Gary Johnson

Listen to the Libertarians

Gary Johnson's refreshing perspective should be included in the presidential debates.

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The matchup between Hillary Clinton, one of the most uptight politicians ever, and Donald Trump, a loose-lipped lunatic who revels in saying whatever pops into his head, promises some entertaining presidential debates. But Americans who would like to see a clash of ideas as well as a clash of styles should hope the Libertarian nominee, former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson, gets the poll numbers he needs to appear on the stage with Clinton and Trump.

Johnson, a triathlete and mountain climber who founded a successful construction business before getting into politics and recently left a job as CEO of a cannabis company, is highly disciplined yet easygoing in a way that neither Clinton nor Trump can pull off. More important, as he showed in a CNN town hall last week, he challenges voters to question their assumptions about which political positions go together.

Clinton wants to ban (at least some) guns but defends abortion rights, while Trump wants to ban abortion but defends gun rights. Johnson and his running mate, former Massachusetts governor William Weld, want the government to respect abortion rights and gun rights.

"When it comes to choices in your own life," Johnson says, "you should be able to make those choices as long as you're not doing harm to others." That includes, for example, someone who "takes the edge off" at the end of the day with marijuana rather than alcohol. And when drug use causes problems, Johnson says, those are "health issues…not criminal justice issues."

The Libertarians' aversion to government meddling does not stop at the border. "We don't want to get involved in other countries' affairs," Johnson says. "We think that the interventions that have gone on have resulted in a less safe world."

Weld says he and Johnson would be "a pair of skeptics when people come and say, 'We should intervene here on the ground because these people are being mean to each other, and we can't stand that.'" He says arguments for war that are untethered to national security are "not going to sell as a matter of first impressions."

Clinton, by contrast, seems never to have met a military intervention she did not like. And while Trump says "we can't continue to be the policeman of the world," he nevertheless wants to boost military spending, which Johnson wants to cut.

At the same time, Clinton and Trump both view peaceful international exchanges with a suspicion the Libertarians do not share, seeing trade as something to be managed and massaged in the interest of fairness. Although "much of what goes on under the guise of free trade really is crony capitalism," Johnson says, the genuine article is mutually beneficial by definition. Weld is confident that "free trade is always going to benefit the United States."

The Libertarians' idea of free trade includes labor. While Trump wants to build a wall on the border with Mexico and promises to forcibly eject 11 million unauthorized immigrants, Johnson supports a liberalized work visa system that would facilitate rather than hinder the hiring of people from other countries.

Johnson thinks the same market forces that make international trade a win-win proposition can be used to improve education and health care, two parts of the economy that are dominated by government subsidies and regulations. Recognizing the distorting influence of the monstrous and mystifying Internal Revenue Code, he supports replacing the income tax with a national consumption tax.

Although many of these positions sound familiar, the Libertarian ticket is unique in espousing all of them, based on a consistent commitment to limited government and individual freedom. Johnson describes his message as "fiscally conservative" and "socially liberal," while Weld says "we want the government out of your pocketbook and out of your bedroom."

I'm not sure that's a winning combination, even in an election where the two major-party candidates are disliked by most voters. But it deserves a hearing.

© Copyright 2016 by Creators Syndicate Inc.

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105 responses to “Listen to the Libertarians

  1. “And when drug use causes problems, Johnson says, those are “health issues?not criminal justice issues.”

    Precisely per the party platform. Thank you, Jacob, for correcting your earlier error,. (which had the crazies bouncing off walls).

    1. Is this one of the libertarians we’re supposed to listen to?

      I’ll pass.

      1. Which part don’t you understand?

        1. What makes you think there’s something I don’t understand? That’s the kind of question I’d expect from a fuckwit. Or John.

          1. Which part don’t you understand, thug?

            Hint: The party platform and Sullum’s original version.
            You fucked up BIG time.

            1. I fucked up? Somehow? Good grief, you’re even more retarded than everyone else here gives you credit for. But I guess that’s what one should expect from a political ideologue, clearly you are the only smart/sane one in a room full of idiots.

              1. (laughing) You FUCKED UP because you had no idea about … anything … but you had a smart-ass comment anyhow … based on your ignorance. And now the cyber-bully is more obvious.

                (I am responding to aggression)

                1. *facepalm*

                  You’re even more retarded than I gave you credit for.

