Gary Johnson

The Uphill Fight of Republicans for Johnson/Weld

On CNN, Liz Mair of new pro-Libertarian group for Republicans hits conservative doubts on Johnson/Weld's stances on abortion, discrimination based on religious beliefs, and even their fiscal record. She calls the Libertarian Party's standardbearer a "small-l libertarian."

|

Matt Welch noted this morning the launch of a new group "Republicans for Johnson/Weld." He also reported the curious and doubtless frustrating to the campaign fact that self-styled conservatives are far more likely in a CNN/ORC poll to support Hillary Clinton (21-8) over the Libertarian ticket for president.

This morning, Liz Mair appeared on a panel on CNN speaking for that group, in advance of tonight's second CNN "town hall" featuring Gary Johnson and William Weld. The appearance, and the reactions of fellow panelists, were an interesting cross section of the fight the campaign faces winning Republican or conservative votes.

Interestingly, Mair wanted to emphasis how not extremely libertarian the team she supported was, and in a terrible irony used the very phrase that movement libertarians who are not affiliated with the Libertarian Party have in the past used to distinguish themselves to refer to Johnson himself.

He's not "hardcore," he's a "small-l libertarian," she said, even though he is in fact the presidential standardbearer of "big-L Libertarians" in the traditional movement usage: actual members of the Libertarian Party.

Mair did give a great basic TV soundbite pitch for Johnson/Weld though, pointing out they are the only real choice for small and affordable government, that they had no ethical issues haunting them, and had both good government executive and, in Johnson, successful business experience.

KellyAnne Conway, Trump representative, poo-poohed, without details, their actual fiscal conservative cred. (Deeper dives from earlier reporting on both Johnson and Weld's fiscal record.) Mair defended them by referring to their relatively high grades as governors from the Cato Institute in their day, and noting they faced Democratic legislatures and obviously as governors they had merely influence and not ultimate power over their states' fiscal realities.

Matt Lewis, a conservative commentator, gave a longer and more educated bill of attacks on Johnson/Weld from the right. He criticized them for their pro-abortion beliefs and Johnson's lack of belief in many cases in religious liberty as a proper legal excuse for certain forms of discrimination. From what I've seen in the world of internet chatter, the latter is definitely the point on which people of alleged small-government principles dying for a reason to stick with Trump are making their stand.

Errol Louis, also on the panel, reminded viewers of the truth, that Johnson/Weld might well be drawing more support that would otherwise be Clinton than from Trump. Framing the Libertarian campaign, then, as mostly a fight for disgruntled Republicans might be too narrow a way to look at it. From how Johnson and Weld mostly sell themselves, it seems they agree that the Democratic wing is as if not more rich territory for them than GOP nevertrumpers.

NEXT: New Gay-Friendly GOP Targets LGBTQ Voters With Fabulousness, Fearmongering, While Democrats Embrace Hillary Clinton, Transgender Movement

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. Small “l” libertarian is 1,000 times more libertarian than Trump or Hillary. Sounds like a great start.

    1. Seriously. I don’t see how anybody can think those two are better than Johnson. All of Johnson’s flaws are minuscule compared to theirs. Also, if Hillary is destined to win, let’s try to keep her to the lowest vote total possible. I’d love to see the winner get under 40% of the popular vote this year. Turnout is already going to be at historic lows.

      1. Miniscule? I agree that Johnson is better, but his flaws are far from miniscule.

        1. …compared to theirs

          Key words

    2. This.

      I don’t mesh 100% with Johnson but it’s still better than Trump or Clinton. I’ll also admit I’m a bit more pragmatic than some. Start small selling libertarian ideas to others. Swing for the fences and you’ll miss. If you start counting at FDR and the Progressive Era, then it took about a hundred years to get to this mess. I’d rather it not take a hundred more to scale back but I’m grounded enough to understand it could take time.

      ….or say fuck it and burn it all to the ground ?\_(?)_/? what do I know?

      1. Absolutely.

        People have to be weened off the progressive gunk that’s embedded deeply in the psyche.

        1. Only a calamity will make that happen. Luckily for the calamitists, the proggies are largely in control of the political establishment, the mass media and cultural establishments as well as our university system.

          So there’s really no question that leftisms will swarm over the land in their multitude and eat every last bit of wealth of and liberty until there is a calamity. It’s mathematically, logically and historically guaranteed that some large amount of shit is going to hit a very large fan in the relatively near future.

          1. I’m of the opinion progessivism, when all is said and done, will have destroyed Western civilization by poisoning minds. This shit we see on campuses? That stuff ain’t gonna purge itself. I’m afraid it will have to collapse before it picks up again when bright and genius minds will be allowed to prosper again. Too many idiots in a position of power at the moment.

            1. I’m of the opinion progessivism, when all is said and done, will have destroyed Western civilization by poisoning minds. This shit we see on campuses? That stuff ain’t gonna purge itself.

              Exactly. Not enough people see the PC culture war as the existential threat that it is. “Oh an Ivy League school is dropping old white men from it’s from it’s classical English literature courses? They’re just being silly! Nothing to get excited about.”

              1. This is exactly the wrong way to think about it. It’s not a sign that the do-nothings of America are about to actually do something and take over everything, it’s just the most recent and biggest sign that American universities as we know them are dying. Their enrollment will drop, the people they churn out will be worthless, and alternative educational institutions will pop up in their place. It will by no means be an easy or painless transition, but these fools won’t “change the world” any more than the hippy movement did.

                1. What’s PC now, is conventional wisdom tomorrow.

                  1. What’s PC now, is conventional wisdom tomorrow.

                    I think that was true some time ago, but SJWs have started taking that for granted and think that any dumb-ass thing they’re latched onto now must be “the Right Side of History.”

                    I may be fantasizing, but I think they are no longer the vanguard – they are having the last moment before they become the butt of universal jokes for a long time to come.

                2. Well, will the freemen revolution be wiped out affirmatively by the powers-that-be, or will it wimp out all on its own like the hippie movement did.

                  Or better than all that, will it succeed as the rising force of furious disenfranchised people begin to recognize where the problem actually is — in the ever more-so rapacious policies, taxation and government that sucks them dry while telling them they healthy for losing weight?

                  I wrote an article on this topic a few years ago:

                  The Libertarian Freeman, on NolanChart.com
                  http://tinyurl.com/no26zmv

                3. “Their enrollment will drop, the people they churn out will be worthless, and alternative educational institutions will pop up in their place.”

                  I disagree strongly. Their enrollment will increase via government subsidies. The degrees will be worthless, but alternative educational institutions will be blocked from getting government subsidies and beset with strangling regulatory tape.

                  1. thats why the government took over student loans to make sure only approved schools are allowed. Also if Americans quite going to universities there are plenty of foreigners who would love to fill those spots and they pay more.

            2. That stuff ain’t gonna purge itself

              Didn’t you hear? They’re not having sex. By the time the next generation has grown up a bit, they’ll be massively outnumbered (more than they already are). And they’ll never make it in the real world as they are, government “help” notwithstanding.

              1. Demographically insignificant, eh?

                1. I didn’t say that, I said they’re outnumbered, and they’ll be more outnumbered with the ascendance of the next generation.

              2. And they’ll never make it in the real world as they are, government “help” notwithstanding.

                The little shits will be the bureaucrats who write the rules the rest of us have to live under.

      2. progs always make “progress” because they know how to use incrementalism.

        1. they know how to use excrementalism, too

          See next post for proof.

      3. Is the mess you’re referring to the fact that FDR’s social welfare state proved you guys wrong about everything?

        1. I swear, Tony citing FDR’s presidency, which completely falsifies proggie hypotheses about how economies work, as confirming them never gets old.

          He reminds me of the peasants in Monty Python’s Holy Grail trying to explain why they think that girl is a witch.

        2. How’s that unsustainable “pay as you go” Social Security model looking these days?

          1. Like one of the most successful acts of collective action ever achieved by humanity, easily tweaked to function in perpetuity?

            1. Just print more money! See? Easy. Government budgets are magic, anyway.

            2. /face palm.

              1. Sorry if the facts are inconvenient for your worldview, but grown-ups are only too eager to alter the latter when necessary.

