsidies is PAYING for subsidies,

              While pissing on equal rights

          3. So long as government subsidizes and activity, it is going to define, and restrict that activity. Marriage, in general, represent a set of actions,

            Is that constitutional, deep thinker?

            The position that, because government subsidy (taxes, social security, etc.) is available to heterosexual marriage, it must be provided to homosexual marriage implies that government cannot favor one sort of behavior over another.

            It’s not about subsidies.

            While I have no basic issue with you marrying you bf, gf, pet duck, I do have a problem with your expectation that I subsidize it.

            It’s the hetero marriages which are being subsidized,

            Rand Paul’s position is the first step in a true libertarian position, that of getting government out of managing or subsidizing personal relationships.

            But as long as government is involved, they have no legitimate power to reject equal rights.

            Your position is not a libertarian one, it is a progressive one that insists that government subsidize all

            Already explained that your subsidy us total bullshit.

            By denying equal rights, to defend your own current or potential subsidy, you’re the fascist I originally stated.. (See how easy it is to invent bullshit names, with no basis in reality?)

            P.S. Let us know when Rand Paul says such a thing.

            1. Learn to read Michael, and thought is good, you should try it.

              Your claim that subsidy is total bullshit, but marriage in general is heavily subsidized. You even admit that Hetero marriage is subsided, and I agree. I favor ending the subsidy, and you favor expanding it.

              “But as long as government is involved, they have no legitimate power to reject equal rights”

              What equal rights are those, precisely? Given that Homosexuality is not illegal, and never was (if you never acted on it, who would know?). It was always homosexual activity that was illegal, or discriminated against. I am not defending that, because as I said, I don’t care, but government regulates all sorts of behavior and activity, subsidizing some, regulating others. I oppose government regulating and subsidizing in general, you just want in on the benefits.

              Unless you are going to join me in opposing ALL of it, you are just another interest group who wants YOUR favored behaviors to be subsidized like some others. All I hear from you emotion, “it’s not FAIR” “those are my civil rights!” Are you a 13 yr old teen girl?

              Principles, are those things that you follow even when they do NOT benefit you. I am married with children and favor taking this out of the government and eliminating the subsidy because it is the right thing to do, even if it costs me money.

              You, are just all about you.

              You are good at name calling though. Kudos

          4. Thank you MJBinAL for your very reasoned explanations. Very well stated.

    2. Since when is calling for a religious revival pandering to socons? George Washington called for just such a thing. And I an not a Christian, nor a socon in any way. But you are conflating government dictating religious practice and encouraging the people to become involved in some faith community.
      And your statement regarding Paul “pissing on the 9th and 14th amendments” is just silly. How in ANY way is he doing that?

      1. Since when is calling for a religious revival pandering to socons?

        He raised the tent revivals while denouncing marriage equality to private prayer breakfast and broadcast by the Christian Broadcast Network — as an effort to oppose equal rights.

        George Washington called for just such a thing

        You’d have hard time proving that.
        Even if he did, did he do so as part of a plea to address a moral crisis in our country, by denying equal rights to anyone?

        And your statement regarding Paul “pissing on the 9th and 14th amendments” is just silly

        You might read them some time..

        How in ANY way is he doing that? See my earlier response to
        Valladarex. And that’s the short version. This link will take you directly to it.

        https://reason.com/archives/201…..nt_5541349

        1. Your stance on the 14th Amendment is simplistic at best. And, as far as I know, since most other countries DON’t allow automatic birthright citizenship, it is hard to argue that his (and my) position are somehow extreme.

          Marriage has ALWAYS been delegated to the states. I won’t rehash the marriage argument, but as long as states can set limits on who gets married, then THEY CAN SET LIMITS ON WHO GETS MARRIED! But SCOTUS has essentially finished that discussion. So therefore privatizing it is the obvious next step.

          You have a right to vote for anyone you want for any reason. Gods forbid I tell you otherwise. But if you are going to automatically eliminate someone because he may want to encourage his fellow citizens to embrace a faith community (particularly when he is speaking to a group that is religious), you are quickly going to limit your choice of candidates.

          1. Michael claims to be a Libertarian, but I have yet to see where his positions vary significantly from Progressives. He certainly has not expressed any limited government positions I have seen.

            He is free to have any opinion he wants, and I support his right to speak, even when he lies to us, and possibly to himself.

            We are not however, required to believe him.

    3. I agree, we need to reign in government power!!

    4. all asserted by some who claim to be defending liberty

      It’s interesting how people always focus on the minority, the fringe, no matter how small it may be, and ascribe their positions to the majority, implicitly or explicitly. I suppose it’s much easier to argue against more extreme positions. Nowhere near as much actual thinking is required. I guess it’s human nature.

    5. Where is this very popular new candidate on the list “Deez Nuts” i believe is his name. I hear he is the least racist candidate of all!?

      1. Maybe we should take a step back and rate all candidates on one metric. Racism is the most important factor i think. Rand is the son of a racist so that means having him at the top of the list is pretty hicktardish.