                  1. behold a thug

                    You’re even more retarded than I gave you credit for

                    (yawn More trash mouth from my stalker.

                    You made a smart-ass comment …. about a post you knew NOTHING about. Not a damn thing. Wnen I asked what confused you, I was being POLITE. I KNEW you were blowing smoke out your ass. (Logic 101) So then you go trash mouth bully …. continuing your aggression.

                    (Posted in defense from aggression by an obvious cyber-bully)

                    Will he continue stalking me? Probably, That’s what bullies do.

                    1. Jesus, you’re moronic.

                    2. What part of self-defense (from repeated aggression) confuses you?
                      Do you even know the difference between aggression and self-defense?
                      Or are you just another drive-by assassin?

    2. The very phrase that put a smile on my face while reading this article. This is exactly how it needs to be framed.

      People realize that those with a bad drug habit have problems. Those aren’t the kinds of problems that can be solved inside of a jail cell, and indeed the jail cell may exacerbate the issue. What public good does society get by turning an otherwise law-abiding citizen into a felon and forcing them to tick the box on job applications forever, limiting what they’re allowed to do? What good is there in taking the guy who was working a job and had little to no disposable income because it all went to his habit, throwing him in jail, and costing him his job and the respect of his community? What good is there in propping up a drug war that fills the pockets of criminal enterprise with cash?

      Finally, what good is there in propping up police departments that are much bigger than otherwise needed in order to respond to the drug war? If we want to see a reduction in police brutality cases, end the drug war. Police departments will naturally lose a massive revenue stream and have to cut back. They’ll cut problem officers first. People carry cash again without fear of its theft by “civil forfeiture.” No more SWAT teams that kick down your door at 5AM, murder the family dog in front of your children, and murder you because they came to the wrong address.

      This is insanity. It is a public health problem that the government creates a crime problem from.

      1. This is insanity. It is a public health problem that the government creates a crime problem from.

        Which has been Gary’s position for at least 10 years. And decriminalization is totally consistant with the Party Platform.

        1. decriminalization isn’t sufficient, it has to be legalization. decriminalization still leads the means of production in criminal hands.

          1. decriminalization still leads the means of production in criminal hands.

            How does that relate to the party platform?.

              1. (laughing) Read the party platform. Then wipe the drool from your chin.
                Section 1.7 https://www.lp.org/platform

                1. Oops, I forgot to add that my ridicule is a response to DOOMco’s aggression here..

                  https://reason.com/archives/201…..nt_6231355

                  Or I’d be civil as always, despite him missing the point. Non-aggression is a fundamental principle. But, sadly, thugs will be thugs,

      2. The abject failure and horrific consequences of the WOD should be sufficient reasons to end it. I was very disappointed with Johnsons answer to CNN’s “anguished mother” in the townhall. It’s such an easy argument to make but he was unable to make it. Instead he just did what every politician does and caved. Oh I wasn’t talking about the drug YOU’RE against.

        1. You must have misunderstood.

        2. It could turn into a nuanced and lengthy argument and there’s a lot of other ground to cover too. That kind of thing is best left to long-form articles in the press or a televised debate where the candidate is allowed time to make such a point free from interjections like that of Mrs. “anguished mother”, who won’t be swayed anyway.

          We need to unite behind the idea of moderation of what we can actually accomplish if we get our guy in. Too many have the principle that the good isn’t close enough to the perfect. We fall on our swords for that principle and let the duopoly have their way. It’s cat herding that needs to be done if we’re ever to be taken seriously.

          It is not a betrayal of your principles and your convictions to take small, measured steps to achieve them. We need to think like demolitionists. Start with little parts of the edifice that are most demonstrably bad, drill the columns and put in small amounts of explosives. Get people to safety so that they aren’t trapped in the rubble of bad government falling around them and have a reconstruction plan for something that works ready. Do that successfully for long enough and we may live to see bigger parts brought down. Get the public to cheer at each press the button. Freedom surely does work, but bureaucracy and strangling red tape is all that anyone alive today has ever known. If we want to work within the system, we need to prove the case for liberty, and it’s going to be a tough row to hoe.

