Gary Johnson

Johnson-Weld are the Adults in the Room

Ed Krayewski on RT



Gary Johnson and the Libertarian Party are getting a lot more media attention than they got last presidential cycle, in large part because of the historically high unfavorability ratings held by the presumptive major party nominees, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. To boot, the Trump nomination could be the beginning of a broader Republican collapse.

That means I get to go on the teevees to help place Johnson and the Libertarians in the context of the 2016 election. I appeared on RT America yesterday afternoon. Watch me explain why Libertarian candidates Gary Johnson and Bill Weld are the adults in the room, point out the major parties are being taken over by their fringes, call Donald Trump's eventual running mate a butt monkey, squeeze in Terry McAuliffe's campaign finance lawbreaking problems, and talk about what I think the greatest hurdle to Libertarian success is (being ignored):

* My apologies to Jeb Bush. I suggested he didn't break five percent in South Carolina after raising hundreds of millions of dollars. Bush hit almost eight percent in South Carolina, and he and the Super PACs supporting him raised more than $150 million.

NEXT: Black Lives Matter Organizer DeRay McKesson on Libertarians, Police Unions, Campus Free Speech, and Why He Hasn't Reached Out to Rand Paul

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  1. Dude, Ed, you looked hella sleepy when that one host was talking.

    1. Its like he wants to be a lumbersexual but lacks the grooming skills.

      1. I want to ask him when his jam band’s next gig is, but i think he needs a nap first.

        1. Or how it is being the lead singer for that Blues Traveler Tribute band is going.

  2. While I think Weld or Johnson are far less bad than Trump, Clinton, or Sanders, I think calling them “adults” is going too far.

    All the guys running for president are demonstrating childish behavior. It’s stupid to pretend otherwise. It fools no one. It’s about as believable as articles in Pravda about the superiority of Soviet tractors over American ones.

    1. Every time I hear someone call themselves “the adults in the room”, I have this overwhelming urge to yell “fuck off”. It is such a stupid, pointless and smug thing to say. Who exactly is convinced to change their mind because their opponents called their current views childish? No one I have ever met. Saying you are “the adult” is just question begging and ad hominem. No one who says that ever seems to be able to explain why it is the case that they are not just on the right side of things but that their side is the only “adult side”.

      1. What about situations where a 45 year old man is in a room of 11 – 13 year olds who are cheerfully embarking on a disastrous course of action*? Didn’t think of that one, did you mr smartypants? 😉

        1. I was always the kid yelling fuck off. Like I said above, I have never taken to adult supervision very well.

      2. Every time I hear someone call themselves “the adults in the room”, I have this overwhelming urge to yell “fuck off”. It is such a stupid, pointless and smug thing to say.

        Is that why you use that expression more than anyone I have ever seen?

        1. I only recall using it in response to Tony and Cytoxic who are in fact children. As far as anyone else, feel free to yell fuck off anytime I use it and link to this thread if I object.

      3. Trump, trump, Trump, Trump– eh, John?

        1. You prefer mass murderers to blow-hards; we got that.

          1. No, I hate GWB and Trump. You know that by now.

      4. “Who exactly is convinced to change their mind because their opponents called their current views childish? No one I have ever met.”

        It works with children.

  3. Johnson and Weld really are the adults in the room, but why not take it further than that?

    Libertarian Party convention goers are the adults in the room. libertarian voters are the adults in the room.

    It isn’t just the candidates.

    Registered Democrats are silly little ideologues–with a rigid ideology so silly, it leads them to nominate and support someone who accepted donations from foreign governments while she was the Secretary of State.

    Registered Republicans are silly people, too. They nominated a temper tantrum on wheels.

    Libertarian voters are the pragmatists, here, with a list of pragmatic solutions to our country’s problems. It isn’t just the Libertarian candidates that are serious.

    Eight years ago, people thought we were silly, in part, because we stood for things that people thought were ridiculous–like gay marriage and marijuana legalization. Those things are mainstream now–not frivolous and ridiculous.

    Yeah, we’re the adults in the room, alright. And that’s also talking about our same old ideas. That’s also talking about everyday, average adults who are rallying around Johnson and Weld. . . . not that Johnson and Weld rallying around adult libertarian ideas don’t deserve credit for that, too.

    1. Calling the 95% of the voting public who don’t vote LP “childish” sounds like one hell of an adult way to run for political office.

      1. YOURE A CHILD!
        /runs off sobbing

      2. If the shoe fits, . . .

        It’s childish to support a crook like Hillary Clinton because you hate Christians.

        It’s childish to support a Democrat in all but name like Donald Trump because you’re sick of political correctness.