    6. Rand Paul believes in liberty. Not a government police state that Christy, Biden, Clinton, and Bush want.

  2. “how much they want to micro-manage”

    Hey john,

    This is a pretty good list. How many of your top 10 would put a women in jail if she decided she didn’t want to have a baby once the condom broke? I see one, I guess.

    1. I see at least 20. Don’t forget, she chose to get pregnant by having sex. 🙂
      As if procreation was the only purpose of sex (despite God’s clearly expressed will.)
      And where in the Constitution does it say we lose our inalienable rights by having sex?

      1. Biologically, sex IS about procreation. Please don’t get me wrong, I am not saying we should be slaves to biology. And socially, as well as personally, sex is about more than having children. (Hey I am all for sex just for fun!) But anytime someone has vaginal intercourse, even with birth control, there is ALWAYS a chance of getting pregnant. That is not a religious argument, nor does it have anything to do with God. It is a biological fact. And nowhere is anyone arguing that people lose their rights when they have sex. What pro-lifers are saying is that another life has been created which ALSO has inalienable rights.

        1. No, no, no. Get with the program

          Restricting abortion is all about punishing people for just having fun.

          It has nothing to do with concern for an innocent human life at it’s most vulnerable moment.

          1. Also, WAR ON WOMYNZ

        2. This is exactly why I am pro-life.

          The way I see it, any woman can do whatever she wants with her own body, but from the moment of conception (for several specific reasons), there’s another life there that also has its own rights, including the right to life. You don’t want to raise the child? Put it up for adoption. There’s many people, including me and my wife, who would happily adopt the little tyke. But simply because you don’t want him/her is not a reason to kill – he/she’s done nothing to deserve that kind of ire.

          1. This issue will fade away with science, when it becomes possible to remove children previously considered non-viable and put them in a mechanical incubator or another woman. Once it’s as easy to remove without violence as to remove with violence, people will be horrified at the idea of needless violence. Then people will retroactively reevaluate and realize that the goals of abortion can be served by safe removal. But until that point, there’s a lot of motivated reasoning not to care about the moral implications of ending pregnancy.

            1. I don’t think so, especially given that third trimester ‘partial birth’ abortions continue to occur quite regularly, even though many of those babies could survive.

              Some people really do want them dead.

          2. For me personally, a clump of cells (no matter the size) without a functioning cerebral cortex is basically meaningless. Zygotes and embryos easily fit into this category. I think there’s such emotion attached to zygotes and embryos because people think about what the zygotes or embryos have the potential to become–babies, children, adults. Your use of the words “little tyke” indicate this well. It’s similar to the emotion attached to a person who has died or is completely brain-dead and kept “alive” by machines (another clump of cells without a functioning cerebral cortex); we think of the person they once were. For me, not caring about zygotes and embryos is really similar, if not the same, to not caring about gametes. I’m aware that gametes don’t have complete human DNA like zygotes and embryos do, but just having human DNA isn’t important–a functioning cerebral cortex is.

            Also, a belief in a soul and some sort of divine purpose granted by a deity give a huge emotional load to embryos and zygotes from conception.

            1. ” It’s similar to the emotion attached to a person who has died or is completely brain-dead and kept “alive” by machines”

              But what if we knew with almost complete medical certainty that person would make a complete recovery in nine months and be a “real” person again? Is it permissible to kill them because of their temporary incapacitation?

              It’s not just (although for many it is) about an emotional attachment to what we imagine, but also a realization that we as people inhabit both space and time, and ending any stage of development ends the existence of latter stages also.

              That fetus will never develop into anything other than a human, and ending it does actually end the (belated) existence of a real person.

              1. But what if we knew with almost complete medical certainty that person would make a complete recovery in nine months and be a “real” person again? Is it permissible to kill them because of their temporary incapacitation?

                This is a thought experiment since it doesnt actually happen. If the person were to regain their life and the function of their cerebral cortex to become who they were again to a large extent, then it would be like a severe but temporary medical illness, so pulling the plug doesnt seem justifiable. However, an embryo has nothing to regain because it never had a functioning cerebral cortex to interact with the world. Likewise if in our thought experiment, the person were to regain absolutely nothing of what they had previously and would start completely from scratch like a fetus, I think it would be permissible to pull the plug before the cerebral cortex were to develop.

                a realization that we as people inhabit both space and time, and ending any stage of development ends the existence of latter stages also.

                If this concerns you so much, then you should also be concerned with gametes as well. We were all gametes at one point, and when people choose not to have sex, they are depriving the opportunity for people to inhabit space and time in latter stages.

                1. “This is a thought experiment since it doesnt actually happen.”

                  No analogy about pregnancy is perfect because it’s a unique situation.

