Everyone's Making the Same Joke About Gary Johnson and Libertarians

Something something Aleppo something marijuana something...


You may have heard that Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson committed another unforced error by blanking on the name of former Mexico President Vicente Fox during an MSNBC town hall yesterday.

In doing so, Johnson reinforced the perception held by many that he's not ready for prime time and the unflinching spotlight he would have to endure on a debate stage with Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. The fact that during the period between Johnson's 2012 and 2016 presidential campaigns he was a marijuana entrepreneur, combined with his on-camera brain farts and frequently spacey and goofy demeanor plays right into the stereotype that "libertarians are just Republicans who smoke pot."

When it comes to mainstream perception, it doesn't matter that Johnson has been able to articulate substantive foreign policy differences between himself and the major party candidates, or that his non-interventionism is very popular with active military servicepeople, or that Clinton's and Trump's foreign policy blindspots are far more dangerous than briefly blanking on trivia during a TV interview.

But since it's just easier to make the obvious joke, here's a sampling of some recent "Gary Johnson's a clueless stoner" political cartoons:

Rick Mckee/Augusta Chronicle

Taylor Jones/PoliticalCartoons.com

Randall Enos/Cagle Cartoons

It's a Texas joke.
Jeff Darcy/Cleveland.com

This one at least looks like Gary Johnson
Taylor Jones/Cagle Cartoons

As a bonus, here's a Gary Johnson ad parody by comedian Chris Fleming that differentiates itself by actually being pretty funny:

NEXT: School Orders Teen to Take Psych Evaluation After He Made an Anti Gun Control Video

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  1. Come on Tony. A few of those are funny.

    1. Gary ain't the best but at least he makes a modicum of sense.

      Hence, he must be destroyed but the government controlled propaganda machine.

      Mission accomplished.

      1. Let's face it, you couldn't make those jokes about many many other notable L's. You couldn't even make any of those jokes about Rand Paul who is L-ish

    2. The first and last one are kinda funny. The Chris Flemming thing is not funny in the least.

      1. I like the Alamo one. Glad I didn't watch the video.

      2. Plus, Chris Fleming is wearing too stylish of a tie.. he should have tried some yellow pants and a blazer...

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  2. I really wish Reason would stop with the election coverage. It's about as meaningful as covering "Dancing with the Stars" but the washed up celebrities are uglier.

    1. I'll admit that the "media is soooo unfaiiiiiir to Johnson" articles delight me, because it's always fun to see Gell-Mann effect in action.

      1. I'm just tired of them.

        Gary Johnson is irrelevant. Trump and Hillary are barely relevatn in that it's only of passing interest which one wins the election (the federal government is going to crater regardless who wins).

        I can understand assigning one reporter to cover the election as part of his or her duties. But it's like half their staff is devoted to covering something that is fucking inconsequential.

      2. I think the greatest thing about Johnson is that it has made Reason now claim that all of the kind of petty bullshit media gaffes that convinced them Sarah Palin was like totally the dumbest person ever, now really don't matter.

        1. Hence my Gell-Mann Effect comment.

          I must say, this election is seriously dredging up memories of first election I witnessed, the 1990 one in Serbia. This is not a good thing, if anyone's wondering, but it sure makes me chuckle.

        2. I once came across a book at an old used bookstore listing all George HW Bush's gaffes. Rush Limbaugh had a regular television show devoted to mocking Clinton's gaffes. By the time we got to Bush II, I was just shaking my head at how easily people get caught up in these stupid games of trying to judge IQ from soundbites the media feeds them.

          The really sad part is that people never learn. They go from viciously attacking Palin to vociferously calling ever Clinton mocker a sexist. Then back again.

          Reason also has a big post chastising Johnson for his mistake and pointing out how bad it was. As if he didn't know that by now. And as if any human could possibly talk every day in front of a hostile media for an entire election cycle without making a big pile of "mistakes".

        3. Ummmm...but what about those of us that thought the attacks on Palin were a hit job and the attacks on Johnson are a hit job?

        4. Reason has done a good job with the Senate elections. Perhaps more of that would be nice.

    2. Lochte is beautiful.

      1. I really think Lochte needs to marry Jessica Simpson so that they could have the most beautiful and dumbest children in the history of man.

        1. Creating the sweet, pretty, delicious Eloi? Mmmm....Eloi....

          1. Gotta start somewhere, Panny Z.-)

          2. Too physically fit.

  3. In doing so, Johnson reinforced the perception held by many that he's not ready for prime time and the unflinching

    He may NOT be ready for Prime Time, which is why I'll be voting for him.