            3. “Easily”

              Read a Social Security trustee report lately?

              1. So you guys are hanging an anti-collectivist worldview on the “failure” of social security only paying full benefits until 2034 absent some minor change to the payroll tax or income cap? Pshh, that’s barely even a century of achieving and maintaining the biggest elimination of poverty in history!

                The perversity and the childishness of your worldview is that it requires you to pretend that SS is a failure despite the fact that you have eyes and brains. Why would you even want to hang onto a worldview that requires you to deny basic reality so regularly? What’s the intellectual appeal? I mean–other than it’s so simple a monkey toddler can get it.

                1. Social security is the third rail of politics because it’s awesome!

                2. Elimination of poverty? SS doesn’t pay that much. My grandmother was reliant on it before she died. Her house and car were paid off. She lived alone and practically never left the house. Still couldn’t live on it. Parents still had to support her.

                  And just how “minor” is this change to the second largest source of the federal government’s revenue? You know, the part that forcibly takes money directly out of everyone’s paycheck.

                  1. So you’re saying your grandma would have been better off without it?

                    1. Taking the extra 6+% of every paycheck into account along with the time value of money, yes, there’s a very good argument that she would’ve had more money of her own if she hadn’t had to pay SS tax her whole life just to get some miserable pittance she couldn’t live on in the best of circumstances.

                    2. So would yours. It’s a provable fact.

                      Unless your Grandma is a moron.

                    3. Many grandmas are morons. Do morons deserve to starve to death in old age?

                    4. You seem to be glossing over the points that payroll tax is not “minor” and that compounding interest on the extra 6+% of income would actually equal more money to spend on not starving.

                    5. and you’re missing the 6+% that the employer is forced to pay, so it’s really an extra 13% of income available for compounding

                    6. Baby steps.

                    7. Elder Peterson: “Hello, Tony’s Grandma, you’re a Moron, but we’re the Mormons! You want to eat? We have the food for you! You can be a Moron and you don’t even need to be a Mormon, but yes, we will feed you!”

                      Next question?

                    8. It wasn’t what he said.

                3. the biggest elimination of poverty in history

                  The biggest elimination of poverty in history was China moving away from a state-managed economy and toward free markets over the last 20 years.

                  Social Security in now way eliminates poverty and never has. I don’t even know how you can make that claim.

                  You might claim that it helps some old people not literally starve to death. But to say that someone living only on SS is not living in poverty is either dumb or dishonest.

            4. BWWAAAAHAHAHAHHAHAHA!!11!!!!!!!!!!!

              *inhapes sharply*

              BWAAAAAHAHAHHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAA!!!!!11!!!

              Oh man, that was a good one! I laughed that hard in long, long time.

              1. *…haven’t laughed…*

                I laughed so hard I forgot how to type.

        3. Oh, is that the one that came along around the time our long-term annual economic growth rate started to decline? That one?

      4. Nah, swing for the fences for liberty. Sell the whole shebang.

        But still vote for Johnson, even though he’s not of that ilk.
        Clinton and Trump don’t deserve any votes.

    3. So the Lesser of Two Evils is the lesser of three evils

    4. Better than SMOD? Oh, I think not

    5. 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… http://www.trends88.com

  2. I don’t wanna get all starry-eyed over a Johnson upset, but it would be nice if the Johnson campaign, in conjunction with the L party did a full-court press for disaffected Republican voters.

    Not sure if they could do the same thing for Democrats– I admit some bias against democrats in that I wrote them off years ago. But it seems like an opportunity that might work as opposed to just making a simple, broad-based vote-for-me appeal.

    1. “a full-court press for disaffected Republican voters”

      Here’s how it might go:

      “Look, you troglodytes, even though you’re too stupid to realize what a great kid Hillary is, and even though you’re a bunch of bigots clinging to your religion, I hope that even people with your low IQs would realize what a wonderful Supreme Court justice Breyer is and why we need more like him.”

      1. ” . . .. you stupid Mormons”. You forgot that part

        1. “… now go bake me a Gay Jay cake!”

  3. Matt Lewis, a conservative commentator, gave a longer and more educated bill of attacks on Johnson/Weld from the right, including their pro-abortion beliefs and Johnson’s lack of belief in many cases in religious liberty as a proper legal excuse for certain forms of discrimination. From what I’ve seen in the world of internet chatter, the latter is definitely the point on which people of alleged small-government principles dying for a reason to stick with Trump are making their stand.

    That seems like an odd hill to die on, but I guess conservatives are more comfortable fighting a war they lost 50 years ago.

    1. Freedom of association is not a war that was lost 50 years ago.

      1. Public accommodations laws are

        1. There are individuals and businesses that give public accommodation laws double barreled middle fingers every day of the week. Sure, they may be acting in violation of the coerced association regime, but they, nonetheless, choose liberty and think that is more important than paying homage to diversity, multiculturalism, etc.

          1. I mean it’s fine for individual business owners to spend their time and money tilting at that particular windmill, but it seems like a weird basis on which to vote for a presidential candidate since the president will expend zero effort to change those laws regardless of who ends up getting elected.

            1. It’s like voting for someone who promises to increase the income tax, because “the issue of the income tax was settled a century ago and there’s no point fighting over how high the tax would be.”

              Johnson wants to expand the number of protected classes under federal law and his proposed religious exemption would apply only to religious *institutions,* not to religious individuals.

              It’s one thing to say, “oh, well, Congress and the courts would never go along with *that,* so there’s no harm in voting for Johnson!” (Although actually, there’s a good chance they *would* go for it).

              But it’s another thing to say the issue is so trivial it’s not worth bothering with.

              1. It’s actually not like the tax thing at all because if you accept the base logic of the income tax you can make arguments that the rate should be higher or lower based on a number of different factors. if you accept the base logic of nondiscrimination in public accommodation, then there’s no reason not to include sexual orientation as a category when every other identifier category is already covered.

                And the issue is really trivial compared to actual problems like the bombs America is dropping on people in other countries or the people who are being gunned down with impunity by cops every day or massive unfunded entitlement liabilities or economic turmoil which is creating a disgruntled underclass.

                1. “if you accept the base logic of the income tax you can make arguments that the rate should be higher or lower based on a number of different factors.”

                  And if you accept the base logic of the Civil Rights Act, you can make arguments that the number of protected classes should be higher or lower based on a number of different factors.

                  I suppose if Johnson were totally pro-freedom on every issue except this silly Sky-Daddy thing, then you could say the matter was “trivial.”

                  But, unsurprisingly, when you scratch a candidate who wants to gut the First Amendment and freedom of association, you find a candidate who wants to violate liberty in other ways, too.

                  It’s like bringing a canary into the coalmine, and it dies, and you say, “well, good thing I’m not a canary, otherwise I might be worried!”

            2. Well, you seem to be ignoring the courts, and their role in this.

              The president will make appointments. The appointments will rule on MANY cases related to public accommodations. You can’t ignore that, or pretend it doesn’t matter.

              1. You can’t ignore that, or pretend it doesn’t matter

                Yeah well you just watch

              2. You can’t ignore that, or pretend it doesn’t matter.

                Yeah huh!

              3. Apart from your assumption of bad faith on my part, that’s actually a good point. But I’m not convinced that enough SCOTUS geezers are going to kick it over the next four years, or that the next president will be able to get an ideological enough appointee confirmed that will tip the balance against a law that has already been held up pretty much every time it appears before the court.

                1. SCOTUS is just one court, and I was talking about the entirety of the federal system, including bureaucrats such as the NLRB, who make legally binding rulings.

                  Scores of people deal with public accommodation laws every single day.

        2. Hugh Akston|8.3.16 @ 1:54PM| block | mute | #

          Public accommodations laws are

          So you think there’s no reason to object to how Title IX is being used, then?

          1. Adding sexual orientation to a well-established public accommodations law is a different thing from interpreting a law about gender parity to say something about rape that is literally nowhere in the text.

            1. You said Public accommodations laws are a war that was lost (i.e. not worth fighting)

              Title IX is a public accommodation law.

              You’re saying, “totally different”, but that doesn’t say whether your original statement is wrong or needs amending.

