Gary Johnson

Neither Trump Nor Clinton

Libertarians offer a third choice.

|

Finally! Voters have another choice. The Libertarian Party nominated two socially tolerant but fiscally conservative former governors, Gary Johnson and Bill Weld.

Weld? Isn't the former Massachusetts governor just another Republican?

He didn't act like one when he and Johnson sat for an interview.

"This is the dream ticket for me," began Johnson.

"He doesn't look like a dream," I responded rudely. "He's not thought of by us libertarians as Libertarian."

"Weld got the A from Cato Institute," said Johnson, referring to the libertarian think tank. "Weld was declared the fiscally most conservative governor in the country … First day in office, Bill Weld furloughs 8,000 employees."

I hadn't known that.

"Nine percent of the state workforce," said Weld, "and I never received a single postcard asking, 'Where are those essential 8,000 employees?' I cut the budget 14 percent my first two months. Piece o' cake … I'd love to see the federal government receive cuts like that."

Me, too.

Johnson added that his running mate was "pro-gay, pro-choice and pro-medical marijuana at a time nobody else was talking about this stuff."

But Weld also supported the Iraq war, saying that George W. Bush had "grown in office." As Massachusetts' governor, he backed the drug war and restrictions on gun ownership.

Today, about Iraq, he said, "I wasn't exactly waving flags when the invasion occurred … That Iraq thing has turned out to be one of the worst mistakes ever."

Why did he push gun regulation? "There are a lot of bills kicking around in Massachusetts. I've been a hunter my entire life, a gun owner my entire life. I really consider myself a Second Amendment guy."

Today, Weld says he's ready to legalize marijuana. Johnson goes further, "I'm not advocating legalization of other drugs, but if we legalized all drugs tomorrow, the world would be a better place. Ninety percent of the drug problem is prohibition-related."

Both candidates sounded pretty libertarian to me.

"We don't buy the dog food that either party is selling," said Weld. "We don't buy government making decisions for people in their private lives, part of the Republican Party platform, and we don't buy the Democrats' penchant for spending money that we don't have."

Do Libertarians have a chance? Early polls show Johnson getting 10 percent of the vote, even though most Americans don't know who he is. Once people get to hear him, that number will grow. Lots of people want to elect someone other than Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton.

"If Mickey Mouse were the third name, Mickey would get 30 percent," said Johnson, "but Mickey's not on the ballot in all 50 states."

Good point. Libertarians are the only third party likely to be on the ballot in all the states.

Trump calls Libertarians and Johnson "a fringe deal."

"Spot on!" replied Johnson. "Totally fringe! Small government, fiscally conservative, socially liberal."

What else do Libertarians stand for? Speeches at the nominating convention offer a sample:

"A conservative will fight to live free. A Libertarian fights for everybody to live free."
"There exist in America more laws than an average reader could read—reading 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for 600 years."

"The alcohol, tobacco and firearms industry ought to be a store, not a government agency."

Are Libertarians "isolationists?" No. They want to intervene in foreign countries. "We just believe in intervening by dropping philanthropy, tourism, free speech and free trade on other countries instead of bombs," said one convention speaker.

"When Donald Trump talks about deporting 11 million illegal immigrants, that's just wrong," says Johnson. "When he talks about building a fence across the border, that is just wrong. When he talks about killing families of Muslim terrorists, that is just wrong."

Johnson has a long list of disagreements with Trump: "When he talks about free market but he's going to force Apple to make their iPads and iPhones in the United States, that's just wrong! When he talks about a 35 percent tariff, that's just wrong! When he says he's going to bring back waterboarding or torture or whatever, that's just wrong!"

He can level just as many complaints about Hillary Clinton.

The trial comes in November, and voters are the jury. I hope they decide to grant Americans liberty in both the personal and economic realms.

Clinton and Trump are punishments we don't deserve.

COPYRIGHT 2016 BY JFS PRODUCTIONS INC.

NEXT: Philadelphia's Soda Tax Is About Raising Revenue, Not Public Health

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. I liked Weld until I read this: “Weld got the A from Cato Institute.” As for Johnson, why does he have to end every sentence with an exclamation point?! I’m starting to lose interest in the ticket. Maybe they should do a striptease to raise awareness among millenials.

    1. Would some need a trigger warning for some loose Johnson?

    2. Anybody can earn 450$+ daily… You can earn from 8000-12000 a month or even more if you work as a full time job…It’s easy, just follow instructions on this page, read it carefully from start to finish… It’s a flexible job but a good eaning opportunity.. go to this site home tab for more detail…
      Go This Website.________ http://www.earnmore9.com

  2. …neither Johnson. I’m all for legal drugs, but how about we choose a candidate that will concentrate on dismantling the military-industrial complex.

