Gary Johnson

Why 2016 Could Be the Year of Gary Johnson

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Gary Johnson
Gage Skidmore

Given the extreme awfulness of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, the Libertarian Party might be having its moment after all.

In an op-ed for U.S. News and World Report, I make the case for 2016 as the Year of Gary Johnson:

In the coming days and months, Trump will continue to call Clinton a "crooked" politician with no moral compass. Clinton will call Trump mentally unstable and dangerous. They will both be correct. And Americans will be wishing for, and possibly actually looking for, alternatives.

Given this reality, it's not surprising that Johnson is already drumming up much more interest than when he ran in 2012. While Johnson probably can't win the White House, if he earns 5 percent of the total vote – he got 1 percent in 2012 – the Libertarian Party could qualify for public campaign financing in the next election cycle. And the more people who express a desire to vote for Johnson, the closer he'll get to being included in the main television presidential debates this fall. Being on the main debate stage would dramatically boost Johnson's recognition and be a game-changer for the Libertarian Party, presenting it as a viable third-party alternative to Democrats and Republicans and distributing its messages to millions of Americans who know little or nothing about the party. Johnson needs to show support from at least 15 percent of Americans in key polls to get on the debate stage. He hit 12 percent in the latest national Fox News poll.

Read the full thing here.

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  1. Flog that Johnson!

    1. “In 2016, Johnson beats *you*!”

      1. That’s gold.

      2. This time he’s welded to a pure ideology!

  2. I could be, if Trump, Clinton, Biden, Romney, Ryan, Jeb!, SMOD, and Kthulu were all killed in a bus crash. However since SMOD isn’t actually alive and as Kthulu can’t fit inside a bus, the chances are zero.

    1. Thanks to his non-Euclidean geometry, Cthulhu could fit inside an atom if he chose to.

      Can’t fit inside a bus, ha!

  3. the Libertarian Party could qualify for public campaign financing in the next election cycle.

    Government assistance is our only hope!

    1. Gotta play by the rules as written.

      If the LP does qualify, expect a bill to revise the rules in the first month of the new session.

    2. My thoughts exactly.

      But I mean, if I am paying those taxes anyways…might as well go to the party that thinks I shouldn’t be paying taxes for idiotic reasons.

  4. Does anyone want to take wagers on this one, which happens first?

    a. Johnson gets on debate stage.

    b. Libertarian moment.

    c. Congress balances the budget.

    d. The lizard people invade.

    1. Well obviously D because that already happened (and they won) , that said of the remaining 3 I think a because there are probably just enough #neverTrumpers in the GOP to stand in the way of letting him get there

    2. e. Naked Jessica Alba rides her unicorn to my door carrying 5 gallons of Nuri gel.

      1. With my luck, it’s Nuri, not Nuru. Makes it even more likely.

      2. Wishful thinking not included.

        1. Sorry, I got carried away. Won’t happen again.

    3. What if the Lizard People invade the debate stage? Does the answer depend on whether Johnson is secretly one them?

  5. No campaign slogan:

    When you’re done feeling the Bern come check out the Johnson

    1. “Why does it hurt when I LP?”

    2. You’re onto something… here’s Gary’s new slogan:

      Does your Johnson Burn?

      Feel the Johson 2016!

      1. And get a free edit feature!

      2. No more Bern with our Johnson!

  6. Robbo,
    Come the fuck on, stop taking mind altering drugs.

  7. Why not? No one likes Trump-Clinton.

    And the money is on the way to Johnson-Weld:

    Weld-allied Super PAC to the Rescue

    1. Bill Weld looks like Ralph Steadman drew him.

      1. I would drink a beer with him on the label.

    2. I’m sure that money comes with no strings attached.

  8. Go on, pull the other one!

  9. Gary Johnson’s near silence on the Orlando shootings is just going to make him more of an afterthought. Right after the attacks he said don’t jump to conclusions and let the authorities do their work. He may be right but it makes him look weak, especially since the shooter was Muslim.