                  “I think it would be permissible to pull the plug”

                  I’ll have to disagree. I don’t think regaining memory should be a requisite to protect a life in such a case. Also, that someone hasn’t had a chance to develop memory yet doesn’t make them lose an inalienable right, IMO. They’re still an individual with unique DNA and characteristics regardless of what they haven’t learned yet.

                  I also really don’t want the state deciding who is and is not people (“person” being an arbitrary definition what only exists to deny some that distinction); I’d rather for obvious reasons err on the side of caution and assume all members of our species are “people”.

                  “If this concerns you so much, then you should also be concerned with gametes”

                  Not really at all when we’re talking about stopping a developing human life. You’re trying to conflate my argument with an argument that no one makes in order to make it look unreasonable, i.e. a Strawman.

            2. That’s funny. Cause harm to the mother who has one of these “zygotes” and “embryos” and cause her to miscarry and you’ll probable be charged with murder, or manslaughter. Have to woman who is carrying one of these zygotes take drugs that may harm it and she will go to jail for child endangerment. How about a child born without a cerebral cortex? Are they to be discarded like a clump of tissue?

        3. And some say that another life has been created at conception, and therefore inalienable rights are created at conception.
          I disagree.

      2. Cry Baby Hinh and AmSoc are in agreement on something. Why am I not surprised ?

        1. Anytime they are in agreement with something is a good indication that the correct position is the exact opposite.

          1. I am in complete agreement Bear.

            1. But what if Hihn and AmSoc agree with Bear’s statement?

              1. Then you should stock up on laundry detergent to sell on the black market.

      3. If it wasn’t for procreation, the concept of “sex” would not even exist.

    2. The abortion debate largely comes down to “when do rights begin?”. Pro-abortion advocates don’t believe the rights of a person begin until later into the pregnancy or until birth. Anti-abortion advocates believe the rights of a person begins at the moment of conception.

      If one believes rights begins at conception, then it is rational for one to support the banning of abortion, as abortion would violate the new person’s right to life.

      If one believes rights begin later than conception, then it is rational for one to support the complete legalization of abortion or legalization until the point of personhood, as abortion ought to be the choice of the mother since it involves their own body and another person’s rights are not being violated.

      Overall, the abortion debate isn’t as black-and-white of a freedom issue as many pro-abortion and anti-abortion advocates perceive it to be.

      When it comes to so many other issues, whether it be free trade, privatization, balancing the budget, deregulation, taxation, civil liberties, foreign policy, law enforcement reform, or drug legalization, the positions that lead to more or less individual freedom are far more clear.

      I’m sure that Stossel took a much more comprehensive approach when it came to ranking these candidates on the broad subjects of limited government and individual freedom.

      1. ^^Outstanding!!

      2. Abortion seems to be the only issue on which progtards claim to believe in freedom.

        1. It has nothing to do with freedom. Nothing ever does with them. Everything is about getting another fix of Marxism. Their ‘issues’ are all just delivery systems in one form or another.

      3. Re: Valladex,

        If one believes rights begin later than conception, then it is rational for one to support the complete legalization of abortion or legalization until the point of personhood, as abortion ought to be the choice of the mother since it involves their own body and another person’s rights are not being violated.

        Those are two mutually-exclusive reasons, Valladex. Your first proposition, that abortion should be legal up to the point of personhood, relies on a technical determination, which is at which point is a baby human a person. The second one does not as it is categorical – it is the woman’s body and thus her right. In one instance, abortion would be legal to the point of personhood. In the second instance, abortion would be legal to the point when the baby human is completely free from the mother’s womb. Both propositions contradict each other.

        the abortion debate isn’t as black-and-white of a freedom issue

        That’s not correct. Both issues can be evaluated from a moral standpoint by reliance on the Non-Aggression Principle. If you believe that an act of aggression against another human being is morally wrong and reprehensible, then you can conclude that abortion itself is morally wrong and reprehensible.

      4. Re: Valladex

        If one believes rights begins at conception, then it is rational for one to support the banning of abortion

        Actually, it is not rational, since a) those are two conclusions and b) one does not necessarily lead to the other.

        I conclude that the rights of a human begin at the moment of conception, as this conclusion is the answer to a question: when? However, banning something necessarily means accepting the violence of the state. Saying that “the State should ban” is also a conclusion to the question “What should the state do?”. However, if you believe in the NAP, the question itself is nonsensical, for it implies one accepts non-aggression as a moral determinant except for a group of armed thugs we comically call “the state.”

        1. Hmmm, I don’t quite understand your point. Let me see if I can construct a deductive logic statement or two…

          IF
          “the rights of a human begin at the moment of conception”
          AND IF
          abortion ends the life of the fetus
          AND IF
          Dead is beyond the scope of civil redress
          THEN
          abortion must be prevented as injunctive relief

          ok, I believe this would mean that abortion should be generally illegal, agree?

          Now, lets look some more

          IF
          the fetus in the womb imperils the life of the mother
          AND IF
          the mother has the right of self defense
          THEN
          the mother can take action, up to and including abortion to defend her life

          I believe this logically defends abortion under certain circumstances, agree?