    1. Given that the last time he ran for president, he asked for drastic spending cuts across the board (43%) including the military, I’d say he’s in line with its dismantling

  3. “Johnson has a long list of disagreements with Trump: “When he talks about free market but he’s going to force Apple to make their iPads and iPhones in the United States, that’s just wrong!”

    Sort of like how Johnson talks about free market but he’s going to force bakeries to make cakes they disagree with.

    1. In the debate aired as a two-part John Stossel program when asked about this what Johnson said is that it should be legal to discriminate for any reason, including those reasons currently illegal (ie: race, religion). He stance isn’t that bakeries should be forced to make cakes for gay weddings but that until it is legal to discriminate for any reason it would be wrong to provide some legal grounds for discriminating and making other reasons illegal.

      That shouldn’t be too much of an affront to reasonable people.

  4. I have to admit that given the shit show that libertarianism has become over the last 30 years, I’ve never actually watched Gary Johnson be interviewed. I find him very compelling.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=hdkznU2IvfU

    1. Yeah, for a second I thought you were being sincere.

      Venezuela is crumbling and Sanders is finished. There you go.

      1. No XM, that is your first mistake “american socialist” is a idiot. Read what passes for his/her comments, complete and utter drivel. The derp is strong with that one.

  5. Clinton and Trump are punishments we don’t deserve.

    We don’t, but the assholes who make up the two-party duopoly sure as hell do.

    1. After its convention, the GOP will put up a 3rd party candidate. Here’s how he will win https://goo.gl/rl4XBt

  6. After its convention, the GOP will put up a 3rd party candidate. Here’s how he will win: https://goo.gl/rl4XBt

  7. Libertarians offer one choice: Lose

  8. Yes, lots of people would like to vote for someone other than Drumpf or HillRot, but I don’t see Gary Johnson as the guy who’s going to inspire them to do so. Austin Petersen probably would have been better IMHO. At least he has some energy and passion. At least he claimed he would enforce the laws as written by congress. Johnson has the same view of enforcing immigration laws as Obama.

  9. If Mickey Mouse can get 30% and GJ is only polling 10%; then Libertarians made a big mistake dissing Mickey

  10. “Are Libertarians “isolationists?” No. They want to intervene in foreign countries. “We just believe in intervening by dropping philanthropy, tourism, free speech and free trade on other countries instead of bombs,” said one convention speaker.”

    While dropping values and dollars (selectively) is a good thing, this is the sort of statement that precludes libertarians from being elected to national office. By this standard, Pres. Obama is a libertarian. How’s Syria working out? There are troublespots in the world where military intervention would be foolhardy (Venezuela for instance), but we also can’t ignore the fact that there are places where a perceived or real sense of weakness empowers individuals, groups, or nations who value the destruction of certain others over their own success…Afghanistan of the late ’90s being the most glaring example.

    One cannot be elected President as a pacifist. On the Left and the Right, there are far more pragmatists than there are purist Libertarians.

    Where Donald Trump fits in on all this, well, ya got me. All I know is, based on what he says, he’s wrong way more than he’s right.

  11. Just remember: Any vote for anyone other than Trump, is a vote for Hillary. While the lesser of two evils is still evil, better in this case the devil we don’t know.

    I do not support Trump. I loathe Clinton.

    1. Wait, so which one is the lesser of the 2 here? Not clear.

  12. “He doesn’t look like a dream,” I responded rudely. “He’s not thought of by us libertarians as Libertarian.”

    That looks like a case of upper case inversion.

  13. “… “I’d love to see the federal government receive cuts like that.”

    Me, too.”

    What’s that comma doing there?

    Who edited this thing?

  14. John: It’s the choice libertarians have had for 50 years. Wake up, small “L” libertarians . . . your Party registration counts (in the minds of politicians) more than your vote. Especially if it’s Libertarian.

  15. Was this on H&R? If not, why not?

    Come on, Stossel, host a debate.

  16. The Libertarians had an opportunity to nominate a smart, reasonable, pro-life, limited-government, pro-freedom candidate, in Austin Petersen. That would have given voters a real alternative in November.

    Instead the Libertarians nominated the proverbially nutty Gary Johnson, who’s not bothered by either a million babies dying by choice every year, or Jewish bakers being compelled by the state to bake swastika cakes for NAZIs.

    All three Parties are nominating Presidential candidates who are plainly unqualified for the office.

  17. You can kinda see why their appeal is a double edged sword. Their policy is mostly sound, but the notion of a politician firing 800 government employees on his first day or calling for the elimination of the dept of education might not be well received by the general electorate. Drug legalization is still not kosher some among mainstream libs. The opposition will know how to make sound bites out of their statements to be used in negative ads.