        And a majority of American adults may very well despise them both.

        True fans of either one of them, are childish, silly people.

        1. Then I guess America is unworthy of the LP and the LP should be happy that it isn’t associated with 95% of them. Again, thinking 95% of the country is unworthy of supporting you is a curious way to run a political party to say the least.

          Maybe the LP should make Bertolt Brecht its honorary chairman.

          1. America is in transition.

            They’ll grow up, and they’ll eventually rally around grown ups.

            It may take an election cycle or two before we see the worm turn.

            1. They will learn but since no country in the history of the world has ever been run on strict libertarian doctrine, I think you are a bit optimistic in thinking that they are going to suddenly become Libertarians as it is currently defined.

              Ultimately Ken, you think your solutions are the only reasonable ones and that is just not true. There are lots of reasonable solutions and which of those solutions you prefer depends on what you value. And not everyone values individual freedom at the expense of all other values. A few do but most don’t, haven’t and never will. Are people starting to and will continue to wake up and realize that the country doesn’t value freedom like it once did and start to make a correction? I think and certainly hope so. But that correction is not going to mean people become Libertarians. There is a long spectrum of beliefs between totalitarian prog and libertarian.

              1. “They will learn but since no country in the history of the world has ever been run on strict libertarian doctrine, I think you are a bit optimistic in thinking that they are going to suddenly become Libertarians as it is currently defined.”

                Like I was saying the other day, if Libertarianism as currently defined as Slayer, then when libertarianism gets popular, it’ll look more like BabyMetal.


                I’d like to see our entire platform lifted by one of the two major parties intact, but even if they only lift a few planks (like Gingrich did with fiscal conservatism in the wake of Perot’s big showing), then that will be a lot more influence than we have now.

                The social conservatives never completely took over the Republican Party, but if we ever got as much influence over the Republican Party as the social conservatives did, we’d be doing really well. Victory isn’t all or nothing, but just because the world isn’t perfectly libertarian, doesn’t mean it can’t be a lot more libertarian.

                How many of my fellow libertarians oppose marijuana legalization on the basis that Colorado licensing growers and sellers and subjecting them all to local zoning ordinances is unlibertarian? We know that isn’t a 100% libertarian solution, but we call it a victory, and move on to other battles. I hope the rest of the country becomes as unlibertarian as Colorado on that issue!

                1. Strict libertarian doctrine? I don’t think that’s us anymore. We can be just as pragmatic as anyone. We even nominated William Weld.

                2. it’ll look more like BabyMetal.

                  What. The. Fuck. Was. That?

                  1. ROb Zombie is a fan. No seriously! He had a huge rant when interviewed on the question of whether they were a cool band to listen to where he said something to the effect of “they rock harder than almost anyone else out there”.

                    But, yeah… it’s Japan. /shrug.

                    1. They do some evil stuff, too. They have a song called BabyMetal Death with a video that has them dead. It’s melodic death metal. You can find videos of them being crucified in concert.

                      But they also do J-Pop.

                      Extreme metal is to BabyMetal as the LP will be when libertarianism is mainstream, which is to say, it’ll be watered down some to become wildly popular.

                      Sam Adams isn’t a microbrew, but they sell a lot of beer by appealing to broader tastes. That’s the kind of analogy I was going for.

            2. America is in transition.

              She’s becoming a man?!

              1. No Clint, I think the transition is going the other way.

        2. And it’s childish to whine that there isn’t a third option when in fact there is a pretty good third option.

      3. P.S. Don’t miss the irony.

        People have been dismissing Libertarians as childish and unrealistic since 1980.

        That we’re now the adults in the room is a great irony. It’s a sign of progress. A sign that shouldn’t be ignored.

        1. Nothing says that you are adult like feeling the need to proclaim it.

          1. We wouldn’t need to proclaim it if we hadn’t been accused of not being adults for wanting to legalize marijuana, for supporting gay marriage, etc.

            What’s Gandhi’s formulation again? First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win?

            Maybe we’re past “they laugh at you” now. The first time our candidates pull more than the margin of victory, they won’t be laughing at us anymore.

            1. Feeling the need to respond to such a charge rather than letting your actions and beliefs speak for themselves does nothing but make you look defensive and give the impartial observer reason to think it might have merit.

              Think of it this way, if Obama had in 2008 called John McCain a coward, would McCain have needed to go out of his way responding or would his record as a war hero been self evident? It would have been self evident and the charge so ridiculous there would have been no need to respond.