              Do you mean, “Some public accomodations laws are no longer worth challenging”? Because…. why?

              And – for the record, the “well-established CRA” has “sexual orientation” literally nowhere in the text., just in the same way that Title IX has “rape” literally nowhere in the text.

              I fail to see the important distinction between the two.

              1. Title IX applies to federally funded programs. Public Accommodations refer to private institutions that are open to the public.

                1. I thought you just said you endorsed opposition to Title IX.

                  Now you’re saying that opposition should hinge on whether or not federal funding is involved?

                  you’ve completely lost me.

                  You said, “Public accommodations laws are [a lost cause]”

                  Is it one (just CRA), or both (Title IX and CRA)?

                  and why should libertarians *stop* fighting government attempts to force people to associate or bar people from association, exactly?

                2. Public Accommodations refer to private institutions that are open to the public.

                  I don’t know where you’re getting that from, but it’s seems to be wrong.

                  From wiki:

                  In US law, public accommodations are generally defined as facilities, both public and private, used by the public.

                  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Public_accommodations

                3. Title IX applies to federally funded programs. Public Accommodations refer to private institutions that are open to the public.

                  The definition =

                  In US law, public accommodations are generally defined as facilities, both public and private, used by the public. Examples include retail stores, rental establishments and service establishments as well as educational institutions, recreational facilities, and service centers.

                  Under United States federal law, public accommodations must be accessible to the handicapped and may not discriminate on the basis of “race, color, religion, or national origin.”(2) Private clubs were specifically exempted under federal law[3] as well as religious organizations.[4]

                  note (2) = actually says nothing about sexual orientation.

                  Just because Title IX is *specific* to universities doesn’t mean universities are either not ‘public accommodations”….. or that Title IX isn’t a law which tries to apply “enforced equity” in the same manner as the CRA, turning all schools into jurisdictions of the federal govt.

                4. Title IX applies to private institutions that accept any federal funding, and not merely to the bit that is federally funded, so the distinction isn’t all that sharp, Hugh.

            2. Is sexual orientation in the text?

              1. I’m sure the “assumption of bad-faith” will go away any day now.

    2. That seems like an odd hill to die on, but I guess conservatives are more comfortable fighting a war they lost 50 years ago.

      Like, fiscal sanity? the war on drugs? confiscatory tax policies?

      Every battle is lost…until you win it. To tell them to “knock it off already” because the cultural or political winds are blowing in a different direction is to shoot ourselves in the foot because if anything, libertarian thought is about persuading people that there is a better way than the current political retardation. Persuasion implies disagreement, which implies that you aren’t currently “winning” that particular battle.

      1. +1 for Zunalter. Keep up the good fight.

    3. religious liberty as a proper legal excuse for certain forms of discrimination.

      Well, its one of the few havens from anti-free association law these days. Perhaps not so much a “proper legal excuse” as “the only remaining defense of free association is when it is also free exercise of religion.”

      I don’t like offsetting minority privilege with religious privilege, but I think its purely a defensive maneuver at this late stage.

  4. One big plus of the Trump campaign is it make the LP look a lot less crazy by comparison… 😉

    1. See also: the Hillary campaign, the Bernie campaign…

      1. But definitely not the Vermin Supreme campaign.

        The Almanian! campaign at least wins for honesty.

      2. Yeah, bernie makes Hillary look sane. Trump makes Hillary look sane. It’s like a big fucking conspiracy to make Hillary look good.

        1. That conspiracy is almost as big as her fat ass.

    2. You could also add that one big plus of the Johnson / Weld campaign is that it makes Trump look far less career public sector oriented by comparison.

    3. Yeah but people still show James Weeks on TV interviews.

    4. Yeah but people still show James Weeks on TV interviews.

      1. Screw you squirrels

          1. It’s not if LJRT self-identifies as a squirrel, you know.

            1. FURRIES!

    5. This.

      The Republicans have gone fucking insane, and all the sane people (left) ought to be switching to the LP.

  5. The only way Johnson/Weld wins or even gains more than 5% of the vote is if there’s a mass defection from the stinking hulk that is the Trump-led Republican Party. I’m talking about governors, congressmen, other high-profile candidates down the ballot, etc. Even then, the most likely outcome is for the not-Hillary vote to be split, paving the way for Hillary to romp to a 400+ electoral vote rampage.

    1. There is some desperate rationalizing going on. Rather than leave a derelict party, the mainstream GOP is placing their bets on Trump loses and losing yuge leading to a suppression of the Trump voters and Hilllary being the nightmare President everyone knows she will be and rallying for 2020, with a much-revamped primary. (I’m putting my money on something like a superdelegate system.)

      Also, to answer your question from the other day, I’ve been here for three presidential elections and this happens every time.

      1. Superdelegates (many of whom probably have to worry about being elected themselves) won’t buck the winner of the primaries, however, and there would have needed to be a large number of them to overturn the results of this year’s R presidential primary or to even force a contested convention.

        1. The superdelegates system might discourage Trump-style outsiders just by existing. Maybe. I dunno.

          1. Considering the closest thing to an “outsider candidate” that the Democrats could come up with was a guy who’s been in Congress for almost 30 years, you’re probably right.

      2. I do agree that the primary system is a mess. It’s arguable at this point that it’s any better than the so-called “smoke-filled backrooms”.

      3. i imagine they would rather see Hillary win as that should bolster their congressional chances by rallying the voters against her. A trump win threatens those chances.

        The real power to fix the countries issues does rest with congress even if it doesn’t seem they’ve forgotten that minor detail.

      4. the mainstream GOP is placing their bets on Trump loses and losing yuge leading to a suppression of the Trump voters and Hilllary being the nightmare President everyone knows she will be and rallying for 2020

        I completely agree with this – the worst thing that could happen to the GOP would be Trump winning this election. There’s a real chance the party wouldn’t survive it. But if they lose, they are all but guaranteed to win in 2020.

        1. But if they lose, they are all but guaranteed to win in 2020.

          If Hillary wins, their odds are good in 2020, but only because Dems would have been in office for 12 straight years.

          The eviction of a large group of voters, and the entrenchment of the power brokers who provoked a successful insurgency, is not a good omen for the Republican Party, though.

          1. If Hillary wins, their odds are good in 2020, but only because Dems would have been in office for 12 straight years.

            This is definitely a big part of it – it’s hard to pull off four terms of one party. She would really have to wow people, which is highly unlikely to happen.

          2. I give them less of a chance in 2020. If Trump loses, the never Trump people are going to come back and expect to take over the party. If they get their way, the Trump voters will walk out and pay them back for what they did to Trump. If they don’t, the never Trump people will walk out and do everything they can to ensure Hillary gets re-elected.

            I don’t see how you get around that. Also, I think a good number of movement conservatives and GOP politicians prefer a Democrat to be President. They get a foil to raise money and feel important fighting but don’t have to actually do anything or have any responsibility. 8 years of Obama have been very good to them.

            1. If the neverTrumpers take back the party, they will simply chastise the Trump supporters for having fucked it up and give them the clear and simple message that they are welcome to support whomever the Democrats nominate if they want to stop voting Republican.

              Trump can go third party but . . . yeah.

              By that time, there is likely to be even more widespread and passionate hatred of Clinton, and the Republican establishment will be able to look at the Trump supporters and say “hey, we tried it your way, and look what happened.”

      5. I’ve asked Professor Tom Nichols about this very thing, since he seems to delight in leading the NeverTrump GOPe brigade.

        And guess what? He has no plans and no ideas. No plans to come back stronger in 2020, no plans to revitalize the Republican Party and no idea beyond to see Trump defeated. He longs for a conservative resurgence but he can’t even define what conservatism is.

    2. The only way Johnson/Weld wins or even gains more than 5% of the vote is if there’s a mass defection from the stinking hulk that is the Trump-led Republican Party.

      ^ This.

      The pants-shitting anti-Trump frenzy on the left has subsumed absolutely every other consideration. The interesting (and dismaying) thing is that a lot of the left media is being shockingly open about how awful and criminal Hillary really is, and then saying “but we have to stop Trump, who will literally destroy the world! The Green Party is RACIST!!”