          How is that logic?

          Now, I am not necessarily taking (or not taking) any of these positions, but it does demonstrate logic applied to assumptions. It would be nice, if folks here would actually make their positions and conclusions kinda match!

          1. Hmmm.
            If two guys are running for their lives from a mob of zombies and it looks like they will both be caught, is one of them justified in shooting the other one in the leg so he can get away? Moral dilemmas are so much fun.

        2. I quite understood your point.

      5. The abortion debate largely comes down to “when do rights begin?”.

        Strawmen are easy to knock over.

        If one believes rights begins at conception, then it is rational for one to support the banning of abortion, as abortion would violate the new person’s right to life.

        Only if rejecting the entire concept of equal and unalienable rights..
        The concept of competing or conflicting rights is (sadly) beyond the ability of many to grasp. So each extreme seeks to impose their own view by force, Like a pissing match between Hitler and Stalin.

        Overall, the abortion debate isn’t as black-and-white of a freedom issue as many pro-abortion and anti-abortion advocates perceive it to be.

        Their moral error traces to their rejection of equal rights, and their desire for government force.

        Extreme pro-choicers deny the fetal child’s unalienable right to life. Extreme pro-lifers deny the woman’s unalienable right to liberty. Hitler and Stalin,.

        When it comes to so many other issues, whether it be free trade, privatization, balancing the budget, deregulation, taxation, civil liberties, foreign policy, law enforcement reform, or drug legalization, the positions that lead to more or less individual freedom are far more clear.

        Only to those who don’t know how conflicting rights have been dealt with on other issues.

        1. You know who else was involved in a pissing match between… Oh, um, nevermind…

    3. This is idiotic even for you.

  3. Seriously, Stossel? Jeb Bush as #4?

    I’d love to hear your logic on that one. Actually, I wouldn’t. I’ll just assume you were high.

    You’re still okay in my book, but BOOOSHH! NEVER!

    1. I tend to agree with his list (although Gary Johnson doesn’t have a hope in hell). But I swore that I wouldn’t vote for Jeb Bush. And I am still a member of Team Red. I will vote Libertarian or won’t vote if it is Bush. Not because of his stances on any particular issue. Frankly, I don’t give a shit about what his stances are. But I refuse to participate in Bush/Clinton 2016. In a country of 315 million people, we can’t find anyone better to gain the nomination for both major parties than those named Bush or Clinton? At some point, the idea of a political dynasty has to be fought against.

      1. Yes, even IF Bush’s platforms were Libertarian-ish, which they are not, and IF he made it to the nomination, I would still have a problem pulling the lever for him.

        For one thing, here in New Jersey, if I cold vote a hundred times, the state would still go to the Democrat. I guess they all vote 101 times. Or there’s a bug in the Diebold voting machines.

        Secondly, I agree with getting rid of they Bush/Clinton dynasty.

      2. I’d put Webb a lot higher and Jindal, Graham, and O’Malley a lot lower, personally.

    2. Maybe he will cover this on his show this week.

  4. I’d go higher on Webb and much, much lower on O’Malley, but that’s because I’ve lived in Maryland all my life and have seen his political career up close since he was mayor of Baltimore. The crony politics and corruption wouldn’t be so bad if he didn’t periodically decide to mis-micro-manage the economy through idiotic government interventions and regulations.

    I’d also go way, way, waaaaaayyy lower on Christie. If you think Bush and Obama were/are bad vis a vis the police state, just wait until you’ve got an ex-federal prosecutor who thinks his word is law at the reins. Rubio, on the other hand, I’d go a bit higher. He’s a mite worrisome vis a vis the military, but he says all the right things about the economy.

    1. Frankly, I think when Stossel got down to Pataki, everyone below just got the same score of “Fuck this dude”. Because everyone else was either:

      Personal liberty: Shitty
      Economic liberty: REALLY shitty

      or vice-versa.

    2. I’d never vote for a prosecutor. I’d vote for a Clinton or a Bush before that.

      1. I’d never vote for a lawyer of any sort.

        1. So, you almost never vite?

          1. Vote. Damnit, no post without coffee from now on.

            1. I don’t vite very much, either. I’d probably vote if Rand got the nomination, Gary Johnson without question. No lawyers. If it’s lawyer versus lawyer, I sit it out.

              1. Speaking as a lawyer, I’ve always wondered why lawyers are allowed in the legislative and executive branches anyway. Seems like there might be a separation-of-powers argument to be made.

                That being said, I guess the reason that we keep electing lawyers is that so many of the non-lawyers turn out to be even bigger dickheads.

      2. Christie isn’t your ordinary prosecutor, he’s obsessed with drug use and thinks that there aren’t enough mandatory sentences for crimes. His idea of criminal justice reform would be suspending the 4th and 5th Amendments so that prosecutors wouldn’t have to worry about the pesky rights.

