Gary Johnson

As Donald Trump Falls, Will Gary Johnson Rise?

Almost certainly, especially now that he's honed his foreign policy chops.


Above: Gary Johnson's new video on foreign policy.

What is Aleppo! I'm having an Aleppo moment! #Mowmen! Haw haw, we all get it: Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party candidate for president who's averaging around 7 percent in national polls, is a joke, especially when it comes to foreign policy, right? He couldn't even name the dictator of North Korea or any foreign leader! He's a Libertarian, and those guys have nothing to say about American power abroad, other than to withdraw into an insane isolationist position, amirite.

Well, no. As Anthony Fisher has noted, Johnson laid out a sane, coherent, and skeptical foreign policy last week at the University of Chicago. Alone among candidates who are on the ballot in all 50 states, he has the temerity to point out that America's 21st-century wars haven't gone so well, either for us or the people we're liberating, droning, or otherwise bombing the shit out of.

With Donald Trump tanking due to a seemingly endless procession of assault revelations, Johnson stands to benefit greatly. Not only has he addressed missteps on foreign policy, he's also talking up the Wikileaks emails that show Hillary Clinton to be a two-faced pol at best, a brazen B.S. artist at worst. From a new Daily Beast column that's based on my recent interview with Johnson:

Johnson campaign

"Hypocrisy is the one unforgivable thing—saying one thing and doing another," Johnson tells me, pointing toward both Trump and Clinton as prime examples. "I've always lived by the credo that if you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything. You acknowledge mistakes and there's no quicker way to fix them by acknowledging them."…

"Show me an America with less debt, greater economic strength, and robust trade relationships across the globe, and I will show you a safer, more secure, America," said Johnson in his [University of Chicago foreign policy] speech. "Terrorism and the threat from extremists are real. But our approach to those threats must be real as well. The notion that we will someday celebrate V-I Day, Victory over ISIS, is both naive and misleading. It won't happen. What must, and I believe, will, happen is that we focus our resources on isolating the extremists, containing them, and starving them of the funds and support they must have to mount large-scale attacks. Tens of thousands of boots on the ground won't do it. Dropping bombs on the other side of the globe won't do it. And pretending that some military-style Global War on Terror will bring about a clear victory is not realistic."

Whether such an approach allows Johnson to pull Republican voters disgusted by Donald Trump's generally unhinged behavior on the one hand and ongoing revelations about Hillary Clinton's policy hypocrisy on the other is an open question. But there's little question that the Libertarian has followed his own counsel, owned his mistakes, and put forth a set of proposals worth taking seriously.

Whole article here.

Listen to my interview with Gary Johnson by clicking below.

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  1. The Johnson shall rise again.

    1. It usually does.

      1. Just gimme about 30 minutes.

        1. Eat more salmon.

      2. Speak for yourself

      3. Johnston may need advice from Bob Dole.

    2. If he continues to rise for more than four news cycles, consult your _______.

      1. Book of Revelations for signs of the Apocalypse.

      2. wife or girlfriend, whichever is closer

      3. Favorite World Leader

          1. He makes the best meatball subs, oh my god.

            1. No, that’s his cousin, Joey Leppo. Al is the falafel guy.

              1. Oh. Well, the falafel is alright. A little dry, though.

      4. Farmer’s Almanac

      5. SIV pincushion doll?

  2. he has the temerity to point out that America’s 21st-century wars haven’t gone so well, either for us or the people we’re liberating, droning, or otherwise bombing the shit out of.

    But… we’ve spent so much money. All that aggregate demand. We owe it to ourselves.

    1. Sunk costs? What are those?


    2. Doesn’t bombing them stimulate their economies?
      – /Krugnutz

      1. JDAM, the ultimate broken window creator.

      2. Don’t they call that “creative destruction”?

  3. That…was actually a pretty good video. I mean I didn’t care for the dirgey soundscape, but he was forthright and on-message.

  4. The media wins the 2016 election. The actual president will be whomever loses the least.

    1. Max Headroom — the president is elected based upon the ratings of his/her sponsoring network (to the best of my recollection).

  5. The party of smaller government and fiscal restraint should already by supporting Johnson given that he’s the only candidate in the race that even talks about reigning in the Leviathan and its spendthrift ways.

    But no, he doesn’t want to bomb Islamic countries like a serious American statesman and wants Nazi cakes to be mandatory.

    Makes one conclude that the GOP is almost entirely about the politics of pants-shitting over immigration, terrorism and the loss of white privilege than anything remotely resembling libertarian values.