      If Trump implodes, though, which I still think is likely, small-government Republicans could go en masse for Johnson (and this will do us the favor of clearly separating the small government Republicans from the big government Republicans, who are already rallying behind Clinton).

      Only if GJ starts pulling significant numbers – like “could win it” numbers – from an imploding Trump campaign will anyone from the left even start considering him.

      1. Trump will continue to pull his true believers, however, which I believe are about 15-25% of voters who have an emotional connection to him. Trump and a competitive Johnson could conceivably lose every single state to Hillary.

        1. Trump will continue to pull his true believers, however, which I believe are about 15-25% of voters who have an emotional connection to him.

          This is true, and I’m not that optimistic that Johnson will ever come to the point where he does anything but give small-government republicans an umbrella to stand under.

          Only if for whatever reason Trump actually drops out or does something so completely heinous (I have a hard time imagining what) that even his supporters drop him, but I’m not holding my breath.

        2. ” Trump and a competitive Johnson could conceivably lose every single state to Hillary.”

          Well a quick reality check shows that Trump has a > 80% chance of winning in 17 states. So, that’s living in a Libertarian dream world.

          http://projects.fivethirtyeigh…..-forecast/

      2. he interesting (and dismaying) thing is that a lot of the left media is being shockingly open about how awful and criminal Hillary really is, and then saying “but we have to stop Trump, who will literally destroy the world! The Green Party is RACIST!!”

        Aren’t the Trumpistas around here basically saying the same thing with Trump and Hillary reversed?

        1. Yes – this is the quintessential year of neither candidate having any positive qualities. I feel it usually takes a little longer into the season to get to the “vote for our crook, because their crook will DESTROY THE WORLD!” phase, but maybe it’s just because I’m getting older.

          1. In response to the “if you have to keep calling his statements unacceptable” line I can never help but think “if you have to keep explaining why she’s not in jail. . . “

  6. Johnson is a bad candidate. He did the worst of everyone at the nominating debate. His polling outlook honestly doesn’t look good it’s unlikely he gets in the debates, which may be a good thing because the first townhall was worse than “awkward”. He has received a ton of media coverage and accomplished nothing with it. Should have been McAfee.

    1. I’m thinking no to the security crackpot who fled charges for murdering his neighbor.

      1. Wrong, there never was a murder charge.

        1. True, he was never charged. That’s because he fled the country before he could be questioned (and likely arrested) and faked a heart attack in order to prevent himself from being extradited to face questioning.

          1. To avoid being set up by a Government, yes. It doesn’t matter, I buy Mr.McAfee’s explanation of events and won’t go over them here. I found his philosophical campaign to be very inspiring, it was message that could’ve been taken to a lot of people outside the political mainstream. He would have been better than Johnson or pretty boy junior militiaman AP.

            1. Sorry, but that’s absurd. His explanation for being a “person of interest” in a murder investigation is irrelevant. It’s a cloud he’d never be able to crawl out from underneath of.

              1. It’s a cloud he’d never be able to crawl out from underneath of.

                It would make for some interesting campaigning, though.

                “You Know Who Else was a person of interest to the FBI?”

                1. The Cigarette-Smoking Man?

            2. it was message that could’ve been taken to a lot of people outside the political mainstream

              Depends on how you look at it.

              Charisma-wise, McAfee could run circles around Johnson. He’s confident and engaging and well-spoken. He has the strength of conviction. He doesn’t do terribly well with subtlety, however.

              Johnson has a bit of a Jimmy Carter thing going on. He just doesn’t project strength and confidence the way McAfee does. He hems and haws and always talks about how things are complicated and there aren’t simple answers.

              In the “bring out the purist message to the general public” sense, McAfee is way better than Johnson. But McAfee would never get the media attention Johnson is getting for exactly the reason LynchPin points to – it’s just too easy to paint McAfee as an old-school filibuster (like in the William Walker sense).

              Johnson has a “mixed” libertarian message, but it reaches a wider audience, and there’s a non-0 chance that he could actually win, which is not true of McAfee. It’s not much greater than 0, but it is a little bit.

              1. John would have gotten media attention because he is entertaining, and He would have focused on down ticket candidates and maybe some libertarians would have been elected. He also has a way of inserting himself in issues and knows how to disrupt and pull stunts.

            3. Come to think of it, McAfee should have run as a Democrat. He could probably grab Ted Kennedy’s old seat.

            4. the sad truth is that his outward presentation and the perceptions and spinability of his past would outshine any inspiring campaign platforms.

              This is the bane of the Libertarian party though. Their candidates. If Rand Paul had half the intellectual grasp and passion as his father I imagine he would have been much more competitive as a Republitarian.

              1. If only the libertarians could find a charismatic leader to unite behind….

                Actually no. Truth is that most politicians aren’t charismatic, they just have teams of handlers who polish their image and tell them what to do and say. They have speech writers and focus groups who try to figure out how to sell them to the general public.

                Where are the Gary Johnson focus groups?

    2. It’s kind of surprising how awkward Johnson as a person is. How did the man ever win an election for anything? That said, McAfee is only slightly less insane than Trump… and at least Trump doesn’t have unresolved allegations of murder overseas.

    3. Geez, give the guy another chance. It’s not like Libertarians have had a chance to hone their skills before a national audience. If he doesn’t improve tonight then this point will have a stronger leg to stand on.

      1. By the way, I agree his performance was awkward particularly when he kept looking to Weld. You know it’s bad when my apolitical wife was listening in the backward and thought Weld was running and Johnson was the running mate.

  7. Republicans for Johnson

    Shouldn’t this have been covered in the LGBTQ article?

    1. Oh, I get it. Because “johnson” means penis.

      1. Look, if making dumb, obvious, unoriginal jokes is wrong, then i don’t wanna be right.

        1. Loving you is easy because you/re beautiful.
          Doot-ta-doot-do-do

          1. Is your blood sugar crashing? Do you need to eat some crackers?

            1. Dude, “Cracker” is not the preferred nomenclature.

              1. Yeah. I’m not from Georgia.

    2. *swizzy-like stare*

      1. *joins in narrowing gaze*

        1. *squints unnecessarily*

          1. *askance view of a bunch Gilbert Gottfrieds*

    3. I’m feeling the Johnson.

  8. Errol Louis, also on the panel, went on to remind viewers of the truth, that Johnson/Weld might well be drawing more support that would otherwise be Clinton than from Trump…

    What does the Libertarian Party have to offer disaffected modern Democrats? I remain dubious.

    1. Butt secks with Messicans?

      1. and pot.

      2. Sex is a no-go with Democrats. Move on.

    2. Non-interventionism.

      1. lol

        good luck. even the most so-called “anti-war” lefties find that term confusing and suspiciously ‘isolationist’, and therefore right-wing, and to be opposed. What, you don’t want to feed the starving Somalians, you monster??

        to quote Justin Raimondo =

        The internationalist impulse embedded in Marxist and most Western leftist ideologies makes their followers peculiarly vulnerable to the snares and delusions of interventionism – ? the idea of conducting a vast social engineering project halfway across the globe appeals to the modern “progressive” imagination, much as they find appealing the same sort of project conducted on the home front. A “war on poverty,” a “war on homelessness,” a “war on illiteracy,” or cancer, or whatever ? why not a “war on terrorism,” after all?

        1. They just can’t resist the opportunity to tell others how to live their lives, forcefully.

    3. Easy solutions to complex problems. The beauty is they’ll never be proved wrong since they can’t possibly get elected.

      1. Easy solutions to complex problems.

        The Prog-jection levels in this comment are off the charts!

      2. Yes, believing that the right Top Men will fix all the problems is certainly more complex and nuanced than the realization that that each problem involves different individuals with different agendas and is best handled directly by those involved.

        1. How do individuals solve climate change? Oh yeah, by denying it exists!

          1. Oh dear. I just realized we may have to listen to progs go on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on about climate change in perpetuity. It won’t matter if climate will change for the better or prove their own nonsense. Nope. All that will matter is forcing pointless and costly legislation that will do jack shit.

          2. What, every individual? You don’t know very many people, do you.

          3. It worked pretty well for global cooling and overpopulation. We’re fucking 2-0 on this shit.

          4. By flying in their personal jet aircraft to Fiji to bravely stand against it?

            /Hollywood

          5. Individuals do it by understanding the issues, modifying their own personal lifestyles, and persuading others to do the same.