          1. Yep. That’s how I got elected twice and won a tax revolt. You’re a welcome voice.
            Too many libertarians … given the choice between two candidates — one who can achieve a 1% reduction in government — the other a bullshitter who threw some numbers into a spreadsheet and says he’ll cut spending by 50% with no chance of passing … those libertarians pick the second one every time …. wait for it …. ON PRINCIPLE

            They’re among the biggest suckers in America. They keep falling for the same con, over and over and over again. On principle! The militant self-righteous

        3. Oh I wasn’t talking about the drug YOU’RE against.

          He’s held that position for at least 10 years. Identical. Maybe a few details change. Legalize pot. End the War on Drugs by treating all the “hard” drugs as a health and/or medical issue.

          He described how Vancouver does it, which I’d seen living in Winnipeg. Some dangerous pot was in town. The city and county went on radio and TV. Told the users, YOU are more important than the law. Bring your stash in. We’ll test it for you. And you can go on your way, with the pot (if it’s clean). You will not be hassled, YOU are more important. That was in the early 70s. That’s how it’s done, Vancouver does it as the norm.

          That’s not enough for the snarling ant-gummint libs. Which is more important to them, people or theories? Imgine a government more compassionate than (some) libs. (gasp) FACT.

        4. The abject failure and horrific consequences of the WOD should be sufficient reasons to end it

          When you become emperor …

          it’s such an easy argument to make

          (shudder)

    3. Hi. Can you explain why a consumption tax is preferable to an income tax?

      1. It’s even wackier than the flat tax … both of which are “yuge” tax cuts for the wealthy.

        With the consumption tax, wealthy folks consume a tiny part of their income, so they’d be taxed a lower rate on fewer dollars. The rich subsidize roughly half 40% the entire share of taxes for the core middle class ($40,000-100,000 AGI). So if the middle-class subsidy disappears, there’s obviously a MASSIVE tax increase on the middle class, (over 60%)

        The current average tax rate for that $40-100k cohort is …. 8.8%
        If you mean the “Fair” Tax, that’s a 30% sales tax, So we punish consumption instead of investment …. meaning punish the middle class.

        With government so huge, NO single tax, on income or consumption avoids huge distortions in the market,

        1. wealthy folks consume a tiny part of their income

          Wealth and income are not the same thing.

          1. No shit!

            Do you deny that the Fair Tax is a massive tax cut for the rich — a lower rate AND of fewer dollars? If the rich are no longer subsidizing 40% of the middle-class tax burden, what happens to middle-class taxes? This is NOT rocket science.

            Do you deny the Fair Tax is actually a 30% sales tax, versus the current average tax of 8.8% I cited?

            Here’s a takedown of the Fair Tax from those progressives at … Forbes.
            http://www.forbes.com/sites/beltway/2…..41184159b8

            Any questions?

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  2. Trump is quoting Ron Paul when he says we can’t be the “policeman of the world,” and as you show, not sincere. Ron Paul, of course, was quoting Martin Luther King. Trump is not the only one who has been coached in mimicking Ron Paul in hopes of getting the same ardent support. It’s just that when they try it we don’t believe them. Dr. Paul reported that a number of people kept asking him how he inspired support (he said it wasn’t him, it was the message), and those people have gone on to coach other politicians. I’ve even seen advertisors try to borrow the language. As soon as I hear a politician sound like Ron Paul, I question his sincerity. Ronald Reagan wasn’t the only one with good speech-writers.
    On the other hand, Gary Johnson actually has a record of balancing budgets, and vetoing bills that are too long and complicated, so there is hope.

    1. If a Paul or an Amash or a Massie isn’t on my ballot, I’m gonna write in Patrick Henry or Thomas Jefferson, like I have for the past 3 presidential elections.

      GayJay is not up to those standards. Not even close.

      1. With your standards it sounds like you’ll never vote for a living person again. Johnson isn’t perfect, but he’s an order of magnitude better than anyone else who will be on the ballot. And if he has some success that will show other, even better, libertarian candidates that the country really is moving in that direction.

      2. I’ll vote for Gary Johnson. He’s not nearly as libertarian as Ron Paul or Michael Badnarik, but he’s miles ahead of Trump or Clinton, and he could well have a chance to win if people give him a chance. It’s the same reason I voted for Ross Perot — he was no libertarian, but he was by far the best choice that had any kind of a chance.