    So to answer Nick’s question, no, probably not.

    1. “But no, he doesn’t want to bomb Islamic countries like a serious American statesman and wants Nazi cakes to be mandatory.”

      He denies the right to life of the unborn and is on the wrong side of a key religious-freedom battle.

      But other than that, any conservative who opposes him simply has a war-boner, huh huh.

      1. This year is different in that conservatives are in many cases contemplating doing something other than voting for the Republican.

        Johnson and his supporters’ idea of outreach is “screw you, legal abortions and gay cakes for all!”

        Then, “see, we *told* you conservatives would never support the LP!”

        1. ^^This….very much this……

          Oh and yeah, Cato, Christian Taliban, 91%, etc, etc.

          1. Are you actually developing a sense of humor about yourself? Oh, nm, almost fell for it.

            1. He’s what you get when Michael Hinn and Thorazine cross paths. If he wants it to be harder to spot he needs to call someone a contemptible moron and then complain about bullying while throwing in a CATO Institute reference.

        2. I’m really not convinced that the number of potential 3rd party viewers is *that* much higher than the number of people actually voting 3rd party, when you account for people who don’t like either candidate, but will ultimately vote for one of them to not “waste” their vote. And there’s a balancing act between appealing to potential new 3rd party voters and not alienating existing ones. The cakes thing goes against traditional libertarian beliefs, but his stance on abortion is consistent with the LP’s long-held position and is a deeply held belief for a lot (most polls say a majority) of libertarians. I think abortion’s an issue that even the most dogmatic of libertarians can reasonably have an opinion on either way, but at the same time that means that I don’t think it’s too reasonable to demand someone change their opinion on it just to pander to a certain group. And I say that about Ron or Rand Paul the same as I do for Gary Johnson.

          1. IMHO he could have brought in pro-life voters while still holding a pro-choice position. Calling for the complete defunding of planned parenthood while not touching Row v. Wade would probably have been enough and been more in keeping with tradition LP core beliefs

            1. I don’t think that would have been good enough for them. Just my opinion, but I grew up in a (solidly, but not fanatically) pro-life Catholic family, and I don’t see that as being good enough for people who view that as a life and death issue and vote based on that.

              1. Saying “I won’t subsidize lynching with tax funds but I will permit privately-financed lynchings” isn’t good enough.

              2. Probably true. I’m pro-life but I’ll vote for a pro-choice candidate provided they are committed to keeping my tax dollars from subsidizing it. You are correct though, it’s a single issue thing for many people and they won’t accept anything less than grandstanding about repealing Roe v Wade

                1. At present the prolife movement has been trying to work within the Roe framework, though with the end goal of not only getting it overruled, but of having all living human beings recognized as constitutional persons with rights.

                  Or as choicers put it, “grandstanding.”

                  1. Anyway, I appreciate lectures from libertarians about the stupidity of advocating unpopular positions.

                    1. I think you are making some assumptions about what I am saying. I’m also for the recognition of the inherent constitutional rights of the unborn. “Grandstanding” might not have been the best choice of words but what I am getting at is if there rights of the unborn are going to be recognized it’s going to be because there is a groundswell change in our culture, it isn’t going to originate in government. I certainly don’t see where I tried to lecture you. All I’m trying to say is that I am willing to consider voting fro a libertarian candidate even if they are pro-choice if their platform is otherwise solid. I certainly haven’t seen that out of Johnson/Weld. Single issue voters on abortion is part of why we have elected a lot of turd-sandwich republicans who incidentally haven’t done anything to advance the pro-life cause.

                    2. “I think you are making some assumptions about what I am saying.”

                      Your handle threw me off – I see that you’re not actually Michael Hihn, you’re Michae| Hihn, which is quite different. Sorry about that.

                      “Single issue voters on abortion is part of why we have elected a lot of turd-sandwich republicans who incidentally haven’t done anything to advance the pro-life cause.”

                      That’s the thing…these so-called “single issue voters” are constantly told they have to shut up and swallow the Romneys and the McCains. Any problems with the elected Republicans are more about this factor than about single-issue voting – otherwise they’d gravitate toward “purer” candidates like the Constitution Party.

                      And *some* Republicans – especially at the state level – have done *some* things to promote the right to life, so your remarks are a tad too general.

            2. I’d rather Row than Wade.

            3. the fuck is Row v. Wade

              If you’re talking about fishing, you should row if you’re in a boat and wade if you’re in a river looking for trout. YWIA.