  4. This was all funny and is another indicator a suspected murderer would have been a better choice.

    1. What a missed opportunitt. Is it too late to install McAfee into GayJasy's brain?

    2. Well you can vote for Hillary.

    3. Well you can always vote for the suspected murderer of Vince Foster.

      1. She's not suspected, more like known.

  5. Join the #LetGaryDebate protest outside the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) offices .
    12 Noon
    Friday, September 30
    1200 New Hampshire Ave. (at M Street)
    Washington, DC 20036
    (Johnson-Weld T-Shirts and lunch)
    CPD makes its next decision on debate participants next Tuesday, Oct. 4!

    1. Are you paying people to waste their time? Or are you hoping they'll do it out as a quixotic act of charity?

      1. Don't forget, this is the menace to society who seriously suggested HAART meds, and the countless lives they have either demonstrably improved or outright saved, are worse than HIV/ARC/AIDS conditions themselves.

        1. He also sent Episiarch a nasty email for making fun of an article he wrote, but to be fair, who hasn't sent Epi an angry email at one time or another?

          1. Ah yes, the infamous "Cloak of Anonymity" email that forever cemented Epi's stature as a true pillar of the H&R Commentariat, filled with obscenities and Micheal's patented spittle-flecked fecklessness.

            More of Terry Micheal's patented lunacy.

  6. Chris Fleming for President

  7. Take note of how every cartoon suggests that the weed is what's muddling Gary's mind.

    Then you'll understand just why legalizing marijuana was such an uphill battle.

    1. Also, I'm soooooo willing to believe that the "artists" who "drew" those things don't partake in pot.

      Penny Arcade has the final word on editorial cartoons. Non on-topic, but fuck it, I like PA.

  8. "I pee laying down." "I sleep standing up like a pony." LOL

    I still think many libertarians are missing an upside to this election: it's helping to discredit politics in general, especially national politics. That's a good thing!

  9. Old white guys hate weed. Shocking.

    1. Old white guys vote. If Gary Johnson thinks he doesn't need to have some appeal to old white guys to win, he's in the wrong profession.

      1. Yeah I think that's an important point. Johnson and his peace sign t-shirt and hippie persona is so obviously tailored to appeal to the kids, and that's a bad strategy to begin with, not to mention probably more evokes the vibe of the neighborhood pedophile trying too hard to lure 14 year olds into his basement than the progressive cool uncle who gives you cigarettes when you're under aged.

    2. You mean the Baby Boomers?

  10. A more cynical person could argue "Who cares what the name of (insert country)'s leader is? I'm more concerned about what is happening here and now."

    Clinton let people die in Benghazi and Trump is aching to launch nukes. Is a little stoner spaciness and sub-par international political relations knowledge really the worst crime a politician could commit?

  11. Take a look at some of the other tripe put out by those cartoonists and you'll get a fuller picture of their mindset.

  12. It's a stupid, hacky joke, the easiest joke to make in this situation - and Gary Johnson played right into the tired old stereotype. It's like Walter Mondale outright admitting that he's planning to raise taxes in his acceptance speech.

    Funny enough, even at that GJ will win one fewer state than Mondale.

  13. Gov. Johnson had a pretty good reply to all of this on Twitter.

    Gov. Gary Johnson ?@GovGaryJohnson 1h1 hour ago

    It's been almost 24 hours...and I still can't come up with a foreign leader I look up to.

    1. Ding ding, Garry! Now if only you held your fire, and used that response next time the question came up. Now they won't bring it up.

    2. Too little too late. Should have said that at the time. Sorry, you only get one chance to make the joke.

    3. Johnson's campaign team had a pretty good reply.

    4. If in troll mood he could say Obama.

    5. Now THAT is l'esprit d'escalier.

  14. Their laughing it up in Aleppo

    1. What's Aleppo?

      1. Not sure what's in it, but my dog loves it!

      2. Aleppo is the 6th Marx Brother that no one ever sees because he quit show business early on.

  15. RE: Everyone's Making the Same Joke About Gary Johnson and Libertarians

    Yeah, but the American people are still voting for the two biggest jokes in our history, the republicans and the democrats.
    You would think the American electorate would get sick of those two old jokes by now.

    1. What they called the great American experiment was actually an elaborate practical joke.

    1. He's wooden spoon sharp on a good day.

  16. Wasn't the US founded in order to get away from "foreign leaders"? Seriously, what kind of a sick, bullshit mindset is it that thinks admiring any foreign leader is a worthwhile endeavor, much less a legitimate question for a presidential candidate?

    1. Wasn't the US founded in order to get away from "foreign leaders"?

      Kind of? Maybe? Most of the people still considered themselves "English" and were raising the revolt against what they saw as usurpation of their rights of Englishmen, as established since (in the view of time) Saxon times. The King they revolted against being German didn't hurt, though.