    2. Ronald Reagan wasn’t the only one with good speech-writers.

      Our first libertarian President achieved a lot more than speeches. He’d have accomplished a lot more if his own party hadn’t sabotaged the Grace Commission spending cuts, which would have saved $10 trillion by now, His New Federalism was both program transfers and consolidation. Congress sabotaged it by offering to shift the responsibility to states but keep the lower federal spending to themselves. These are why Reagan began talking about a Line Item Veto … initially against his own party.

      This was after a tax policy which created the longest boom in that century, despite inheriting an economy FAR worse than Obama’s, which voters don’t know (the economy)

      1. Thomas Jefferson was our first (and last) libertarian president. He eliminated all internal taxes and balanced the budget. Reagan took the national debt over one trillion dollars with a huge military buildup.

        1. You must be a progressive. Look again at the Grace Commission,

  3. Johnson will not be included in the debates and that might be a good thing. His CNN performance was a disheveled mess and he seems to lack both charisma and the courage of his convictions. It was so bad it may have actually been counterproductive. He refuses to prep (if he actually did prep the guy who handled it should be fired) and he does a shabby job presenting himself and the libertarian philosophy and values. The two major party psychopaths would chew him up and spit him out like a stick of gum, a stammering and discombobulated stick of gum.

    1. So he’s not a big enough asshole for the anti-gummint libertarians … MAYBE 2% of the electorate Who needs them?
      He should focus on the 59% of the electorate who are “Nolan libertarians” (fiscally conservative and socially liberal, per Cato) Instead of violently jacking off in some ivory tower.

      Ignore the losers, Gary. They’ve never done squat, and they’re too few to even think about.

      1. If you’re looking for someone who can’t articulate his own message, whatever that may be, he’s your man. And you calling someone an asshole without a sense of irony? That’s rich.

        1. So he’s not a big enough asshole for the anti-gummint libertarians … MAYBE 2% of the electorate Who needs them?

          He should focus on the 59% of the electorate who are “Nolan libertarians” (fiscally conservative and socially liberal, per Cato) Instead of violently jacking off in some ivory tower.

          Ignore the losers, Gary. They’ve never done squat, and they’re too few to even think about.

          Don’t forget that the libertarians brand is rejected by 91% of libertarians Also per Cato,

          That’s not irony, it’s elementary school math. Why worry about anyone that your target voters despise? Also elementary logic.

          1. For some reason I find that 59 percent you so obsessively quote to be just a tad suspect.

            1. I suspect the numbers may be humiliating. Scroll down 2/3 to “How libertarians see themselves.”
              http://www.cato.org/policy-rep…..-2004-2006

              “In our Zogby survey we found that only 9 percent of voters with libertarian views identify themselves that way.

              91% of voters with libertarian views reject the libertarian brand.

              ” Voters we identified as libertarian identified themselves this way: “Would you describe yourself as fiscally conservative and socially liberal?” We asked the other half of the respondents, “Would you describe yourself as fiscally conservative and socially liberal, also known as libertarian?”

              …. Fully 59 percent of the respondents said “yes” to the first question. …. they would describe themselves as “fiscally conservative and socially liberal.”

              “The addition of the word “libertarian” clearly made the question more challenging. … A robust 44 percent of respondents answered “yes” to that question…

              Robust? (lol) That’s a 25% dropoff — voters who identify as fiscally conservative and socially liberal … UNLESS it’s also libertarian.

              Libertarian alone was selected by 5.3% of the voter (9% x 59%),the Brand Preference angle.
              In marketing terms, the libertarian brand is “toxic.” (detracts from the product) Ergo, should Gary focus on the 59% or a PORTION of the 5.3% — especially when they’re polar opposites?.

              1. In all fairness, I have big problems with the “fiscally conservative, socially liberal” = “libertarian” assumption.
                Bloomberg was (at least for a NY city mayor) fiscally conservative, socially liberal. Hardly a libertarian.
                Some people think fiscally conservative means that the govt shouldn’t spend more than it takes in. But while that is a necessary condition, it is not sufficient. As long as taxes are keeping pace with spending, they are ok with that. Nothing about what whole things should the govt be spending money on.
                And socially liberal is a joke. Gun control is a socially liberal position. Funding Head Start programs is socially liberal. Giving minority applicants preferential treatment is a socially liberal position. Abortion on demand at 36 weeks is a socially liberal position. Kelo was decided by SCOTUS “liberals”.