        1. Think he’ll close the bridges coming into the US like he did the bridge going into NJ?

      3. I would vote for Hitler’s charred rotten corpse before I would vote for that cunt Hillary.

      4. Another concern about Christie is his devouring of small children.

        What? How do YOU all think the fucker got so fat?

    3. Pretty sure that on closer inspection, most politicians are worse than you would’ve guessed.

    4. Yeah, I’ve lived in MD for about seven years. O’Malley should be near the bottom.

      1. He really is just all kinds of rotting dogshit isn’t he? It’s sad to think that most of the pissed off blacks in Baltimore would still vote for that asshole out of reflex.

  5. I like it, although I’d switch Johnson with Paul. I’d like to know more about Fiorina. Everytime I hear her talk, I like what she says, but I really don’t know much about her.

  6. You rank Jeb Bush ahead of Ted Cruz??!?!? WhaaAaahuh?????

    1. Cruz is a dick first, a small-government conservative second. When dickery and liberty are at odds, Cruz always goes with being a dick.

      1. Yeah man tell it like it is!!! +100 !!!! Dickery, dickery, dock, Cruz is the biggest cock!!!

  7. Jeb BUSH?!?!!? Have you heard of COMMON CORE????

  8. Bush and Kasich both appear far too high on this list.

  9. Others than the totally ridiculous position Paul takes on Planned Parenthood I totally see him at the top of the list too. Hopefully that position is just an election ploy to get the repub conservatives on his side.

    1. So your position is that Planned Parenthood should continue to receive government funding?

      I know because WOMYNZ HILTH! After all, without PP where will ENB go to get her pap smears? And the Pill is just so darned expensive!

      1. I don’t understand why some people are upset with PP, it’s just the logical progression of the abortion industry. I mean, if the woman doesn’t want the baby and it’s ok to kill it, who cares how it is murdered and what is done with the body parts? I don’t understand the inconsistency of the pro aborts.

    2. Yeah, garyh, because funding Planned Parenthood = libertarian.

      1. Nice snide, Trump-o-Matic 5000 and BearOdinson. But I don’t see garyh arguing that PP funding meets some kind of idealized libertarian philosophical position.

        Any minority political position is by definition torn between incrementalism and idealism, between pragmatism and ideological purity. PP funding doesn’t happen in a vacuum. And if it saves its own costs many times over in police services, welfare outlays, school funds, etc., which you were otherwise going to pay anyway whether it suits your preferences about what’s libertarian, WHETHER YOU LIKE IT OR NOT, then maybe it isn’t the evilest thing out there.

        I’m not saying that I’ve run the numbers on this. But I am saying that it looks like you haven’t either. If I’m right, then congratulations on your ideological purity. How’s that working out?

    3. Hi Gary H,

      “Others than the totally ridiculous position Paul takes on Planned Parenthood I totally see him at the top of the list too. Hopefully that position is just an election ploy to get the repub conservatives on his side.”

      For ALL of ye out there, voters & potential voters, members of “Team Every Sperm is Sacred” v/s “Team Baby-Killers”, I know, I know? You are tired of Rand’s fence-straddling, hiding behind “state’s rights”, etc. ? Ya wanna know, WHOSE side is he really-really on, and what is he going to do AFTER the primaries, and, maybe, AFTER he is elected?

      Well, SQRLSY One to the rescue! I have deployed my remote brain-scanner, and checked out Rand’s REAL thoughts!

      As soon as he is elected, he will announce the following analogy: If a person wanders 1 yard into your private property, and steals your fertilized acorn, ignoring transaction costs of suing him or her, what would you expect to recover in court? $1, $2 maybe? How about, 10 yards on your property, and steals a 5-inch-tall oak sapling? $10 or $33 violation maybe? ? Now, thief and his buddies cart away a tall, mature oak tree (worth thousands of dollars in good hardwoods) off of your property while you are on vacation? Sue his ass off good and hard if you can catch him, right? Even if you are totally selfless about your property, ya gonna teach the thief a lesson, in the name of the public good? Prevent the next phase of victimization, yeah, I agree.

      1. Now Rand Paul will propose, at the state level, the below as a good, scaled compromise between the two sides? Or, at the federal level, if the feds insist, and President Rand can’t push it back to the states?

        Abort a fertilized egg or blastocyst? That will be a $10 fine, to be awarded if you can PROVE that you, the suing party, were harmed. Otherwise it goes to the Government Almighty? Suing (transaction) costs belong to YOU, though, for meddling in trivial matters!

        Abort a post-blastocyst, 1st-trimest fetus? Ditto, $50 fine.

        Abort a 2nd-trimester fetus? $300 fine, transaction costs are split 50-50, otherwise ditto.

        Abort 3d-trimester fetus? Rand Paul throws his hands up in the air, wants to push it back to the states. He knows he can’t get away with infinite fence-straddling, but suspects he can get away with at least this much?

        There, everyone happy? Can everyone vote for Rand now? He’s gonna throw us all a bone or two? Life and choice will both be respected, in a proportionate manner?