    2. It was Chris Matthews, the guy Obama gave a tingle up his leg. He has been having inappropriate feelings to politicians for a long time.

      1. Maybe there going to be a new TV moderator game in town --
        Get Gary Johnson slack-jawed and make another Deer-in-Headlights gaff.
        There is huge media points to be made each time they get him cornered like that.

        The blood-in-the-water approach is attack dive is now anything foreign or international.

  17. The conversation should be about the utter worthlessness of political cartooning.

  18. You're ignoring the bright side here. Political cartoonists are actually acknowledging the third party candidate. Libertarian moment!

  19. I don't see what's objectionable about the second cartoon. Who wouldn't vote for Johnson in that depiction?

  20. If it was true that Gary Johnson had really "never had just a twosome", then that would be a few hundred points in his favor.

    I suppose the fact that his profile is now high enough for some comedian to actually bother with impersonating him is a plus... trying to put some lipstick on this pig.

  21. There is no defending Johnson. He's making an ass of himself and, by association, libertarianism.

    1. So said conservatives about McCain, and for that matter, Bush II and Reagan.

      So said most serious Democrats about Hillary and Kerry.

  22. I guess we'll have to wait and see on November 8th if there's no such thing as bad publicity...

  23. We should just do what Trump apologists do and claim GJ's just masterfully manipulating the media to get free publicity and raise his profile.

  24. Whatever.

    The most irrational and ignorant people driven by superficial and trendy pseudo-intellectualism I've met in my life usually were/are progressives.

    And they're smug about it too.

  25. Everyone's Making the Same Joke About Gary Johnson and Libertarians

    (1) It's not as if Johnson and the libertarians haven't spent years setting up the joke.

    (2) If libertarians ever become significant in politics, they'd better learn how to take this stuff and worse without butthurt.

  26. "I was making fun of Gary Johnson before it was cool"

    /real libertarian

  27. "Pretty funny" is subjective.... But the "threesome at a Kia dealership" line gave me a chuckle.

    1. It nearly moved me to change my screen name to "KIA Threesome, Jr."

  28. Why wasn't GayJay singing "Smoke on the Water" in the second one?

  29. Why shouldn't they dismiss Johnson as a clueless pothead when he frequently lives down to the stereotype?

    Maybe if he actually dressed like he was running for office, put some work into being able to intelligently discuss specifics of things like foreign policy, and worked with a media coach on how to present himself as less of a goofball, he'd be taken more seriously. He doesn't appear to have done any of that, though, so he might as well be baked from here on out...and voters and the press have no reason to respect him.

    1. They sure as hell have reason to fear the spoiler votes we will cast for a whole slate of LP candidates.

  30. Johnson just isn't the right candidate to take on a really hostile media. When they thought he was taking votes from Trump he was treated very well. As soon as the polls revealed that Hillary was losing votes the progressives' junk yard dogs went for Gary's jugular.

    The media have no brains but they do have a sense of where your weaknesses lie and a good candidate has to be ready for attacks on his weakest points, unless, of course, you're a progressive.

  31. I think the best we can hope for is that Gary Johnson will win and smoke so much pot that he won't be cognizant enough to sign any bills or start any wars.

    1. Before debating the pro-choice candidate the Go-Pee candidate was drawing 2 to 1 odds that he loses. Right now those odds have gone back up to 3 to 1. God's Own Prohibitionists are so desperate for votes they've sent anonymous shills in here to try to trump up support. Rotsa ruck with that!

  32. Johnson might have answered that there are really no admirable living international "leaders". He might have quoted Lord Acton and said that great men are usually bad men.

    1. "... and what is Acton?"

    2. Johnson is just fine considering the alternatives we had to pick among. Imagine a young lady listening to Simon and Garfunkle and watching those mystical character assassins snarling at Gary for giving exactly the answers SHE would have given.
      I couldn't care less about mystics in this week's Fallujah, and every tinpot looter in the world seeks to rob, murder and enslave voters the exact same way The Kleptocracy does. I admire none of them, but observe they are quick to lynch anyone who speaks out for women having individual rights, as in Brazil last month. Gary's strong point is empathy, which got him elected twice and gave our vote share a positive slope last election. He's younger and more competent than the looter opposition.

  33. I still won't hold my nose and waste my vote on the media darling Hillary Clinton, who is a bigger war monger than Dick Cheney and supports the racist and un Constitutional war on drugs.

    Oh no, I still won't hold my nose and waste my vote on the media darling Hillary Clinton the racist war monger.

  34. The reason everyone is making the same joke is because Gary is working so hard to embody the stereotype. He wasn't this embarrassing in '12. What happened? He went into the pot business and now he's acting like a burnout. Gee.