        2. That we’re now the adults in the room is a great irony. It’s a sign of progress.

          Can I get your home address so I can put this in an envelope and label it “Do not open until Nov. 9, 2016” and mail it to you?

          1. We have a better chanced of getting more than 1% of the vote this cycle than we’re had in decades.

            1. I’m not disputing that. I’m disputing the fact that we’re scooping up voters because the two major parties are liquidating their bases, and that those voters are by no means locked into libertarianism, is labelled as progress. I also think polls showing the unpopularity of Trump/Clinton relative to others are still largely premature (not to mention the crappiness of polling to begin with).

              I don’t hear the media or the electorate saying “How do we become more free?” nearly as much as “How do we avoid electing Trump/Clinton?”

              1. Yeah, I wouldn’t call Gary Johnson getting 5% or 10% of the vote huge progress for liberty. But if he can get 40% and defeat two far less likable, less experienced and less centrist opponents, it would be a good outcome for the nation.

                If Johnson somehow wins and the LP becomes a centrist party, we’ll have to start a new pro-liberty party to advance the cause further.

    2. Libertarian Party convention goers are the adults in the room. libertarian voters are the adults in the room.

      Ken, let’s not go that far. NSFW, as the link goes to a video of a man awkwardly stripping at the Libertarian convention.

      1. The reaction of so-called libertarians after who wanted to throw him out of their club was more disgraceful.

        1. He was running to chair the party at a time when the party was receiving immense national coverage, so I can understand why some so-called libertarians were annoyed with his pointless stunt.

        2. He was reminding libertarians of who they are and where they came from.

          1. No, he was a plant by the establishment to discredit the party.

      2. We nominated adult candidates–presumably for pragmatic reasons.

        There will always be kooks among us. We resisted the urge to nominate one.

        1. We nominated adult candidates–presumably for pragmatic reasons.

          We nominated marginally more adult candidates than the worst candidates the country has ever seen and the bona fides that deign them as adults partially, if not entirely, obviate their libertarian credentials for a significant portion of the electorate.

          1. Buy “libertarian credentials for a significant portion of the electorate”, do you mean the less than 1% that usually turn out and vote for Libertarians?

            I think there are a lot more libertarian minded people out there, and maybe the reason they don’t vote Libertarian and talk about it is because they see the brand as embarrassing.

          2. This is just an example of the kind of closet libertarians I’m talking about:

            Hillary Clinton says 90% of non-gun owners support universal background checks. That means 10% don’t. One-third of American households have guns, that means two-thirds don’t. If there are a round 300 million Americans, that means (10% of 200 million) 20 million Americans do not own a gun–but oppose universal background checks on principle. I’m calling those people closet libertarians–and we haven’t even added in the people who own guns yet.

            How many people support gay marriage–but aren’t gay? How many people aren’t Muslim–but support the religious rights of Muslims? How many people don’t want their children watching pornography–but support the rights of pornographers and their customers? How many don’t smoke marijuana–but think it should be legal? How many people hold any of those positions–and also think the government is spending too much money?

            I think we’re talking about at least ten times the 1% we usually poll, and if I’m right about that, then the question becomes: Why aren’t these people voting for the LP?

            I’m sure there’s more than one reason, but one of the reasons may be that the brand has been a source of embarrassment for a long time. Nominating serious adult candidates may not solve that problem in one election cycle, but it’s a step in the right direction.

            1. LP has run serious adult candidates for offices all over the country for close to half a century. So, uh,…one election cycle?

              1. Yeah, we’re gonna have to keep at it. We may not change the political landscape in one election–it will take more. Why is that hard to understand.

                Meanwhile, it isn’t just about who we’re running. The Dems and Repubs are running pathetic childish candidates.

                Libertarians weren’t the only adults in the room when Mitt Romney was running.

          3. The country can thank us in November by electing Johnson instead of Trump-Clinton.

      3. And? Are you saying that stripping is something children do? You sick fuck.

    3. “ight years ago, people thought we were silly, in part, because we stood for things that people thought were ridiculous–like gay marriage and marijuana legalization.”

      So did every single Leftist that I can think of.

      1. Horseshit. There’s a long history on the left of viewing homosexuals as deviants.

        1. But not in the past 8 yrs.

      2. Barack Obama campaigned in 2008 on “Marriage is between a man and a woman”.

        Barack Obama aggressively raided marijuana dispensaries in California and elsewhere long after they were legal in California.

        Most every leftist supported Barack Obama anyway. They thought ideas like gay marriage and marijuana legalization were silly, outlandish, unserious, childish ideas–held by silly little libertarians.

        We’re not so silly anymore.