  10. Well, I plan to abstain. But I’d say GarJo first, then a big gap and Rand Paul, then a big mess of candidates who have different mixtures of terrible but would mostly leave government at least as violent and awful as they found it, then the hateful and communitarian Huckabee and Santorum, finally the only open racist xenophobe Trump.

    Conversely, if Trump’s presidency ends when he suicide-crashes Air Force One into the Beijing Olympic Center to prove he’s not a loser, then it might convince people to have a constitutional convention and abolish the presidency. In which case, I guess I might retroactively bump him up a few positions.

    1. Yeah, part of me keeps wondering (and I’ve posted this several times now) whether a Trump presidency might actually be the greatest thing possible for a return to the Constitutional principles of limited government. I think disdain for President Trump could potentially lead to a bipartisan Congressional effort to reduce the power and discretion of the executive branch.

      Honestly, I think I might just be clinging to that notion because I see our nation is going full-throttle to Total Derp and it’s the only thing keeping me off the bottle.

    2. My wife plans on either voting for Hillary or for Trump. Hillary because she thinks it’d be nice to have a woman as president, while simultaneously believing that the position has virtually no power whatsoever; Trump so that he could be a dumpster fire and expose our political system for the shit-show it is.

      1. The presidency has no power? So all those cabinet level federal offices the president controls don’t count? Plus veto power. Plus being able to fist America with this counts hit Iran deal. Plus lifetime federal court and Supreme Court appointments. Ambassadorial appointments, and so much more.

        No. No power at all.

  11. John:

    You left out Mark Everson: http://markforamerica.com/.

    As his site mentions under “About Mark”, he is a former Commissioner of the IRS and former CEO of the American Red Cross. What is doesn’t mention is that he was forced to resign as CEO of the Red Cross due to an extramarital affair: http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/11/…..signation/

    1. I don’t see Deez Nutz on the list either, come to think of it…

  12. Just for grins, here is MY list

    Worth Considering (in order)
    Rand Paul (R)
    Gary Johnson (Libertarian)
    Ted Cruz (R)
    Bobby Jindal (R)
    Carly Fiorina (R)
    Rick Perry (R)
    Scott Walker (R)

    Nice Folks Not Worth Considering (in no order)
    Marco Rubio (R)
    John Kasich (R)
    Ben Carson (R)
    Donald Trump (R)
    Bernie Sanders (Ind./D/socialist)
    Rick Santorum (R)

    Reasonable justifications for post-birth abortion
    Jeb Bush (R)
    Jim Webb (D)
    George Pataki (R)
    Lawrence Lessig (D)
    Chris Christie (R)
    Martin O’Malley (D)
    Lindsey Graham (R)
    Lincoln Chafee (D)
    Jim Gilmore (R)
    Joe Biden (D)
    Hillary Clinton (D)
    Mike Huckabee (R)
    Jill Stein (Green)

    1. Gary Johnson
      Rand Paul
      Jim Webb (maybe)
      Everyone else is a big government fascist

      1. In general I agree, I believe that a few more of them

        Ted Cruz (R)
        Bobby Jindal (R)
        Carly Fiorina (R)
        Rick Perry (R)
        Scott Walker (R)

        are mixed bags that would do more good than bad, and might stay within the limits of executive power. The others are completely as you describe. And some, some are just evil.

        1. I am pretty much right with you. I like Cruz a little more than most here, and since I am sort of a recovering neo-con (I did support the Iraq war) I am not totally against Rubio. And Fiorina is definitely growing on me. We will see what happens as we get closer.

          1. Former Louisiana resident here. I would have supported Jindal in 2012, but after losing a lot of Team Red during his intra-party spat with Vitter, he’s gone full-on SoCon Christian fundamentalist (that last bit is particularly odd coming from a Catholic). Brilliant guy, but he lost me a few years ago.

            Cruz, as I said above, is too much of a dick. He spouts pro-liberty beliefs and sometimes backs them up, but when liberty and dickery clash, he goes with being a dick.

            Rubio is one of the less bad of the bunch, but he’s firmly a Republican. I have reservations about electing another first-term Senator with a fairly sparse record (a reservation I have with respect to Rand, as well).

            I haven’t even paid attention to Fiorina. If she’s still around after the first wave of withdrawals, I’ll check her out.

    2. I’ll vote for the first candidate to say that their inspiration for running was William Harrison.

      1. Slaughtering native Americans in the Indiana Territory?

        1. That’s how they did it back in the day.

      2. You misspelled ‘Woody’.

  13. Why is this Republican man being given a voice in libertarian media? Get off our site and take Rand Paul with you!!

    1. Stossel a Republican? Are you being sarcastic? Stossel is pretty far away from being a Republican. In fact, for a site called ‘Reason’, Stossel is a pretty goddamned reasonable person. Nick needs to publish more of his articles. Instead of Richman’s or a few of the others that are intermittently on the kook end of the spectrum.