            Governments do it by lying, stealing money, using force, and continuing to trust China after they’ve already been caught falsifying their numbers.

            Not to mention failing to accomplish anything at all after 30 years of trying.

            But please, continue to lecture us about how only the magical powers of government can solve this problem.

            1. Democratic government is the means by which free people do large things together (that is, things requiring mobilization of the scale only governments can achieve). That’s the mind-numbingly simple point I was making.

              Individuals changing their lifestyle, of course, will never solve a problem of this scale. Simple game theory explains why.

              1. Democratic government is a means, not the means. If that’s your only point, it’s a straw man.

                Again, we oppose mandatory collectivization, not collective decision making voluntarily conducted.

                Individuals changing their lifestyle, of course, will never solve a problem of this scale

                There is literally no other way. You can do everything you else you can think of, but if individuals don’t change their lifestyles, you haven’t accomplished anything.

                You can change people’s lifestyles by persuasion, which has a chance of working, or you can use force, which doesn’t. Not only does force not work, it engenders counter-reaction.

                If you can’t persuade people to change their lifestyles, game over. Trying to force people only makes the problem worse, as we have seen time and time again.

          6. Yeah, climate change! The wee commie pulls out its favorite boogeyman.

            1. You mean the single greatest collective challenge mankind has ever faced?

              1. The single greatest collective challenge mankind faces is the glaciation we are several thousand years overdue for. That outweighs even the most catastrophic global warming scenarios by an order of magnitude.

                But it don’t want to let science get in the way of your narrative – carry on!

                1. This is some good reading. It’s not climate science, I know, but there’s some “soft” science stuff in here that’s worth considering.

              2. You don’t speak for mankind. I do.

          7. Versus one individual?

          8. What’s the most likely way we’re going to solve the negative economic externalities of emissions?

            A) Produce all the top men in a majority of 196ish countries that will come together and determine effective, efficient, and rational regulatory adjustments that positively effect emmission production while not supporting corporate or private financial agendas after meeting dozens of times in remote locations with their personal high emmission aircraft. They must also be able to emplace these restrictions on burgeoning third world economies that have already witnessed the restricting parties gaining massive wealth, utility, and prosperity on doing the very thing they are being told not to do. This is all, of course, if one believes the totality of certain studies of possible negative emissions effects and their causative long term economic costs considering global well being (opportunity cost of not acting vs. actual cost of climatic effects).

            B) Somebody producing a more efficient energy resource due to free market incentives

            Quite the conundrum.

      3. One size fits all solutions do, I suppose, seem easiest for the top tier.

      4. When the complex problems are of the government’s own making, maybe it is as simple as less government interference.

        1. Now you’re just talking crazy. How can you advocate doing nothing about complex problems?

        2. But but but government is US! So we ARE making the problems!

    4. What does the Libertarian Party have to offer disaffected modern Democrats? I remain dubious.

      Their candidate is socially liberal and not a compulsive liar with a long trail of shady dealings. In other words, someone that will perform competently and not further erode the confidence of the American people in government.

      And really, if there are any Democrats out there with any self-awareness they must understand that the biggest impediment to liberalism is the fact that they continuously defend corruption when it serves their purpose, thus destroying confidence in government.

      1. someone that will perform competently

        this argument keeps making me laugh out loud.

        The LP vote is entirely symbolic – “qualifications” and “competence” etc. make zero difference because there’s zero possibility of actually winning.

        Its just weird when you’re selling the “sacrifice, symbolic vote” on its bland ideologically squishiness, making vague appeals to ‘competence’.

        Allahpundit summarized my own confusion well the other day =

        If you’re thinking of casting a vote for a guy who can’t win, it doesn’t matter what his positions are, really. All that matters is whether he’s gone too far in muddling the message you want to send with that vote. Johnson is, in theory, the candidate of smaller government; in practice, if he’s willing to entertain the idea of appointing another Breyer to the Court, then maybe he isn’t. Is ideological purity unimportant in a protest vote or is it very important since, after all, you’re choosing to forfeit what tiny influence you have over the outcome of the election in order to cast that vote? I’m leaning towards writing in Harambe the dead gorilla for president at this point but it’s something to think about.

      2. Their candidate is socially liberal and not a compulsive liar with a long trail of shady dealings. In other words, someone that will perform competently and not further erode the confidence of the American people in government.

        I like to kick around the LP as much as the next guy but even I think that is a bit harsh. I am not sure Johnson is a compulsive liar and his trail of shady dealings is not that long when you consider that he is a politician.

        1. *psst* He’s talking about Clinton.

          1. psst

            You are a humorless half wit who didn’t get the joke Hazel. But I already knew that.

    5. #NeverHer

  9. She calls the Libertarian Party’s standardbearer a “small-l libertarian.”

    isn’t that a contradiction in terms?

    1. The point is, the size of one’s L shouldn’t matter, when we are discussing Johnson.

  10. “[Johnson and Weld] are the only choice for small and affordable government”

    I bet you can guess my answer to *that* talking point

    1. Reduce government 80%

      (insert “one weird trick” joke here)

    2. Yeah dude, good luck convincing any of us to support the Christian Dominionist party that

      1. What are you, some kind of purist?

          1. Pornography, obscenity and sexually oriented businesses are a distortion of the true nature of sex created by God for the procreative union between one man and one woman in the holy bonds of matrimony. This results in emotional, physical, spiritual and financial costs to individuals, families and communities.

            Due to a lack of prosecution, the sexually oriented business industry has proliferated, aggravating the problems of child pornography, human trafficking and sexually transmitted diseases. This is decreasing our safety by increasing crime rates, specifically rape and molestation in additional to the loss of dignity belonging to all human beings.

            We call on our local, state and federal governments to uphold our First Amendment right to free speech by vigorously enforcing all laws against obscenity.

            We call on all levels of government to protect and promote that which is truly free speech while vigorously defending and enforcing laws that protect us from the proliferation of the pornography and sexually oriented business industries because they are proven to be toxic to community standards, lower property values and increase crime.

            While we believe in the responsibility of the individual and corporate entities to regulate themselves, we also believe that government plays a vital role in protecting all citizens, particularly our most vulnerable, women and children, from exploitation.

            1. Yeah, they seem to abandon their skepticism of government there.

              I hope none of the Johnson supporters tries to use that, though. What would they say? “Vote Johnson, he won’t sell out liberty for the sake of social issues?”

            2. “We call on the government to preserve the First Amendment and free speech so that the government can censor stuff that we don’t like.”

              The derp is strong with this one.

              1. Exactly. Remember that line when you scroll by Eddie’s Castle-pimping.*

                *ha.

  11. It’s amazing. Now that the Democrats have one of the most least liked person around running and are primed to be knocked out, the GOP comes in with…Trump. Amazing.

    1. Trump promised to whack the media, whack the Democrats, in an atmosphere where most voters perceived the GOP candidates and politicians as surrender-mongers. In addition, he has experience and talent in getting attention.

    2. You know is kicking himself in the ass right now?

      Biden

    3. This should be a paint-by-the-numbers campaign for any candidate running against. Trump has managed to make this lying crook look appealing by comparison through lack of focus and discipline.

      1. From the tone of this posting, I guess you’re not voting for First Grandma

    4. What’s amazing is that just about ANY of the other Team Red candidates would be beating her silly in the polls right now. Paul, Rubio, Cruz, Christie, even a jackass like Bush or Huckabee would be winning. Probably not a Santorum or some of the unknowns from the kiddie table, but any of the final seven or so for sure.

      1. No way on Krispy Kreme, probably not Jeb either. Rubio almost certainly would, although the reasons why that guy was even in the conversation escape me. Talk about an empty suit.

  12. Hey, as a currently registered Republican, I’d be happy if they just stopped calling Hillary Clinton awesome and trumpeting the excellence of Justice Breyer and a bunch of Acela Republicans like Susan Collins.

    I’m not saying I want them to run as insult comics like Trump, just that perhaps it might be productive to actually lay out the ways that both parties’ big government hacks have fouled up instead of trying to compliment your way into the White House.