    Johnson should HAMMER away at the baggage of the two other candidates. Trump U, email scandal, giant walls, walls street connection, Libya, etc. It’ll be the most effective way to counter Trump and Hillary’s attempt to paint him as an anti government zealot obsessed with cuts. He has to FIRMLY remind voters why the other two are so disliked.

    He needs to show a LOT of energy on the debate stage.

  18. he said on Fox news a few days ago that polygamy was a personal choice.

    Sounds like Romney and Bush are an influence to me.

  19. he also said on Fox that North Korea was our biggest threat and borders need to stay open.

  20. and that he stopped smoking pot 5 weeks ago to run for president

  21. before I saw the bank draft which had said $9426 , I didnt believe that…my… brother woz like actualy earning money part-time at there labtop. . there uncles cousin has done this 4 less than fifteen months and by now repaid the dept on there place and got a great new Mini Cooper . read the full info here …

    Clik This Link inYour Browser??

    ? ? ? ? http://www.SelfCash10.com

  22. Baloney.

    First, they have not a snowball’s chance in hell of being elected. All they will do is kick the win to the communist.

    My, how PATRIOTIC.

    Second, pro-choice is pro-murder. The issue is the autonomy of the right to life of the unborn child, not the preference of the biological mother to not be pregnant. In a truly libertarian society, behavior has consequences. The only exception is when the life of the unborn child threatens the life of the mother, whereby the right to self-defense trumps everything else. The very notion that inconvenience justifies murder is offensive to all that is decent, and libertarians largely have no conscience in this regard.

    Third, the cavalier dismissal of collaboration with the dark forces’ designs to limit the fundamental right to arms because, “Hey, it was MASSACHUSETTS.” is an astonishing level of hubris, especially for an ostensible libertarian.

    No, John, this ticket is El Stinco. The patriotic thing is to withdraw and never bring it up again.

  23. Start making more money weekly. This is a valuable part time work for everyone. The best part work from comfort of your house and get paid from $100-$2k each week.Start today and have your first cash at the end of this week. For more details Check this link??

    Clik This Link inYour Browser?

    ???? http://www.selfCash10.com

  24. 2″My friend just told me about this easiest method of freelancing. I’ve just tried it and now II am getting paid 15000usd monthly without spending too much time.You can also do this.

    ……….https://www.Cashpay60.tk

  25. I am making $89/hour working from home. I never thought that it was legitimate but my best friend is earning $10 thousand a month by working online, that was really surprising for me, she recommended me to try it. just try it out on the following website.

    ??? http://www.selfcash10.com

  26. It seems to me that Libertarians ought to be getting out there and advertising the Vote Swap Initiative, a way for Republicans and Democrats to jettison their flawed candidates without giving any advantage to the opposing party candidates.

    Details here: http://metalark.com/vs2016/.

  27. 4″I quit my 9 to 5 job and now I am getting paid 100usd hourly. How? I work-over internet! My old work was making me miserable, so I was forced to try-something NEW. After two years, I can say my life is changed-completely for the better!Learn More From This Site…

    ======> http://www.Today70.com

  28. I’ve made $76,000 so far this year working online and I’m a full time student.I’m using an online business opportunity I heard about and I’ve made such great money.It’s really user friendly and I’m just so happy that I found out about it.

    Open This LinkFor More InFormation..

    ??????? http://www.Reportmax20.com

  29. Commence your Home Business right now. Hang out with your Family and Earn. Start bringing $75/hr just over a computer. Very easy way to choose your Life Happy and Earning continuously. Begin here..

    Copy This Link…

    ===== http://www.maxincome20.com

  30. my friend’s mom makes $73 hourly on the laptop . She has been out of a job for 6 months but last month her pay was $18731 just working on the laptop for a few hours…..

    Open This LinkFor More InFormation..

    ???????

    http://www.Reportmax20.com

  31. my roomate’s step-mother makes 60 each hour on the internet and she has been out of work for seven months but last month her check was 14489 just working on the internet for 5 hours a day, look at ..
    Read more on this web site..

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>> http://www.maxincome20.com

  32. before I saw the bank draft which had said $9426 , I didnt believe that…my… brother woz like actualy earning money part-time at there labtop. . there uncles cousin has done this 4 less than fifteen months and by now repaid the dept on there place and got a great new Mini Cooper . read the full info here …

    Clik This Link inYour Browser??

    ? ? ? ? http://www.selfcash10.com

  33. My last pay check was $9500 working 12 hours a week online. My sisters friend has been averaging 15k for months now and she works about 20 hours a week. I can’t believe how easy it was once I tried it out. This is what I do..

    Clik This Link inYour Browser??.

    =========[]> http://maxincome20.com

  34. I can’t say I’m against Trump, but I do think he’s gone too far. I respect his business and entrepreneur ambitions, but he likes to make people crazy. I heard that the Term Paper Writing Company also belongs to one of his offices.
    Douglas

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.