                1. In all fairness, I have big problems with the “fiscally conservative, socially liberal” = “libertarian” assumption

                  It’s not an assumption. It dates to 1969, by the founder of the libertarian party, also the World’s Smallest Political Quiz for at least 30 years
                  ,

                  Bloomberg was (at least for a NY city mayor) fiscally conservative, socially liberal.

                  Soda taxes are fiscally conservative? His contempt for the second amendment is socially liberal?

                  Abortion on demand at 36 weeks is a socially liberal position.

                  You’re no libertarian either, since the Party platform until recently was abortion at any time, no restrictions. I tried to change that on the Platform Committee for a few conventions and failed, All I wanted was an attempted live birth if the fetus is viable.

                  Kelo was decided by SCOTUS “liberals”.

                  Were they fiscally conservative? Your hatred of liberals may have biased your judgment, which is common
                  .
                  Fiscally conservative and socially liberal are both examples of limiting government.
                  An old slogan is Democrats want government out of your bedroom and into your wallet. Republicans want government out of your wallet and into your bedroom. Those are stereotypes , but both are also examples of abusive government. Government either defends individual liberties or imposes one set of values by force

              2. Unlike Hihn, most of us here don’t care what libertarians thought of themselves ten years ago, let alone post obsessively about it.

                1. Unlike Hihn, most of us here don’t care what libertarians thought of themselves ten years ago, let alone post obsessively about it

                  The facts piss you off, and that’s your best excuse?
                  And most of us “here” is hardly representative of libertarians overall.

                  1. The facts piss you off, and that’s your best excuse?

                    An irrelevant fact from a decade ago cannot piss me off. That would necessarily suggest that I consider the fact more than irrelevant, which, as I implied in the previous sentence, I do not.

                    1. Hardly irrelevant. If you were informed you’d know the number has likely increased by the growing acceptance of so-called libertarian ideas … and you’d know who caused it!

                      If it didn’t piss you off then you wouldn;t have thrown a hissy fit, combined with the ;laughable notion that it’s irrelevant. It’s what the libertarians “here” care about which is irrelevant, for the reason stated.

            2. Don’t feed the trolls. Block the trolls.

              1. Reality is SO inconvenient.

          2. So he’s not a big enough asshole for the anti-gummint libertarians

            I’m fine with a moderate libertarian approach as a way to expand the message. But he really, really needs to practice his deliver and stage presence, and he needs to have better answers to obvious questions prepared. Debates are more about style than substance, and his style was not good on CNN. And as a result, it hurt the substance of his arguments.

            1. he really did stumble horribly on what was probably the most predictable question.

            2. Couldn’t agree more. Johnson even stumbled on answering the question about what specific libertarian actions he took as Governor. A question which Bill Weld handled with relative ease despite the fact that he’s considered “less libertarian” than Johnson. Johnson should’ve knocked that question out of the park.

              What he should of said: “I issued over 700 vetoes to bills from the legislature that would’ve either increased state spending, made government more intrusive, or done nothing to benefit the tax payers of New Mexico beyond making a few politicians look good. I fully intend to bring that same defense against fiscal insanity and government intrusion to Washington.”

              Concise and clear while connecting back to his message of being “fiscally conservative and socially liberal.”

              As you said being impure is not the issue. Being unable to present a clear and concise strong message is the issue, and the only way he can do that is by actually doing some “preparation” before he makes these sort of appearances.

              Also while the chemistry between Johnson and Weld was great, there were several times where Johnson appeared to be using Weld as crutch. The American people want a leader who looks strong and ready. Johnson was definitely not giving off a “strong and ready” image in this town hall.

              1. Couldn’t agree more. Johnson even stumbled on answering the question about what specific libertarian actions he took as Governor.

                There was no such question.

                http://cnnpressroom.blogs.cnn……ris-cuomo/

                A question which Bill Weld handled with relative ease

                There was no such question.

                1. Yes there was: “CUOMO: Molly Smith, student at NYU, hasn’t decided who she’s going to vote for yet, has a question.

                  QUESTION: Hi. Similarly to Donald Trump’s recent identification as a Republican, you both have only recently formally identified yourselves as Libertarian. Can you tell us what you have done specifically while you’ve been in office that has been consistent with Libertarian ideals?

                  JOHNSON: I’d like to think that it was everything in office. You know, being fiscally conservative, over the top, and always standing up for choice, always coming down on the side of choice.