  35. The Johnson/Weld campaign should let Johnson do well-scripted, well-staged Major Policy Speeches, make him look presidential, and let Weld and other surrogates handle tv interviews. Present Johnson as the figurehead of a broader libertarian movement, with serious libertarian think tanks, academics, writers, policy wonks, etc.

  36. Its much more difficult to make a meme mocking HIllary Clinton for being the actual architect of the problems in Aleppo, I guess.

  37. Ah, if only every politician could have decades of experience in lying, feigning competence, and deflecting questions, like Hillary Clinton!

    "You guys have gotta try the cold chai!"

  38. To my thinking the fact that we've been reduced to insisting that knowing about some godforsaken shithole halfway around the world is some sort of qualification for president is a sign of how badly our political class has botched things. We're $20 trillion in debt, we haven't grown by 3% in the last decade, and the political class is prattling about some town in Syria?

    1. If Johnson didn't get stumped on a softball, they'd have pressed him until they got the outcome they wanted. I recall something about "can you believe George W. Bush didn't know the name of India's foreign minister?!" or some such. Still, it's basically a current events quiz and you have to figure you're going to need to be familiar with the headlines during these sorts of interviews. It doesn't look like Johnson has been cramming and prepping for this sort of thing. But yeah the Aleppo situation ought to be about priority 100,000 for the next administration in my opinion.

  39. Humor has just as much to do with truth as it does with perceptions of the truth. But if Libertarians or libertarians think that pot jokes are NOT FUNNY!, then that helps to illustrate why the libertarian moment is really just another day in the libertarian rut.

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  41. Of course, making that Aleppo gaffe, (the question being something like "what do you think about Aleppo?") Johnson provided a response that's agreeable to the vast majority of Americans.

    The smug libs making fun of Johnson are dope fiends themselves. They smoke dope and shoot up the rock, or whatever is the term for using cocaine. The banging Bernie College bros probably experimented with all kinds of trendy drugs making a buzz on social media.

    Johnson is completely honest about his past pot use (he claims he won't smoke while running as president) and was a CEO of a legal pot company. That level of transparency was obviously too much for many of the dim witted American voters. The clear alternative is Clinton, a woman shrouded in secrecy and has had a hand in blowing places like Aleppo.

    How did Aleppo get to where it is now? Why, Obama and Clinton had something to do with it. One of them is president and the other is running for president. Even drug users can see that.

  42. Entirely predictable. The LP should have thought about this before nominating a doofus like Johnson.

    1. I take it Sarah Palin roasted on a doob isn't your idea of leadership then?

    2. The LP rejected communist, republican and clueless noob infiltrators to choose Gary. Next up in the running keeled over dead soon after the convention. Compared to the alternatives, the folks who showed up and voted Gary got the pick of the litter.

  43. Hillary Clinton is not only a war monger, but supports the racist and un Constitutional war on drugs.

    Her daughter, Chelsea Clinton, recently implied that "Marijuana Can Kill You."


    They are very uncool and only totally uncool people would support them.

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  45. "the name of former Mexico President Vincente Fox"

    Think his name is Vicente Fox, not Vincente.

  46. Fairly or unfairly, being a pothead comes with a lot of perception baggage. And Johnson's last stint was CEO of a pot firm, yeah, comes with that baggage. Blame it on Cheech and Chong, or that "dude" everyone knows who works in last video store in town, or the stuffiness of americans. That's the way the field is striped, and Johnson should've spent 3 seconds thinking when starting this race. And ditch the goofy grin, the tennis shoes, and do a little more to distance himself from libertarian quirk. And yeah, maybe study the same questions the mainstream get asked, like foreign policy. This year--all he had to do was play a conventional pol stiff, whilst preaching libertarian substance and downplaying the quirk. But....no. A once in a perhaps century opportunity, when the mainstream parties went off the rails, and allowed an opening for the libertarians to fill the vacuum as grownups. Johnson could not help himself and had to run--as himself 🙁

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  49. If Gary had read the platform, he'd have known that "Governments throughout history have regularly operated on the opposite principle, that the State has the right to dispose of the lives of individuals and the fruits of their labor." Replace throughout history with worldwide, and presto! The libertarian party seeks to shift the paradigm so that other leaders everywhere no longer seek to rob and oppress, but rather, to free and defend their constitutents.

  50. Could someone explain why I should give a fuck? It's almost as if people think he would not have advisors to you know advise him on these things. I mean he should be able to name every foreign diplomat of every country in the entire world as well know everything that's going on in it and come up with the solution.

  51. It's deplorable that basement dwelling trumpcucks and Hillarycrats are so hooked on their candidate's jenkem that they can't distinguish between a simple "brain fart" and the neo-fascist lies of big government progressives like Clump.

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