    1. I brought this up here yesterday. First of all, because I was just asking if it’s the norm to expect a presidential candidate to make a statement when something like this occurs. 2nd of all, because I really want to know what he has to say.

  10. I think Johnson has handled the Orlando thing in a pretty commendable manner, btw. He released a statement saying it is a tragedy that shouldn’t be politicized, and then has basically stfu.

    It’s better than Hillary and Trump climbing up on the bodies of the dead. Or hell, a truly sad amount of gay activists who seem to see this as a great jumping off point to political action- for example, I saw one person over at Autostraddle saying how gay folk need to be leading the demonstrations DEMANDING gun control.

    Actually, I think that is a bit of the reason why this thing got so political so quickly- the gay community is so left wing than any attack involving both radical Islam and guns was going to get perceived and received a certain way based on politics. I think a similar thing would have happened had a terrorist shot up a fundamentalist christian church, but with an obviously bigger focus on the guy’s religion and a relatively small focus on guns (actually, if that ever happens, I can imagine the media being super uncomfortable as they interview pastors and parishioners and such and they all keep saying, “I don’t know why the hell you’re talking about guns…”). The unifying aspect of the WTC attacks was that it caught a cross section of random new yorkers- rich, poor, black, white, what have you. But this seems to be getting the reaction of Charleston, where it is a national tragedy but one that is also very much put into identity politics and used to advance causes.

    1. I think Johnson has handled the Orlando thing in a pretty commendable manner, btw. He released a statement saying it is a tragedy that shouldn’t be politicized

      I didn’t know that he had made a statement, but I’m pretty satisfied with that.

      1. Same here. The problem is that there are too many sheep who want their politicians to blow smoke up their asses.

      2. Agreed. Make a quick statement offering condolences and asking for better behavior towards one’s fellow citizens, then STFU and don’t politicize it.

        1. Dirty Harry marathon on AMC today.

    2. I think a similar thing would have happened had a terrorist shot up a fundamentalist christian church…

      …there’d be a good chance that one of the parishioners would have been armed and killed the shitstain before he could kill or injure 100+ people. No one would talk about it in the national news media because the fact that the gunman was killed by a person with a gun (other than a cop several minutes into his rampage) would be very, very uncomfortable for them.

      1. Was anyone armed at the church in SC that kid shot up? I can’t remember, but I didn’t think so.

    3. Meh. The shooting was a failure of government’s most fundamental duty – to maintain the safety of its citizens against violent attack.

      To say that it shouldn’t be politicized is to say that a failure of the government’s fundamental duties shouldn’t be discussed. There’s no way to discuss it that isn’t political, because whether and how the government discharges its duties is inherently political.

      Comes off as standard-issue focus-grouped weak tea.

      1. Agree. This should be politicized – it hits at the very core of many issues. We should not give up our rights – 1A, 2A, etc – in fear of terrorists. Let 1,000 cartoons of Mohammed bloom!

        1. Mohammed Bloom? His parents had a sense of humor.

  11. Why 2016 Could Be the Year of Gary Johnson Delusional Twits

    FTFY.

  12. I just love how US News used a picture of Johnson where he looks completely insane and/ or stoned out his gourd. Wouldn’t want their “readers” (who, let’s be honest, don’t actually read the articles any more than members of the H&R commentariat read the articles here) to get the wrong idea and think “Maybe this Gary Johnson fella’s worth looking into.”

    Hence my previous comment about delusional twits. The media will still do its damnedest to make sure everyone “knows” that Libertarians are crazy whack-a-doodles. Anyone who thinks otherwise is deluding themselves.

    1. I just love how US News used a picture of Johnson where he looks completely insane and/ or stoned out his gourd

      There are other photos?

    2. I saw in the other thread you went to Embry-Riddle Prescott. When did you graduate? That’s where I went.

      1. 2001.