                  QUESTION: Can you be more specific?”

                  From your link.

                  1. “WELD: In office, in my case, even though I was then a Republican and not a Libertarian, I cut the state budget 14 percent my first two months in office. I was voted the most fiscally conservative governor in the United States by the Wall Street Journal in 1992….”

                    To be fair, Johnson eventually did bring up his vetoes: “I may have vetoed more legislation than the other 49 governors in the country combined”

                    This should’ve been the very first thing out of his mouth in response to that question instead of, “I like to think it was everything office.” His inability to be clear and concise showed his lack of preparation.

                    1. WELD: In office, in my case

                      That’s two dishonest quotes. Will you go for three?

                      This should’ve been the very first thing out of his mouth in response to that question instead of, “I like to think it was everything office”

                      Shame on you.

                  2. Sorry, I gamed you. Here;s what he REALLY said — which you omitted:

                    JOHNSON: Well, I maybe was more outspoken than any governor in the country regarding school choice. Really, I think that we should bring competition to public education. I would like to get the federal government out of education, allowing state dollars to be spent in those states as opposed to making a detour in Washington where you send money 13 cents to Washington and it come back 11 cents and then it come back with mandates. The war on drugs. Look, we have tens of millions of Americans in this country who are convicted felons that but for our drug laws would otherwise be tax-paying, law-abiding citizens.

                    And his audience is not 2% of the voters.

                    1. “That’s two dishonest quotes. Will you go for three?”

                      Except he started off with: ” I’d like to think that it was everything in office. You know, being fiscally conservative, over the top, and always standing up for choice, always coming down on the side of choice.”

                      So I’m not sure how this is dishonest. You’re just being sort of a dick here.

                      she asked him what he specifically did while in office. In the quote your referencing

                      “Well, I maybe was more outspoken than any governor in the country regarding school choice…”

                      While he certainly advocated for it he was unable to get it passed: https://reason.com/blog/2016/06…..-johnson-w

                      “Ultimately, Johnson was unsuccessful. There are still no private school choice programs in New Mexico to this day.”

                      I’m not sure how citing a failed attempt at passing policy is better than citing his successful block of over 700 pieces of bad legislation. One makes him look weak the other makes him look strong. Certainly his “successes” should be the first thing out of his mouth not “everything I did in officer” or policy he didn’t get passed the legislature.

                      I would argue that vetoing bad legislation which would’ve increased spending or made the government more intrusive has wide appeal beyond just the “2%” you cite.

                      Shame on you for suggesting otherwise.

                    2. “That’s two dishonest quotes. Will you go for three?”

                      Except he started off with: ” I’d like to think that it was everything in office. You know, being fiscally conservative, over the top, and always standing up for choice, always coming down on the side of choice.”

                      (yawn) You hid all the good stuff and the proof is in this thread

                      So I’, not sure how this is dishonest. You’re just being sort of a dick here.

                      Umm, the LENGTHY words I posted are immediately after what you did post to support your attack. The very next sentence. Here Again

                      While he certainly advocated for it he was unable to get it passed:

                      WHAT? ARE YOU SERIOUS??? YOU BLAME HIM FOR THAT?
                      (puke)

              2. “Also while the chemistry between Johnson and Weld was great, there were several times where Johnson appeared to be using Weld as crutch. ”

                i completely agree. it was odd to see the guy i mostly wanted, being so reliant on the guy i did not.

                1. Weld would have been a much better general election independent presidential candidate than Johnson. But he would never have won the LP nomination on his own.

                  1. So many folks here seem to have missed the strategy. Johnson and Weld are intentionally running as a team. and say they’ll govern as a team. That sounded wacky at first, but it does more sharply compare the lack of experience by Hillary and Donald.

                2. Apparently, many believe that was a debate. So they judge it by the wrong standard.

          3. Honestly for me, it’s really just his delivery. No candidate is going to be perfect, but he’s the most libertarian one by a country mile.

          4. Don’t forget that the libertarians brand is rejected by 91% of libertarians

            There’s no way anyone could possibly forget it when you post it in every stinking thread.

            1. Only when relevant to the context. And learn how visitors go through a comments page.

    2. That is a good thing for libertarians. I don’t want to be embarrassed by this guy. We don’t have much to worry about, he’s polling at 8%.