    1. Yes. Thank you. First of all, in virtually no way is William Weld a libertarian. Second of all, with the exception of pot and gay/public accommodation related issues, Johnson tends to be almost apologetic about libertarian positions.

    2. Every poll I have seen shows them drawing equally from both parties. That kind of stuff is likely to draw more Democrats. Maybe Johnson is trying to help Trump.

      Funny to think of the reason heads exploding at the thought.

  13. KellyAnne Conway, Trump representative.

    I have officially added her to the “would not” list. Ugh.

      1. Hell, the Coinstar machine up at the Walmart isn’t even on that list.

        1. +1 dime it keeps spitting out

        2. I just added your name to that list as well, wise guy. How about that?

          1. I think i’ll manage.

  14. Johnson and Weld’s numbers are surely hurt by the number of staunch libertarians who rarely – if ever – vote.

  15. He also reported the curious and doubtless frustrating to the campaign fact that self-styled conservatives are far more likely in a CNN/ORC poll to support Hillary Clinton (21-8) over the Libertarian ticket for president.

    They may think Hillary is wrong on what the government should be doing about the myriad crises confronting this great nation, but at least she’s wrong within the normal parameters of discourse. Libertarians think not everything is a national crisis requiring Divine Federal intervention – in fact, they think there’s a double shitload of things none of the Feds business – and that sort of thinking is beyond the Pale. We have problems, something must be done; this is something, therefore this needs to be done. Self-styled conservatives and Hillary simply disagree on what the something is that needs to be done, those whacko libertarians think whatever the something is A) it’s not that big a problem and people will figure out on their own how to deal with it and B) the government trying to fix it is most likely going to make it worse and create at least three other problems to boot.

    That last part of course is what the statists find so attractive – government exists to deal with problems and if the problem-dealing creates several new problems, why, that’s like a perpetual-motion machine! Government problem-solving guarantees we’ll never run out of problems that need government problem-solving.

    1. And some people realize that government solving problems is “people figuring it out on their own.”

      You’d restrict the level of collective decision-making people have access to, so much so that you’d dismantle most of the apparatus of modern civilization. That’s a restriction of freedom in my book.

      1. The government is the people! Being told what to do is freedom!

        As a Homosexual-American, are you seriously going to argue that majority rule (which is what your collective decision-making is, as much as it is anything) is always a good thing? If so, you’re not even coming from a position of self-interest – you’re just being a complete dumbass.

        1. The “you must support simple majoritarianism for everything” straw man right out of the gate. No interest in making a serious argument?

          1. Ok, so me restating a position you’ve already explicitly taken at several points in this thread is a straw man. Got it.

          2. You pretty much opened that gate and invited everyone else to come right in, Tony. Or, in terms you’d understand – you started it.

          3. Oh, I see, you get to pick and choose what you support majoritarianism in.
            When you benefit from forcing other people to go along with what you want, you’re fine and dandy with it, and when you don’t that’s one of those cases where majoritarianism isn’t ok.

            1. The US constitution does the picking and choosing. Everything, though, is subject to control by some size of a majority. I’ve yet to hear a libertarian state their preferred alternative. They’ve implied “benevolent libertarian despotism” a lot, but never outright said it.

              1. The US constitution does the picking and choosing.

                Tony’s a constitutionalist now. Hahahahahah.

                1. I’m cool with supermajoritarian restrictions on enacting laws that limit the rights of minorities. Most Americans are.

                2. Tony is whatever he thinks will provide the best spin to his logical fallacies at a given moment. He’s pragmatic like that.

        2. You are better than this, CX.

            1. Maybe not, but he should be.

              I mean, Lena Dunham naked looks like a HungryMan TV dinner that someone dropped on the floor.

              1. That was quite the non-sequitur.

                1. Every time you talk to a troll, Lena Dunham films a nude scene. This is science.

                  1. I had no idea. It is logical.

                    1. And horrible.

          1. It’s good to know that some things remain stable and that Reason is still a pathetic epistemically closed circle jerk.

            1. Stupid liberty advocates…EMBRACE THE STATE AND TOP. MEN.!

              1. Resistance is futile and it’s for your own good

            2. Unlike your average Bernie bro gathering.

              1. Same kind of thing. Same demographics too.

          2. [citation needed]

      2. The government is just us. And we are the government.

        So when the police shoot a person, we are just helping that citizen commit suicide.

        And if the cops pull you out of your car and start hitting you, why, you’re just hitting yourself.

        “Why are you hitting yourself? Stop hitting yourself.”

        1. It’s more like the paranoid racist soccer moms of the 80s and 90s doing it, but sort of yes.

          1. Ah, so “government solving problems” is the People.

            Government doing something bad? It’s some other people I don’t like.

            got it.

          2. I thought you and Michael Hiln died. It’s been so long since you’ve graced us with your postings.

            But, alas – no such luck

            1. Dude, Tony is here at least three days out of every five. His brain may be dead, but his fingers type on.

              Michael Hihn will no doubt post a number of old-man ravings in this very thread sometime late tonight, after everybody else has abandoned it.

              1. Well, call me Damn Lucky because I haven’t read TonyShitOnly for months. I thought his nasty past finally caught up with him and he died of some nasty STD.

                It’s a miracle, that penicillin! Praise the Lord!

            2. Mike still shows up late to a thread to shit all over it, but he’s rarely around when other people are.

          3. So how do we get paranoid racist soccer moms to stop making the government shoot people?

            1. Equal or greater political pressure in the other direction?

              Or bitching on the Internet. Whatever.

              1. Or you could have constitutional limits on what government is allowed to do. Universally enforced individual rights and that sort of thing.

                Bitching on the internet is just another sort of majoritarianism.

                1. And those limits come from where? Libertarian Jesus?

                  1. I believe you earlier referred to them as “supermajoritarian restrictions on laws that limit the rights of minorities”. Except that I would strike the “supermajoritarian” part.

              2. Eternal partisan warfare for the win! Genius!

      3. *Apparatus* of civilization. Jesus progs are impressive with their vapid terms and phrases. Like ‘price to pay for civilization.’

      4. Do they have communes and purges in your book? How about starvation and forced internment camps?

      5. So your position is that the federal government imposing a one size fits all solution on 50 states with different legal systems, cultures, priorities and issues is “figuring it out on their own”?

        Take this perspective and push it to the lowest level of government possible and you’ll have a reasonable approach. There are very few problems that can only be addressed at the federal level and few that should.

      6. You’d restrict the level of collective decision-making people have access to, so much so that you’d dismantle most of the apparatus of modern civilization

        Who’s talking restricting collective decision-making? How do you think businesses are run? How do you think construction projects get built?

        What we tend to opposed is mandatory collectivization, not “collective decision-making.”

    2. Twenty one percent of self identified conservatives are supporting Hillary Clinton. Talk about a bankrupt and thoroughly corrupted movement. The modern conservative movement has to die and be reorganized into something else that makes sense. That is just pathetic.

      1. When you can define what it is you’re trying to create, please let me know. Because I’ve asked that question to many of the GOPe ilk and I’ll I get is “we’re not libertarians”. (no kidding)

        1. That answer is a start. They are not Libertarians. The problem is they need to be able to explain why that is and none of them can do that.

          What needs to replace it is a reconfiguration of what it replaced. Conservatism has fallen apart because it has over the last 25 years slowly banished more and more people. First it was anyone who wasn’t a social conservative in the 1990s. Then it was anyone who objected to foreign intervention in the 00s. Now it is anyone who has even the most reasoned and qualified criticism of international free trade as well as anyone who takes the immigration problem seriously. What replaces it is a movement that brings back the various groups they have kicked out over the years.

          It would reject internationalism and demand a foreign policy based on US interests not policing the world or helping to create stability. It would embrace free trade and commerce but not view access to cheap consumer goods as the only legitimate end to economic policy. Maybe in some cases we do pay a bit more for things in return for the security of making it here and the jobs doing so create. Not all cases but perhaps some. I wouldn’t want it to go full protectionist but it can’t be totally the other way either. Lastly, it would embrace small government, responsible fiscal policy and federalism.

          That would be a start anyway.