    2. The party of smaller government believes in smaller government, just not smaller than the present one. They also want to spend less money, just not less than the amount being spent now.

      We owe Trump a debt of gratitude for exposing, and thereby destroying, the Republican party.

    3. Using “white privilege” unironically… 2013 called, it wants its memes back.

  6. “As Donald Trump Falls…”

    Even though he isn’t

    1. If a Trump falls in the forest and nobody is there to hear it, does it still brag about grabbing a pussy?

      1. He would brag to the squirrels.

      2. He would brag to the squirrels.

      3. He would brag to the squirrels.

      4. He would brag to the squirrels.

      5. He would brag to the squirrels.

        1. Sorry about that, everyone. I just double clicked the submit button, I swear.

        2. I see what you did there.

    2. He’s fallen by about 7 points in the past few weeks.

      1. Depends on who you poll. LAT has him tied, Rasmussen +2 in a poll conducted 10/10-10/12. I have no clue whose polling most reflects the state of the electorate, or if they have any predictive value of the state of the electorate come early voting/election day. I mean, all of the vote-by-mail ballots in FL were delivered before the NBC tapes leaked. Its something like 25% of the voters that could have voted without that info.

        1. He’s fallen by 7 points RCP average. Some more. Some less. The Rasmussen poll could be the sign of a turnaround or not. We’ll have to wait for a few more polls conducted during that time frame.

        2. Was thinking Rasmussen when I posted that

          1. Yeah. I will be very very surprised if he’s back up to tied, but it would be hilarious. And I don’t even like Trump.

            The media would have a fit, though. “WHAT MORE CAN WE DO!?”

        3. Looking at polling averages is generally the best way to go by. He’s tied in LAT, but he’s fallen 6 points in the last week or two, and that poll has been an outlier the whole cycle (it has a weird weighting system that can produce screwy results – there’s a single black teenager in the poll’s voter pool that supports Trump, and Trump goes up by a full percentage point every time he gets included in the sample).

          Rasmussen had shown good polls for Clinton before this last one. In general, they’re a right-leaning outlet that has been a lot more favorable to Trump this cycle than other polls, and they missed badly in 2012 so I wouldn’t put much confidence in them if I was a Trump supporter, as long as all the other polls are showing a solid Clinton lead.

          1. As I saw saying below, they can take some heart as the poll swung way left after the debates. It’s settled down a lot now.

            This should not mean that Trump really has a lead, though.

    3. lost his ass in Utah

      pulled out of VA

        1. one of those states where Johnson covers the spread

      1. So she’s ex-Virginia or are we playing by Catholic rules?

    4. Interestingly enough, Rasmussen has Trump taking the lead amongst “likely voters” in their latest 3-day rolling average poll of 1,500 voters.

      Can’t remember ? was Rasmussen one of the firms that called it for Romney in 2012?

      1. According to places like 538, Rasmussen has a small conservative bias. And a single poll usually doesn’t mean much.

        But the movement in Rasmussen has been very telling.

        It was +7 Clinton just last week, but +2 Trump before the debates.

        Could Trump have really made up that ground? I actually doubt it. But it would be very entertaining if he did.

        1. I probably shouldn’t say “conservative bias”. What I mean is a conservative skew historically.

          1. Yeah, it seems that pollsters in the States can’t stop significantly skewing their samples either towards the donkeys or the elephants. When I was studying polling in Uni (and later did a fair amount of survey work), the choice of “frame” was considered so important that you actually “framed” twice ? first, to get a rough estimate of what the population distribution for a given attribute might be, and then again to make sure you were capturing sufficient sample sizes for each of the attribute’s values. The second frame was the one you then used to do the actual survey.

            It was more expensive and time-consuming, but the results were generally head-and-shoulders above a “blind” frame. Of course, most of the clients didn’t want to spend the additional resources, so a “blind” frame it usually was…

    5. Look at polling averages, not individual polls.

    6. Even though he isn’t

      NPR continues to use the word ‘implode’. To the point that they preemptively acknowledge that this implosion is not the first or even the second and probably not the last. You’d think with all the pseudo-intellectual smugness and donation gifts that somebody would’ve had the opportunity to thumb through a dictionary and come across words like ‘setback’, ‘stumble’, or ‘faux pas’. I get that a serious ‘Holy Shit, how do we *keep* getting this wrong?’ introspection is a bit out of the question but a thesaurus or other reference book? C’mon.