      1. Stossel for president. Judge Napolitano for vice president

        1. Is that Judge “What if?”

          Hmmm, I don’t think so.

    2. Stossel might be on Fox but that doesn’t make him a Republican. He’s been fairly consistent in his libertarianism.

      “Get off our site and take Rand Paul with you!!”

      Not very pro-free minds and free markets.

      1. Stossel is as “republican” as Kennedy is.

  14. The love for Ted Cruz, who is an asshole and religious nut job, continues to baffle me.

    1. The problem for me about Ted Cruz is he looks like Pat Buchanan and Q (from Star Trek TNG) had a love child….

      1. Well, at least he could use his Q Continuum powers and exterminate all the progressives, and Iran, NK, and Sean Penn.

    2. OK, where’s the “like” button?

  15. Although I favor Ted Cruz, I can’t help but point out that the reasoning behind the opposition to Trump making Mexico pay for a all is typical political BS. Business as usual is the problem with most of the candidates. With the outflow of money from the U.S. to Mexico, adding a contingency to pay for a wall is not difficult.
    Do you really believe Mexico would just stop trade with the U.S. ?

  16. ” the languages we use, all go on happening thanks to free markets and individual initiative”

    Curiously, languages all go on happening even in North Korea where there are no free markets and individual initiative is known not to exist.

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    1. Is it just on account of reading too many election-related stories, or are these spambots starting to sound a lot like candidates’ campaign promises?

  18. Hi John Stossel,
    The only one i like is not in this bunch is Ron Paul,and he is not running,but i am,anyway i follow Ron Paul but got idea’s of my own in putting America on the right track,and since we are a sister republic of Switzerland,which means following the constitution and we got it in the year 1776,and Switzerland the year 1291,and they are the top country in this world,where many books have been written about there success something to emulate.Right now we are heading for a dollar collapse and cannot be avoided,and it can become just like Greece,if we stay in that direction.We have to change to a free market economy and start up from scratch,to be able to become like Switzerland.It will take some work but it can be done,Ron Paul had said the book “Target Switzerland”is a very good book to emulate and he gave it a good review.

  19. Google pay 97$ per hour my last pay check was $8500 working 1o hours a week online. My younger brother friend has been averaging 12k for months now and he works about 22 hours a week. I cant believe how easy it was once I tried it out.
    This is wha- I do…… ?????? http://www.online-jobs9.com

    1. Me Google pay $793.78 per 43 minutes my 6th to last pay check was $9,000,000.46 working 2 1/2 per month. My younger mother friend says by compare your system sucks. I can’t believe you’re still typing about it!
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  20. Except for the Libertarian, they’re all oppressors, and the Libertarian Party’s vision is incomplete and focus misguided.
    robertsrevolution.net

  21. No Hucklebeans for John. Understandable. But Bush? For effe’s sake, just say no.

  22. John, props for doing the research on all of these people. I have only 2 candidates I like, Ben Carson and Rand Paul.

    1. MorgusX, I’m curious…Ben Carson is a Young Earth Cretinist (NOT a typo).

      Does not that level of idiocy, by itself, disqualify him from ANY political office?

  23. Stossel’s criteria are dopey

    1. Please elaborate.

  24. Paul and Johnson are about the only ones worth a damn. Aside from them: Perry, Fiorina, or Webb (with a GOP Congress) wouldn’t be completely horrible.

  25. Jeb Bush is way too high on your list in my opinion. Here are the rankings of the candidates according to a test I took, yesterday (tailored to my slightly right of center, STRONG libertarian views in their estimate via the answers I gave to the questions. (I answered ALL the questions I could and choose the individual response rather than just a simple yes or no to make it all as accurate as possible.)

    http://www.isidewith.com/elect…..1282191456

  26. I know Hillary and Pappa Joe Biden are about as far from libertarian as you can get but, come on, wouldn’t it be a hoot to have either one in the white house just to see how far down the toilet we can go?

    Just that much closer to the revolution!

    1. Don’t put your hopes in revolution. Outside of the one here in 1776 most have not turned out well … not even when they triumphed.

  27. Full disclosure: I joined the LP in ’73. Stayed there and voted pretty much straight LP until ’08, when I joined the GOP to vote for Paul in the primaries. I was one of those who first started pushing the plan to all go to our County Clerk-Recorder offices on the same day (as soon as Paul WASN’T nominated), with friendly press coverage, to switch back, so that the GOP could watch a few hundred thousand or so votes vanish into thin air.

    That plan (as quixotic as it was in the first place), rapidly went to shit when the LP decided to whore itself out to mass-murderer Bob Barr.

    I voted for Johnson in 2012, and was considering going back to the LP, but I might switch to the Dems this year, to vote for Bernie. And not for the reasons you might think, as alluded to by livelikearefugee above, to hasten the immolation of the system that it seems may be necessary to rebuild from the ashes.