      2. Maybe the nationalists backing Trump should try nominating a candidate that appeals to conservatives. Maybe they should try to understand conservatives instead of assuming there is something wrong with them.

        1. Maybe or you are a moron. I am betting on the latter Hazel. What you are saying doesn’t even make any sense. the point is not that they are not voting for Trump, it is that they are voting for Hillary rather than Johnson or whoever the constitution party guy is.

          Hazel, you are reaching Frank levels of stupid these days.

          1. Maybe some conservatives think that a vote for anyone other than Hillary is effectively a vote for Trump. Maybe some conservatives think that Trump is worse than Hillary. Maybe the people backing Trump should take that into consideration and next time nominate someone who is not worse than Hillary to a large slice of the Republican party.

  16. From what I’ve seen in the world of internet chatter, the latter is definitely the point on which people of alleged small-government principles dying for a reason to stick with Trump are making their stand

    Hell of a way to characterize people who are properly wanting a candidate who defends a freedom that is important to them.

    I don’t recall any libertarian characterizing a properly anti-higher taxes stance as “the point on which people of alleged small-government principles dying for a reason to stick with GWB are making their stand”.

    The fact of the matter is that not only does the Johnson ticket not have any interest in increasing a proper freedom of conscience — it actually supports government diminishing this freedom even further in the interest of “anti-discrimination”, invoking a rather silly attack on Islam in order to do so. Libertarians, far more than conservatives, should be bothered by that.

    1. The reason staff is composed entirely of cultural leftists who hate religious people and don’t care about their rights. it is really that simple. They pay lip service to it but they don’t care about it. There isn’t a single interest group or value they don’t place ahead of religious freedom, especially for Christians. They can get pretty worked up about the religious freedom of Muslims but the best they can do for Christians is a thumb sucking think piece about how it is just too bad that this is happening but we shouldn’t let it get in the way of more important things like gay marriage.

      Christians who object to gays in this society are an interesting test of character for libertarians. Here you have a minority that is loathed and vilified by the entire popular culture and is being stomped on by the most popular and fashionable interest group in society today. Standing up for the Christians against the gays actually requires some courage and principles. It is not a popular opinion in a lot of circles and certainly in the social circles the reason staff run in. And every single one of them has failed the test. They all have either remained silent or engaged in various levels of equivocation to avoid being seen as standing up for the unpopular group.

  17. All this electronic ink over someone who isn’t even going to pull 2%?

    zzzzzzzzz……….

  18. How about this argument:

    Trump is a loon.
    Clinton is a crook.

    Vote for Johnson. Duh.

    1. It is dismaying how far that argument doesn’t go.

    2. It would be nice if Johnson and Weld made that argument rather than praising Hillary and giving her a pass on the server thing.

      1. Yes please. They shouldn’t try to be so nice. If the Democrat voter they’re hoping to convert would be turned off by arguing that Hilary is a corrupt and negligent, then they’re not going to convert that voter no matter what they say.

        1. I’m almost convinced that they both secretly hope Hillary dumps Kaine and picks them as veep.

  19. No person already inclined to vote can seriously say they are concerned about the future of liberty in this country and not recognize Johnson/Weld as the best choice.

    Their flaws are absolutely minuscule compared to the shitshow that is Trump or Clinton. If you don’t believe in voting because the system is inherently illegitimate that’s a respectable position, but to say that Johnson is unacceptable because he won’t waste political capital fighting a forlorn battle against public accommodation laws smacks of Hit & Runpublican rationalization for voting Team Red.

    1. If you replace “Johnson/Weld” with “Castle/Bradley” and “fighting a forlorn battle against public accommodation laws” with “fighting a forlorn battle against the obscenity laws,” you have a good argument for voting Constitution Party.

      1. You know, after your buddy Castle gets elected the town you live is in going to pass an obscenity law against people who find a lack of a healthy, sexual imagination to be offensive, and cops are going to break down your bedroom door in the middle of the night and haul you off to jail.

        1. Are we assuming that they’ve implemented the entire Constitution Party platform? Then I’d simply ask my jury to “be fully informed of its right to nullify the law.”

          1. Trust me, with the kind of people where I live, if they’re informed of their right to nullify, they wouldn’t convict a guy just because of some weird sex thing.

            1. Yeah, I’ll take my chance with a self-aware jury and my ability to persuade them that convicting for victimless crimes isn’t in the public interest.

              1. A jury made up of the same people who voted for the local representatives who passed the obscenity law?

                1. Did you hear about the jurors who apologized to that guy they convicted? Forget his name right now, a drug thing. Presumably the jurors voted for the representatives who passed the drug laws, but if they’d been told they could acquit a guilty person, they’d have done it in that case.

                2. So Mrs. Average citizen goes to the voting booth and votes for the candidates of the party she grew up in, or votes for the candidates who talk sincerely about Saving the Community from the Scourge of Whatever.

                  Then that same citizen ends up in the jury box and the prosecutor says she has to punish Crusty for watching some gross stuff on the Internet, but the judge says she can let Crusty go if she wants, and Crusty says, “at least I stay in the privacy of my home and all the people and the sheep involved are consenting adults. ”

                  So she acquits.

                  Maybe she voted for the people who passed the law, but that’s not the same thing as looking Crusty in the eye and saying “yeah, he obviously belongs in prison with the burglars.”

      2. The Constitution Party is essentially in favor of less Federal government inasmuch as it pertains to letting states an communities set up their own Christian theocracies. No thanks.

        1. Then don’t vote for Castle for governor or state legislator.

          (this is assuming for the sake of argument that your premise is correct)

      3. I’m cool with anyone who votes for any third party this year.
        It’s hard to claim that any of them are crazier than the two candidates the major parties rae running.

    2. Nah, I’m rationalizing not voting at all. The fuck is the point of a protest vote if it’s for a mildly libertarianish candidate (who hitched himself to a not-libertarian-at-all VP candidate) who loves him some Stephen fucking Breyer?

      I can’t tell you how much I dislike William Weld. Overlooking Johnson’s flaws would be much easier without that gun-grabbing shitbag’s presence on the ticket.

      1. That is just it. Geoff would have a point if Johnson had a chance at winning. If I thought Johnson had the best chance of beating Hillary, I would happily vote for him and I really don’t even like the guy. The problem is that he doesn’t. So what are you voting for him for other than as a protest vote or as an expression of your philosophy or both? You are absolutely right, there is no point in voting for a third party candidate who has no shot and is a philosophical sell out to boot.

      2. if you want to raise the profile of the Libertarian party or any “third” party for that matter they need votes. it’s this ‘why does it matter’ attitude that reinforces the ‘two party system’ that so many people believe is real and an intentional, official element of the US government.

    3. His flaws are miniscule to you because you don’t give a fuck about religious freedom. That is your right, but do me a favor and stop pretending everyone else feels the same.

  20. Which Reason writer is drawing the short straw and has to write about the Paul Ryan/Mike Pence/Don Trump love spat? I’d rather take a long, tepd bath with Kellyanne Conway.

  21. From what I’ve seen in the world of internet chatter, the latter is definitely the point on which people of alleged small-government principles dying for a reason to stick with Trump are making their stand.

    He certainly can’t be getting that impression from anyone in the H&R commentariat. /sarc

    1. Crypto-Republicans callibng libertarians “nihlists” used to be a popular insult in these parts. That has died off completely.

      1. Say what you want about the tenets of Crypto-Republicanism…

    2. So instead of a binary choice, it is a trinary choice?

  22. From what I’ve seen in the world of internet chatter, the latter is definitely the point on which people of alleged small-government principles dying for a reason to stick with Trump are making their stand.

    *coughs*SIV*coughs*

    Who was always going to vote for Nationalist Daddy Trump no matter what bullshit he spews about Johnson/Weld.

    1. I’ve been through three election cycles here. They always come up with a rationalization not to vote for the LP candidate.

      1. “We must stop ____________!”

        shriek, tony, amsoc, et al = TRUMP

        john, SIV, et al – HILLARY

        Me, my despair just deepens.

        1. “Would you rather get shot with a .22 or 9mm?”