  7. As Donald Trump Falls, Will Gary Johnson Rise?

    Er, no. He probably deserves to. But he won’t. If he even starts to, you can count on him getting the same treatment from venues like the Daily Beast that Donald Trump got. The left, even more than the right, is not a friend to libertarianism. Take a look at the flack Johnson’s taken so far. As atrocious as the columnists here never seem to tire of telling us that Donald Trump is, the attacks on Johnson have largely been from Clinton and her allies.

    1. Clinton’s been more affected by the 3rd party support, although much more so from Stein than Johnson, hence the nervousness. I think Nader and 2000 also have a lot to do with that.

      In 2012, I remember a lot of anti-Johnson comments and articles from right-wingers.

      1. I’m not convinced of this. The surveys are asking people: “If you weren’t voting for Johnson, who would you vote for?” And the answer is more often Hillary because they are moderates who really hate Trump. I’m not really convinced, though, that they would mobilize for Hillary in the absence of a Johnson. I think they might just not vote altogether. Because they also have a strong dislike for Hillary.

        1. Yeah, there’s ambiguity about how much of the 3rd party effect is purely from Stein voters. If you look at the numbers, Johnson himself is likely having a net impact of less than 1% either way once you account for Stein “taking” votes away from Clinton.

      2. I am still seeing facebook posts explaining how a protest vote for Stein means massive immigration, no abortions, and widespread rape.

        1. immigrationdeportation

        2. Wait, what? Are these Clinton or Trump supporters saying this?

          1. Oh ok, after the correction I see what you meant. I was confused by the seemingly contradictory positions.

            1. On days like today, I desperately need an edit button.

        3. I didn’t know Steve Smith was Stein’s running mate

      3. Clinton’s been more affected by the 3rd party support, although much more so from Stein than Johnson…

        Then you’d expect much more stringent attacks by Clinton & her surrogates on Stein than Johnson. But, you don’t. And, honestly, I really really don’t remember a lot of right wing attacks on Johnson in 2012. Sure, they didn’t support him. But, they weren’t trashing the guy.

        1. The thing is that people assume that since Johnson is getting more support than Stein that the 3rd party effect must be mostly from him. Also, Johnson may well be getting more would-be Clinton voters than Stein is – but in his case, that’s largely offset by would-be Trump voters. Stein has very few of the latter. Johnson critics don’t really think it through.

          I guess we have different memories of 2012. I remember him being attacked for “stealing” Mitt Romney’s votes quite a bit.

  8. Something about “rising Johnson.”


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  10. A better headline…

    Trumps sex talk causes Johnson to rise

    Johnson up after Pussygate

    The more Trump stumbles the bigger Johnson gets

  11. a seemingly endless procession of assault revelations

    Since this morning?

    jesus, its like hes trying to make Soave appear more-reasonable.

  12. I watched a couple of Morning Joke clips earlier, just to see what the assembled nodders are fretting over today. They had Weld on, grilling him about Gary’s woeful ineptitude; the inimitable political genius which is Mika asked, “Why aren’t *you* at the top of the ticket?”

    You fail at homework, honey.

  13. Go ahead, throw your vote away on those Republican governors and elect Hitlery Kkklinton Fuhrer der Nation.

    1. A few more k’s and I would have been persuaded.

  14. Not only has he addressed missteps on foreign policy, he’s also talking up the Wikileaks emails that show Hillary Clinton to be a two-faced pol at best, a brazen B.S. artist at worst

    Two-faced? She’s a regular hall of mirrors horde of faces.

      1. Quicker with the torch, Herc.

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  16. Trump the dumbass has screwed himself and the american people although without him it would be another Bush Clinton deal. This is nice, too bad he’s so unappealing.

  17. Fun with the video editor – Hillary/Trump Rotten to the core – George Orwell is spinning in his grave..

  18. The libertarian moment is gonna come any time now. And they’re not kidding about “moment”. They’re counting on a major flash in the pan.

  19. Anyone still supporting Trump after recent events is locked in. If Johnson’s numbers improve, it will be at the expense of Clinton.

  20. Title of article should be: “as biased news networks viciously attack Trump, the people stand by him”.

  21. That was a legitimately excellent video. I have no doubt that if the whole campaign was about reading scripted white papers like this Johnson would be doing better, but he’s just not quick enough to handle live audiences and loaded questions with the same depth and logic of his prewritten speeches.

    (Note: I feel a kinship with Johnson in this, in my real life as an engineer I am intelligent and also good at scripted storytelling but also very slow on the draw; I have to chew on issues for a while so I’m total garbage in meetings.)

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