      1. And he doesn’t want to be embarrassed by you.

    3. Johnson isn’t a great debater, but just being on the stage with Trump and Clinton will legitimize him in the eyes of voters. He may not come across as presidential, but he’s well qualified, and not crazy or phony like the Demopublican choices.

      1. Johnson isn’t a great debater

        How would you know? You didn’t assume that was a debate, did you?

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  5. Americans who would like to see a clash of ideas as well as a clash of styles

    Hen’s teeth.

  6. hope the Libertarian nominee, former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson, gets the poll numbers he needs to appear on the stage with Clinton and Trump

    He needs to up his debate game a lot if he wants to avoid being eaten alive by Trump and Clinton. And that may not be a metaphor.

    1. He’s never going to debate Clinton or Trump. So it won’t happen.

      1. You mean Clinton and Trump will never debate him. Big difference.

      2. Yeah, getting from 10 percent to 15 percent is an insurmountable challenge when your opponents are hated and ridiculous.

  7. He is not my kind of libertarian.

    1. Thank God, said the atheist,

    2. Thank God, said the atheist,

  8. Absolutely. And Jill Stein as well.

    1. I’d love to see a 4-way debate. It would be interesting to see how Trump and Clinton respond to being simultaneously attacked from the progressive left POV and the libertarian POV. Actually, I know exactly how they’ll respond. They’ll ignore the points that Johnson and Stein make. They’ll attack Johnson and Stein as being “unserious” and “fringe”. And then they’ll repeat their frivolous talking-point rhetoric.

      1. Yeah, but maybe that would help wake up some of the general public.

        Oh, who am I kidding, we should all be ready to say “Hail Hydra”.

      2. I’m fine with Stein being included. A 1% debate threshold is fine for the primaries, why not the general election?

    2. I fully agree. I don’t agree with Everything Jill Stein says (68% according to isidewith; GayJay was 89%; the highest was Darryl Perry at 95%), but she too deserves to be included in the debates.

      Screw the Dem/Rep duopoly.

  9. *strolls into thread*

    Hey guys, what’s-

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    1. Watch out for the screen door. It closes fast.

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  11. Getting reason to mention the words “Constitution Party” or “Darrell Castle” is going to be as difficult as getting Margaret Dumont to use the word “penis.”

  12. Well said. Johnson is a bit of a lackluster libertarian, but he is still miles better than Hillary and Trump, and certainly deserves to be in the debates.

  13. We should be hoping for the CPD to be abolished and for the League of Women Voters, or the networks, to take the debates back, and establish common sense inclusion criteria. If 1% is good enough in the primaries to exclude the whackos, 1% should be good enough in the general election. 11 candidates isn’t too many in the primaries, but 3 is too many in the general?

  14. We know that either Trump or Clinton will be the next president. The best we can hope for is to get the libertarian message out to the broadest number of people in a way that shows them that liberty is always the best route. Are Johnson/Weld the best guys for that job. Hell no. But they’re what we have and as such I will support them. They are hands down winners on the issues compared to the competition. They’re just not the best salesman.

    1. We don’t know that. No votes have been cast. Recent history shows that American voters are most likely to stay home on election day, and second most likely to elect a Republican or a Democrat, but Trump has never run against Clinton before. Anything can happen.

  15. “When it comes to choices in your own life,” Johnson says, “you should be able to make those choices as long as you’re not doing harm to others.””

    Abortion doesn’t fit this. You are harming someone else. In fact taking their life.

    1. Abortion doesn’t fit this. You are harming someone else. In fact taking their life.

      Not if you know the definition of “unalienable.”

    2. Until the LAW (no you, me, or a physiology professor) decides when life starts . . . the woman carrying the “thing” should be able to make the call.

  16. Johnson’s perspective isn’t “refreshing” . . . it’s terrifying to big government zealots, and like particle physics to an ignorant electorate.

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  18. As far as I’m concerned, Gary Johnson forfeited his right to call himself a Libertarian when he endorsed keeping drugs other than marijuana illegal.

    1. PLEASE stop disgracing the libertarian brand in public.
      He’s not a 12-year-old boy pointing to his dick. He’s a Presidential candidate, replying to a grieving mother.
      Read the party platform. Learn what decriminalization means. Then learn what he described in Vancouver and what Weld described in Massachusetts.

      Then stop being a major threat to individual liberty,

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