Gary Johnson

Libertarian Town Hall

Gary Johnson and Bill Weld join John Stossel on Friday at 9pm on the Fox Business Network.

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Fox Business

Vote for Donald Trump? No! Hillary Clinton? No!

They are not trustworthy. They push bad ideas.

Fortunately, we have another choice: Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson and his running mate, William Weld. But most Americans don't even know they exist.

It would be good if the two ex-governors were allowed to join next month's presidential debates, but the Commission on Presidential Debates will allow that only if Johnson reaches 15 percent in a select handful of polls. He's at about 10 percent now. He tried to get the Commission to relax its rules, but they would not.

You can still get a feel for what these candidates offer by watching my show Friday. I'll do a Libertarian "town hall." My studio audience will grill Johnson and Weld about … well, whatever they want.

I assume marijuana prohibition will come up. "It's prohibition," says Johnson, "that kills people… Legalizing marijuana will lead to less overall substance abuse because (marijuana is) safer than all the other substances out there."

That appeals to liberals, but libertarians offer much to conservatives, too. Johnson recognizes that "government is too big. It spends too much money. It taxes too much."

He proposes "a 20 percent reduction in federal spending. To do that, you've got to include Medicaid, Medicare, military spending." That's responsible budgeting.

But some libertarians say Johnson and Weld are not libertarian enough. I'll confront the candidates with those criticisms.

For example, Johnson sides with judges who say government must force Christian bakers to bake cakes for gay weddings.

"If you discriminate on the basis of religion, that is a black hole," Johnson said. "You should be able to discriminate for stink or (if a customer is) not wearing shoes, (but) if we discriminate on the basis of religion, that's doing harm to a big class of people."

It might. But this is not a clear-headed way to think about the role of government. Discrimination hurts, but discrimination is part of life. We discriminate when we pick our friends, jobs, where we live. In private life, discrimination is constant.

Government discrimination is wrong. Jim Crow—segregation—was very wrong. It is good that the Civil Rights Act ended that. But Barry Goldwater was right 52 years ago and Rand Paul right in 2013, when each said that two of the nine parts of the Civil Rights Act were wrong: the two parts that reach into private life.

I suspect Johnson defends the rules because he fears the ignorant media won't acknowledge the difference. Goldwater's comments helped end his presidential hopes, and the media bullied Rand Paul into silence.

But Libertarian candidates should explain the difference, not cave in to the anti-discrimination mob.

No Christian photographer should be forced to photograph a gay wedding. No Black Student Association should be forced to accept whites. No Jewish baker should be forced to put swastikas on a cake.

Every private business should be allowed to refuse service to whomever they want. Outlawing all discrimination perpetuates hatred by driving it underground. Hatred festers when people don't know who the bigots are.

Yes, it was cruel when lunch counters turned blacks away. But today there are many places to eat lunch or buy wedding cakes. If a restaurant refuses blacks, others will profit by serving people the racists reject. Many of us will boycott the racists and give money to the inclusive businesses. That's a better solution than government trying to force people to act against their beliefs.

Government should respect that difference between public and private life.

That issue notwithstanding, Johnson and Weld are much better than Clinton or Trump. They favor free trade, work visas for migrant workers and entrepreneurial innovation. The future, Johnson says, is "Uber everything—get government out of the way."

Hillary Clinton, by contrast, threatened a crackdown on Uber if it didn't behave more like a regulated, unionized employer.

Donald Trump calls Johnson a "fringe candidate" and claims the route to prosperity is threatening trade partners with tariffs.

I'll grill the "fringe candidates" this week. Gary Johnson and Bill Weld understand markets, government and freedom much better than their rivals do.

COPYRIGHT 2016 BY JFS PRODUCTIONS INC.

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  1. … this is not a clear-headed way to think about the role of government.

    Totally vacuous unless we can repeal all public accommodation laws, If not, why are Christians a privileged class, for a “right” that most Christians would not apply? Gary’s “stink” analogy may have sailed over Stossel’s head

    And one of the most conservative churches in American disagrees with Stossel and other critics,Gary’s Deseret News op=ed praises the Utah Compromise deal negotiated by the leaders THE MORMON CHURCH with the LGBT community. Yes, Mormons and queers (gasp)

    THAT is liberty,. MUTUAL CONSENT. The most conservative state government in America arranged it with the consent of Mormon church leaders and LGBT community. Versus government force ? picking one set of rights over another, for a privileged class.

    Unless and until public accommodations laws are all repealed, it’s an equal rights issue, plus special privileges for mostly Christians, based on selective (biased) reading of the Old Testament. Until they honor immediate death to all non-virgin wives … and all infidels, even one’s own brother, spouse, child or friend .. it’s all too phony.
    Wedding cakes versus slaughtering at least 35% of all Americans? Smells like political posturing.

    1. So you agree about the black hole. You know what else is a black hole?

      1. Your total inability to reason! Since all wood chippers are, by definition, thugs who hurl insults when they have absolutely nothing to say.– and have run out of humans to feed into woodchippers,
        Perhaps if you read more?

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  2. News flash. Organization that protects and gauruntees the two party system not being fair to “third parties”.

    1. This in a nutshell. Make them irrelevant, reduce their audience to a bunch of masochists who enjoy watching joint press conferences.

      1. The CPD only has such power as the public awards to it.

    1. Definitely a euphemism.

  3. No Jewish baker should be forced to put swastikas on a cake.

    They will in Fuehrer Gary Johnson’s Amerikkka

    Will Mohammedans be forced to exchange their Burqas for yellow crescents?