      2. Pretty much. It’s the usual “No True Scotsman” shit. They don’t want a “Scotsman.” They want Daddy Government.

      3. So, vote Calvin Coolidge. Better a dead president than a bad president.

    2. Kindly turn your head when you cough.

  23. If Johnson isn’t serious about freedom and limiting the size of government, then I might as well vote Trump, help keep Clinton out of office (a de facto criminal) and join the conservative resistance to his more statist policies. A Trump presidency will energize the movement to action.

    Government spending went up every year under governor Johnson. At the national level, vetoing bills left and right will earn the scorn of the “think of the children and education” crowd. Johnson knows this, that’s why he’s severely diluted the libertarian in most interviews to appear as a socially moderate republican.

    Johnson is a barely acceptable alternative to Clintrump. Drug legalization and non interventionism will be more mainstream even without him. He strikes me as a bit of a weasel, to be honest. I’m not a big Ron Paul fan, but this was clearly HIS year to run.

    1. I was planning on voting Libertarian this year. Then Johnson revealed his very non-Libertarian views on freedom of association. I’m truly undecided at this point and I’ve never before been undecided this late in the election cycle.

      For years I’ve called myself a social conservative/political libertarian. In other words, I hold many conservative views but I don’t expect the government to enforce them. In return, I don’t want the government enforcing liberal views onto me. Unfortunately, Johnson has made it clear that he would force his views on me. (For the record: I would bake the gay wedding cake anyway, I just don’t think I should HAVE to bake it. I would NOT bake the Nazi wedding cake and I’m not even Jewish.)

      So how the hell do I vote? I’d like to send a “none of the above” message to the two major parties but I hesitate to vote for a for a guy who openly tells me that he’ll violate my freedom. I’m actually looking for a fourth option at this point.

  24. People voting for Trump lecturing lukewarm libertarian voters for Johnson about principles is the funniest fucking thing ever.

    It’s like a guy elbow deep in a dog’s asshole telling you to check your teeth for spinach.

    1. People voting for Trump

      and who are they here? point me to the hilarity.

      1. This might have been devastating if John hadn’t posted right below you.

    2. For it being so funny, you don’t seem to be laughing. Vote for whomever you like. Just don’t vote for Johnson and then tell me how principled you are, unless you really do believe in public accommodation and all that.

      I don’t see anyone lecturing you. What I see is you being really defensive and projecting a lot.

      1. Don’t vote for Trump and tell you believe in capitalism or free markets or anything resembling them.

        1. Yes I can and will. I vote Trump because I live in the real world where keeping the left out of power is the main goal and the alternatives for doing that are not always good or even fair. I don’t live in a fantasy world where the choices I have are the result of the morality play going on in my head. You do. And it apparently works for you. It doesn’t for me. I have this bad habit of facing reality as it is not how I wish it to be.

          And yes, I know you believe in markets. You just don’t believe in freedom of association or freedom of religion. Either admit you don’t or admit you are not voting for Johnson out of principle. You can’t have both.

          1. A sound argument for every presidential election… except this one as it happens.

            Conservatives who aren’t so much into nationalistic white supremacy are just going to have to suck it up and accept a Hillary presidency, I’m afraid. I can even give them a pass for voting third party, despite my agreement with you that it’s totally counterproductive, given the reality of the “practical” major-party choice before them.

            You didn’t try hard enough to prevent the world’s most ridiculous mentally ill buffoon from securing the nomination. If my party did something so reckless, I’d have to vote Republican, even though I vowed never to vote for any Republican as long as I lived. Or even write in Mickey Mouse to preserve my record, knowing full well that my people lost this round.

            Definitely props for being the only other person here who appreciates the reality of the situation. But Trump is part of that reality. As a possible president. A man who combines mental and emotional instability with a lack of understanding for why the US doesn’t regularly use its nuclear arsenal…

            1. John isn’t just voting for Trump because he’s the nominee. John supported him in the primary. He WANTED the world’s most ridiculous mentally ill buffoon to head the Republican ticket, and now he’s mad that the rest of us don’t feel morally compelled to vote for him just to stop Hillary.

  25. Lets be honest, Johnson is more of a cursive-L libertarian – lots of twists, turns and flair. But, he is so much better than the other two candidates on every issue that is important to us that I feel a libertarian of an stripe should not be hesitating to support him.

    Am I missing something the Trumpllary suicide pact that Johnson is worse than?

    1. …my kindom for an edit button….jeeesh!

  26. It’s simple: government should have no position at all on abortions or religion. Abortions are exclusively the concern of the mother and anyone she trusts enough to ask about it. And if various photographers and bakers are so narrow-minded that they don’t want to accept business from people they don’t like, it’s their loss. That, however, DOES NOT APPLY to public employees like that homophobic clerk who refused to issue marriage licences to same-sex couples. They don’t get to subordinate law to their prejudices and bigotry.

    The so-called “Religious Right” did a lot of damage to the GOP. I hope the Libertarians don’t let themselves be infected by that kind of foolishness.

    1. The GOP is going in a different direction this time.

  27. I have been a registered Libertarian for a long time, having defected from the increasingly totalitarian, big government, interventionist establishment that disregards their oath of office (fealty to the Constitution of our Republic), and the Republican plank. Both major political parties are fully corrupted and belie their rhetoric of Constitutionality. I personally believe that abortion is killing an unborn person, but that is not in the purview of government to allow or disallow, that is between them and their G-d. I am a firm believer in the autonomy of the individual and things like religious differences are between the individual and his (her) G-d. If what I do, whether it is living like a saint or self destructing has no reason for interference if I do not affect my neighbor. Suicide illegal? Why? I take a page from the liberal mantra, that “it is MY body to do what I want with it”, and you should not interfere if I am not affecting you. Druggies? Fine if they want to do that but don’t expect me to intervene unless the druggie asks me for help. More people are Libertarian in their views than they realize.

    1. It all sounds so reasonable up until the point where you say that government shouldn’t make laws against murder.

  28. i get paid over ?79.91 per hour working from home with 2 kids at home. I never thought I’d be able to do it but my best friend earns over ?9185 a month doing this and she convinced me to try. The potential with this is endless. Heres what I’ve been doing,……

    ———–>>>>> http://www.CareerPlus90.com

  29. Very Odd – ‘self-styled conservatives are far more likely in a CNN/ORC poll to support Hillary Clinton (21-8) over the Libertarian ticket for president.’

    Clinton is a gun grabber and if given the chance, will raise taxes.

    Johnson supports the second amendment and wants to abolish the IRS.

  30. I imagine they appeal most to people who mistrust candidates who are too ambitious for personal power to be trusted with it.

  31. Most of us want to have good income but don’t know how to do thaat on Internet there are a lot of methods to earn money at home, so I thought to share with you a genuine and guaranteed method for free to earn huge sum of money at home anyone of you interested should visit the site. More than sure that you will get best result.OI3..

    ====== http://www.CashPost7.com

  32. So voluntary association is a “alleged small government principle”. This is where Reason for the most part loses the plot and comes off as hypocritical (not all of the columnists but most of them) while they rail against government interfering they have no problem with government sticking its big nose in whom people want to associate with and do business with. This is one of the main reasons why I can’t take Reason seriously, especially the columnists who defend government getting involved in private transactions, it comes off as hypocritical.

  33. Enjoy wallowing in your purity you morons, under the tender mercies of President Clinton or President Trump. Given that the country is under the misconception that libertarian is equivalent to “lunatic whacko”, it seems reasonable to baby step them into what it really means. Especially this election cycle, with the true lunatic whackos occupying the Democratic and Republican nominee slots.

    And in terms of other quotes in this article, who really cares what Matt Lewis thinks? If he’s advocating Trump (apparently a social issue moderate) and arguing about abortion (an issue I’m completely sick and tired of hearing about), then he isn’t worth listening to anyways. It’s basically the equivalent of arguing gun rights and posing Hillary as an icon for those positions.

    And if that wasn’t bad enough, quoting the vapid and insipid Trump sycophant KellyAnne Conway is stupid on an truly epic scale. Her advocacy of the dim bulb, neoconnish, and fanatical Bible-thumping Mike Pence as a running mate immediately disqualifies her from even wasting one of my ATP thinking about her.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.