        1. P.S. I should say, the ideas are the same–but they’re not so silly anymore.

        2. Obama is a Leftist?

          I’m a Leftist and supported gay marriage and legal marijuana and voted for Obama in 2008 and 2012. The reason is that there were stark choices put in front of me in which I thought a vote for Obama was the right choice–warts and all. Being an adult sometimes means selecting the good from the perfect. It also means declining to select the best choice among bad choices– that’s what I will do in 2016 with regard to HRC.

          1. “I’m a Leftist and supported gay marriage and legal marijuana and voted for Obama in 2008 and 2012.”

            Voting for Obama didn’t communicate any of that to anybody.

            People cited your support for Obama as opposition to gay marriage. Obama certainly cited your support of him as support for his policies.

            Time to grow up and take grown up positions–like a libertarian would.

          2. I should add, gay rights activists supported Obama in spite of his opposition to gay marriage–because even they thought gay marriage was an embarrassing, silly position in most people’s eyes, and they didn’t expect Obama to support something so embarrassing in public.

            They should all be ashamed of themselves. The adults in the libertarian movement were right all along.

      3. Re; american stultified,

        So did every single Leftist that I can think of.

        Leftists were for gay marriage? Since WHEN? Or which leftists are you talking about? Because MARXIANS are not particularly pro-liberty.

        1. Nor are socialists particularly fond of gays. Che Guevara personally executed a bunch of men for the crime of having sex with other men. Hitler had them sent to concentration camps. The Labor govt in England had Turing castrated.I could go on, but I’m hungry and my lunch won’t nuke itself.

          1. “Nor are socialists particularly fond of gays. ”

            I’ll let you in on a little secret if you promise not to tell. Socialists aren’t even particularly fond of the working class.

            1. They aren’t particularly fond of people, period. “The” people, yes, but not people.

              1. “They aren’t particularly fond of people, period.”

                The only candidate who is particularly fond of people is Trump. It was Trump who proclaimed “I love the uneducated,” a statement worthy of Christ himself.

  4. If William Weld is the so-called “adult in the room”, please open the door so that I can get out of that fucking room as fast as I possibly can.

    Weld has always been a shithead, and now he has apparently decided to become a con artist as well, and frankly I’m a little shocked at how easily some people will apparently fall for such a lame and transparent con job.

    1. It’s easier to appeal to disaffected Republicans when we can show them that it’s okay to make the switch.

      We’re not an exclusive country club. If former Republicans want to support us because we’re closer to what they think than Donald Trump because Trump wants to soak the rich with taxes or he’s against free trade or for whatever other reason, then that’s just fine.

      When people come visit our church, we don’t want them to feel unwelcome. We want to invite them home for dinner, get to know them, make friends, and hopefully they’ll think about maybe becoming a member. We probably shouldn’t denounce them for not believing what we believe exactly. Nobody is born a libertarian. Chances are you had to be persuaded, too.

      1. An open door is a good thing, but the big ‘L’ libertarian party should be much more than a vehicle for a couple of professional grifters to make a few bucks. I don’t think it’s really asking too much for the top party representatives to be serious libertarians, and sometimes they can barely even fake it convincingly.

        Weld says that he supports legalizing marijuana, and that’s a great thing, but meanwhile he first made his bones in politics as a hard core drug warrior. Has he ever recanted and apologized for what he did in those days?

        1. “The big ‘L’ libertarian party should be much more than a vehicle for a couple of professional grifters to make a few bucks. I don’t think it’s really asking too much for the top party representatives to be serious libertarians”

          The purpose of a legitimate political party is to bring people together with the same principles–and sell those principles short, to varying degrees, either to win influence or elections.

          If the LP is doing that to expand its appeal, then it’s just acting like a real political party.

          There will be a time to stand on principle. It’s just not when the two major parties are running buffoons.

    2. If John and Mike are this up-in-arms about these guys then I can only conclude that they are wonderful people deserving my full support.

      1. It might mean that or it could mean you are an idiot. Hard to be sure but idiot never seems to be a bad bet.

        1. Yawn.

          Of course, you’re only going to bolster the argument that the Libertarians are the adults in the room when the best comeback you can muster would embarrass a kindergartener.

          1. I can only be as good as the material I have to work with. Its not my fault you are an idiot. Become something more interesting and I will give you more interesting comebacks.

  5. Why do you have to say “butt monkey”. If you are the adult in the room then act like it. Trump may be a clown but he’s a dangerous clown. Just say so and move on to why the LP is good for the country.