    1. Are you getting paid to be this stupid or are you just a moron for free?

      1. He saw Hihn here and took the challenge.

        1. I see aggression by a thug. So I’ll post the correction here for anyone capable of independent thought.

          Gary’s Deseret News op-ed praising Utah Compromise, a deal NEGOTIATED by the LGBT community and leaders of THE MORMON CHURCH. Yes, Mormons and queers. (gasp)

          THAT is liberty,. MUTUAL CONSENT. The most conservative state government in America arranged it, accepted by Mormon and LGBT. But the goobers want government involved. Why should Christians get special rights in a nation founded on separation?

          Unless and until the public accommodations laws are repealed, this is a matter of equal rights. And only a minority of Christians would refuse the service anyhow. This is political manipulation.

          And please cut the bullshit about Nazi wedding cakes. Nazi’s have NOTHING to do with this. More hysteria.

          Since the assassins are also brainwashed on gun rights:
          Ronald Reagan actively supported a ban on assault weapons … and Justice Scalia ruled would NOT be unconstitutional.

          Hmm, uber-conservatives like the Mormon Church and Justice Scalia are on the same side as Johnson. which leaves cult libertarians twisting in the wind. All alone..

      1. Welcome to Retardation

        Thanks for the invite. (looking around) I like your home,

  4. He tried to get the Commission to relax its rules, but they would not.

    Did he try offering the Commissioners some choom?

  5. “You should be able to discriminate for stink or (if a customer is) not wearing shoes, (but) if we discriminate on the basis of religion, that’s doing harm to a big class of people.”

    Why does Johnson hate people whose religion requires them to not bathe and to go barefoot? WHY?!

    1. Why does Johnson hate people whose religion requires them to not bathe and to go barefoot? WHY?!

      Seriously? WHOOOOSHED right over your head?
      Or is it you can’t answer the question?

      He’s asking why Christians should have special rights, I’ll add in a nation founded on Separation.

  6. I hope Stossel avoids the typical questions that libertarians always have to defend: Are stoplights, speed limits, etc. bad? Will you legalize all drugs? etc. Ask instead how J/W’s proposed policies will be better than Donald and Hillary’s policies for: Economy, economic opportunities for lower and middle class families, un and underemployed millennials, trade, criminal justice, etc.

    1. Oh, good! A pro-liberty libertarian, But anti-gummint libs don’t allow us to understand governance and elections.

    2. This. Johnson wont be able to shut down roads or anything, so focus on the big issues, and the real problems.

  7. A prog friend tried to get me to bite on the nazi cake thing, but I just don’t get why a nazi would want to eat a jewish-baked cake. I guess the added spit and other specially-added bodily fluids could be considered all organic, but still, why would the nazi want to eat that?
    So the prog switched to a real-world example (in her world) of what if her car broke down and I had the only car repair shop within 300 miles.
    I replied that if I had the only car repair shop within 300 miles, then she has broken down somewhere deep in Red state country. So all my customers would be driving pick-up trucks and that’s what I’d be trained to service. She and her hamster-powered Prius would be out of luck. I offered that she could use my landline to call a tow truck to take her precious Prius back to granola land.
    Checkmate, she announced, as I would be forced to fix her car if SHE had no other choice in the area. I would also be forced to stock Prius parts and be trained in Prius repairs if I was the only car repair place in town. All because her choices ? in this case to drive her car outside of its service range – must be accommodated.

    1. You could have told your prog friend that nazi cakes have nothing whatever to do with the issue. It’s used just to generate hysteria

  8. Enough about the gay wedding cakes. He’s clearly wrong on the issue because private businesses (not public sector) should be able to discriminate any which way they want. Even more so today because imagine if my restaurant put “no gays” or “no colored” in the window. SJW’s would massively demonstrate (rightly so) and no one would want to be caught dead in that establishment as SJWs would surely publicize them, ruining careers and the like (sooo many examples of this vrap). For gay wedding cake, think chick fila. Oh they donated to anti gay marriage crap and SJWs protested and those who supported it patronized them. As long as there remains truly free speech and freedom of assembly well discrimination laws of these sorts are ridiculous. It doesn’t bother me they take the politically correct position because it’s been proven even when rand clearly defended this position correctly, it was never ever ever portrayed this way; the public IQ and attention span of a 10 year old makes it basically impossible to get the rationale out.

    What I want to know is WTF on Supreme Court justices, gun grabbing and carbon taxes. This was a bridge too far for me.

  9. He’s clearly wrong on the issue because private businesses (not public sector) should be able to discriminate any which way they want.

    True, but the law says otherwise, why should Christians get a special exemption from a government founded on separation?

    As long as there remains truly free speech and freedom of assembly well discrimination laws of these sorts are ridiculous.

    But until they’re repealed we have this constitutional principle called equal rights\

    … t’s been proven even when rand clearly defended this position correctly, it was never ever ever portrayed this way;

    That’s the tribal legend, never proven because never true.

    What I want to know is WTF on Supreme Court justices, gun grabbing and carbon taxes. This was a bridge too far for me.

    The gun grabbing is bullshit hysteria, like believing Gary is proposing a carbon.tax. As for Justices, one of Scalia’s majority opinions stated that bans on “assualt weapons” would be quite coinstitutional.

    If :LIBERTARIANS don;t know that NO rights are absolute, including gun rights, then NOBODY is defending individual liberty so what’s the point.

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