        1. Small world. I was a bit later in 2009.

          1. Get off my lawn!

          2. So you got to go there after they had built a lot of the new buildings. Lucky.

            Don’t get me wrong, it was a good school when I went there, but a little lacking on facilities. We had to make do with a pretty pathetic machine shop, and the library was way too small. IIRC, they had broken ground on the new faculty office/ classroom building and were preparing to demolish some of the smaller buildings to make room for the new library. The last time I went back it was a way more impressive campus than when I was there. I was especially jealous of the (I believe it was called) “Aerospace Fabrication Building”.

      2. My Brother went there for his Freshman year of college and then dropped out.

        Mostly he spent the year playing golf at the golf course down the street, urban surfing (on his white cargo van) and rock climbing.

        1. A lot of people dropped out after the first year.

    3. who, let’s be honest, don’t actually read the articles any more than members of the H&R commentariat read the articles here

      It’s called Hit & Run, not Read & Consider…

      1. Good point. It will soon be renamed to ‘Parrot the mainstream liberal media and run’.

  13. Sounds like someones jimmies got rustled lol.

    http://www.Got-Anon.tk

    1. A thousand times this.

  14. Given the extreme awfulness of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, the Libertarian Party might be having its moment after all.

    It might IF…

    – it didn’t have someone stripping down to a thong on the stage at its national convention.
    – its Presidential candidate wouldn’t go on Samantha Bee’s show and make himself look like a doofus.

    1. What’s a Samantha Bee?

      1. A really annoying, homely and grating one.

        1. Holy shit. I just watched that, unfortunately. So Gray stopped smoking weed and started dropping acid. I see. Damn that was painful.

          May… I… share… one… of… my… school… nicknames… duh, derp, fuck…

          1. Apparently she got her start on the Daily Show. Imagine all of the smugness and idiocy of Jon Stewart without any of the talent or charm Stewart has.

            1. She didn’t need to try hard on that one, Johnson made the show all by himself. It was a gift.

  15. If he were to actually win, and I doubt he will but who knows, does anyone think all of the GOP Establishment people who are praising him now wouldn’t turn around and stab him in the back? Of the three candidates Johnson is the only one I could see getting impeached and actually removed from office. I don’t say that because I think he is the most corrupt of the three. He is not. I say that because to throw a President out of office takes both parties. The Democrats would absolutely hate Johnson. And once Johnson started actually doing anything about the drug war or pursuing anything less than a hawkish foreign policy, all of these Never Trump people would turn on him and happily help the Democrats kick him out of office over some made up scandal.

    Maybe I am cynical but I think Johnson would have a hell of time making it through a full term.

    1. If he were to actually win, and I doubt he will but who knows, does anyone think all of the GOP Establishment people who are praising him now wouldn’t turn around and stab him in the back?

      No, they would remind him that’s it’s because of them that he got elected and inform him that he’d better play along, or else. Then they would only put the knife in his back when he disobeys. Playing around with the Romney/Ryan crowd and their crony donors is extremely foolish. I can’t believe that Gary doesn’t know there are strings attached. He looks like a stupid sheep. Sorry, but it’s like a hen who invites in the foxes to guard the hen house. Extremely naive.

      1. Yes. They would tell him to play ball or else. And he likely would not and then they would work with the Democrats and throw him out of office.

  16. RE: Why 2016 Could Be the Year of Gary Johnson

    Close, but no cigar.
    This is not about Gary Johnson.
    This is about the rise of the Libertarian Party.
    Better luck next time.

  17. I know Johnson’s major goal has been to get into the debates.

    What then? I mean, it’s not like the guy is an outstanding debater. In fact, it’s kind of his week point. Particularly with regard to presentation.

    1. I think the idea is that people would see him in the debates & think, this must be an important person, so maybe I’ll vote for him. Not that they’ll pay att’n to what he says any more than they do the other candidates.

  18. Could Reason writers and editors stop working from the position of “he can’t win the white house.” I mean, if that is going to be your default in every conversation about GJ, please just stop now and do not write further or do any more TV, etc. It may be unlikely but 3rd parties have won before and certainly garnered outsized support (see crazy Ross Perot). And… Trump. What were his chances last year? So please, at least shutup and give the guy a shot.

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