  6. A lot more media attention…. RT America. Uhm….

    Let’s check Lots of Trump hit pieces. Wow, a whole lot of trump hit pieces. Actually, an obsessive number of Trump hit pieces. Isn’t there a primary coming up for Team Blue? Oh, there’s a reference hidden over to the side. So Trump, Trump, Trump, more Trump, Clinton on Trump, Clinton’s people on Trump, Trump and Trump.

    Oooh, and old pictures of Angelina Jolie. That’s cool. Ohh, and some kid posted a takedown of anti-vaxxers. That’s prominently featured.

    Ok…. deep in the links, this from our own Robby Soave: Don’t fall for ‘lesser of two evils’ argument

    Ok, I stand corrected. They actually are giving more coverage to Libertarian candidates than usual.

    1. At the LP convention people kept touting how Johnson-Weld were trending on social media and how there were stories in the mainstream media on the LP. It was revealing of a very massive insecurity complex. I don’t get the libertarians who think a small trickle of articles on Johnson is going to matter in the grand scheme of things. Especially when little of it is actually about what Johnson thinks and more about how he offers a legitimate alternative to Trump.

  7. I’ve been saying roughly this for a couple of months now.

    The Democrats are going to be running someone running under the cloud of potential felony indictment whose platform is that we should vote for her because she has a vagina and people liked her husband.

    The Republicans are going to be running a reality television show host whose platform amounts to building a big wall to keep out the Mexicans.

    The Libertarians are going to be running two popular former two-term governors on a platform of fiscal responsibility and limited government.

  8. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but nobody wants adults around. The voters just want their just due, their free shit, and they don’t want any stinky adults telling them what the consequences are.

    The children of said voters are taking it a step further, even.

    They’re trying to build a Never Never Land of stupid and electing the people who are promising it to them.

  9. Johnson gets lots of bad advice and falls for it. Did you see the speech by Alicia Dearn (Petersen’s VP pick)? She said that she hopes that Johnson remained ‘fired up’ throughout the campaign – meaning acting like a buffoon. She was trying to undermine the party’s chances. She tried to get Weld to promise to ‘never betray the party’. Like WTF? She is a corporate lawyer – meaning probably her business depends on the establishment. People like her can be safely ignored. Stop focusing on acting crazy – that is not what appeals to people. What does? Telling them that Trump and Clinton are dangerous the LP will keep the country on an even keel. It’s pretty simple. You don’t have to cry that there’s a ‘conspiracy’ to keep us out of the polls. Maybe there is but fine – hack away at it behind the scenes.

  10. Sorry, the only adult in the room is Obama.

    1. True – but he’s not an option. People still like him and are already waxing nostalgic, even some Republicans who once said, “Any one of these candidates is better than Obozo.” LP will not be doing itself any favors by demonizing him.

      1. There is no need to demonize him. He’s leaving. Leave him alone. Talk about libertarian ideas instead of attacking his failed policies.

      2. He brought troops home from Iraq, ended DADT, was probably the best pro-choice President in history, put people on the SC that allowed for legal gay marriage. Was he a down-the-line libertarian or did he do everything I would have liked? No, but sometimes being an adult means making hard choices with limited information and not governing from what one learned from an Ayn Rand book.

        1. Clinton started DADT. It was a liberal policy back then.

        2. The only real accomplishment of Obama’s that I’m on board with is opening up relations with Cuba.


    3. american socialist|6.2.16 @ 10:35AM|#
      “Sorry, the only adult in the room is Obama.”

      Sorry, assertions are not arguments, and our tin-pot dictator wanna-be is a long ways from adulthood.

    4. Re: american stultified,

      Sorry, the only adult in the room is Obama.

      Yes, and that room is the one with the comfy padded walls.

      He brought troops home from Iraq,

      And for his next trick, he turned Libya into a basket-case, unnecessarily.

      was probably the best pro-choice President in history

      You mean Mr. “You didn’t build that” is in favor of individual choice? Or do you mean abortion?

      […] sometimes being an adult means making hard choices with limited information[…]

      Which is a very nice way of saying he acts recklessly and rushes to conclusions too quickly.

    5. Sorry, the only adult in the room is Obama.

      Only if the room is kindergarten class, and the teacher is out of the room grabbing a bite because it’s naptime.

  11. Is that Ed or Zach Galifianakis?

  12. Russia Today covered Ron Paul, it doesn’t count as media.
    I saw a lot of stories and coverage on Johnson’s nomination on the day it happened.
    The next 2 days, not so much.
    Google News had Gary Johnson as one of the top US stories the day before the nomination and the day after. Now he’s invisible again.
    Where are the national polls with Johnson included?

  13. Sometimes man you jsut have to roll with the punches dude.

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