    No, it’s more like this: one perspective on the aphorism that “the perfect is the enemy of the good” is that we all want to find less totalitarian leaders. And maybe we just aren’t due for that kind of perfection. Maybe we need to settle for totalitarians who are just a bit less assholish about what they plan to DO with our stolen money, and their intrusiveness…TBC…

  28. ,,,continued…

    And in this light, Bernie starts looking a little better. I’m not quite ready to fire up the “another Libertarian for Bernie” meme, but fer chrissakes, if my money is being stolen no matter what, I’d rather see it being used for free college tuition, and socialized medicine, and giving people food to eat (note that I am NOT claiming that the government would be competent at doing so) than on the idiot War on Some Drugs, and bombing another third-world shithole satrapy back into the Stone Age.

    Sanders and liberty in the same sentence? Nah, I don’t think so. I’ll probably “throw my vote away” on Johnson again. But the GOP? Jesus. Some of these idiots think that the Earth is a few thousand years old. And if socialism scares you more than theocracy, I think that you may be part of the problem. And Hillary? That vicious fool is more of a warmonger than most of the GOP clown car.

  29. Pathetic…

  30. I think Trump should be higher up the list. And my reason is that he appears to be more constitutional than the rest. And if you are constitutional, there is less micromanagement. And Jeb Bush is too high on the list. He should be down there around Hillary. As we saw between Jeb’s brother and Hillary’s husband, there isnt much difference between the Bushs and the Clintons.

    Other than that, I find your list fair. I disagree with others but not by enough to mention.

  31. Other than the Media once again ignoring the “libertarian-like” candidates, like Paul, I’m turned off by the whole circus because no one is discussing debt, deficit and spending – at least seriously.

  32. Jeb Bush?

  33. I will be voting for Rand Paul in Georgia’s open primary. If he does not make the ticket, then Gary Johnson can expect my vote again next November. I don’t care if others claim that I’m fighting a losing battle to reduce the size of government; it’s a battle I MUST fight.

  34. Start working at home with Google! It’s by-far the best job I’ve had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for $6474 this – 4 weeks past. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least $77 per hour. I work through this link, go? to tech tab for work detail,,,,,,,

    http://www.onlinejobs100.com

  35. I am Dr. Marc Allan Feldman and I am a candidate for the Libertarian nomination for President.
    Unlike Gary Johnson, I have announced, registered, and I have attended or spoken at 11 of the State Libertarian conventions. I currently serve on the Libertarian National Committee as Region 3 representative (Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio).

    I am running for President to offer an opportunity to vote for a candidate who is not raising millions or billions of dollars from special interests. I am accepting no corporate or PAC funds, only individual donations with a cap of $5 per person. We need to end the influence of big money in politics the same way we ended the influence of overt racism. We did not make it illegal. We just stopped voting for it.

    See more at VotesNotForSale.com

  36. “I assume that former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson will soon announce that he’ll run on the Libertarian Party ticket. Maybe his campaign will catch fire. I doubt it, but it’s possible!”

    By Libertarian Party standards, Johnson’s campaign DID “catch fire” in 2012. Historically speaking, 1M+ voters for POTUS is a remarkable showing for the party. By usual POTUS-election standards, of course, that was barely a spark. But as the old Spinners song says, “…sparks turn into flame…” In a year when there is no incumbent POTUS running for re-election and everyone has recently seen how incompetent both the Demos and GOP are at dealing with our nation’s issues, perhaps Johnson can fan 2012’s spark of libertarian spirit into not just a flame, but a political wildfire. Even if Rand Paul somehow snags the GOP nomination, I am absolutely certain that no Democrat or Republican POTUS will be able to make the kind of difference that libertarians demand and that this country so urgently needs. So I am crossing my fingers for the success of Johnson or whoever ultimately takes the LP nomination.

  37. John Stossel, I think your rankings are absolutely terrible. I really don’t think you put the proper time and effort into research. (After reading multiple articles from you it appears to be a common theme with you) I don’t care who you support and I don’t think your rankings are terrible because I disagree with them. Your rankings are flawed by your own logic and criteria. The fact you have Scott Walker that high says a lot about you.

  38. The correct order:

    Rand Paul (R)
    Gary Johnson (Libertarian)
    Donald Trump (R)
    Carly Fiorina (R)
    Bernie Sanders (Ind./D/socialist)
    Ted Cruz (R)
    Scott Walker (R)
    Rick Perry (R)
    Marco Rubio (R)
    Ben Carson (R)
    John Kasich (R)
    Jim Webb (D)
    Lincoln Chafee (D)
    George Pataki (R)
    Bobby Jindal (R)
    Lawrence Lessig (D)
    Jill Stein (Green)
    Martin O’Malley (D)
    Jim Gilmore (R)
    Jeb Bush (R)
    Joe Biden (D)
    Mike Huckabee (R)
    Rick Santorum (R)
    Chris Christie (R)
    Hillary Clinton (D)
    Lindsey Graham (R)

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