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Gary Johnson: 'I Always Thought Telling the Truth Would Rule the Day. And It Doesn't.'

The 2016 Libertarian presidential candidate on "Aleppo," Donald Trump's unexpected good points, and why Hillary Clinton's trolls were worse than Russian ones.

"I always thought that honesty would rule the day. I always thought integrity would rule the day. I always thought that telling the truth would rule the day. And it doesn't," says Gary Johnson, the 2016 Libertarian presidential candidate and a two-time former governor of New Mexico, in an exclusive new interview with Reason.

Visiting Washington, D.C. in late February to speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in late February, Johnson talks candidly with Nick Gillespie about his presidential run, which mixed memorable gaffes ("Aleppo") with historic triumphs (he pulled 3.27 percent of the final vote, more than tripling the best of any previous LP candidate). "I'm done with elected political office," he avers, even as he discusses his ongoing work with Our America Initiative, a nonprofit dedicated to training libertarian candidates and promoting libertarian positions on immigration, sentencing reform, occupational licensing, and more; his involvement in CB1, a hedge fund devoted to publicly traded marijuana investments; and why he's done with running for office.

Johnson also weighs in of the presidency of Donald Trump, whom he said was appealing to racist sentiments during the 2016 campaign. Trump's tone, says the former governor, remains absolutely awful, but some of his policies, such as those regarding regulation and corporate taxes, are worth celebrating. When asked whether Hillary Clinton would have been a better president than Trump, Johnson says, "I think we would have kind of a myriad of other issues with Hillary that would probably be equally as bad.... I think it would be horrible if Hillary would have been president, but I think Trump's got his horrible also."

Edited by Mark McDaniel. Cameras by Todd Krainin and McDaniel.

"Moon Love" by Ketsa is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0.

Photo Credit: Christopher Brown/Polaris/Newscom.

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THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. PLEASE CHECK QUOTATIONS AGAINST AUDIO FOR ACCURACY.

Nick Gillespie: So, you are in D.C., and we're talking before you go talk at CPAC, the annual convention of conservative action people in D.C. Why are you speaking at CPAC?

Gary Johnson: Well, I think it's an opportunity to give a Libertarian perspective on things. Now, I'm going to be on a panel when it comes to economics and tax policy, so that is a Trump plus, the reduction of taxes.

Gillespie: Okay, well I was going to ask, what do you think about Trump so far? I mean, you ran against Trump, and you did historically well for a Libertarian Party candidate against Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Trump's been in office over a year. What is your evaluation?

Johnson: Well, he has not told the truth. Building a wall across the border is crazy. Now, he did say he was going to build a wall across the border, but he said he wasn't going to involve himself in states' rights, or he was going to stand up for states' rights. And here we have Jeff Sessions that has come out very vocally against marijuana. Ultimately, that may lead to legislation that will not make marijuana a Class I narcotic, which is really a good thing.

Gillespie: So those are two things, though, where Trump's bluster, or his bark is worse ... He's got a lot of bark, but no bite. Because we haven't actually started building the border wall, and Sessions is saying 'I'm going to ... Let's start looking at these states that have legalized marijuana.' But nothing has happened yet.

Johnson: Nothing has happened. And, like I say, it may lead to legislation. On the Dreamers, hey, here it is. We may have legislation that clears all this up, but his rhetoric is horrible.

Gillespie: Are you looking for a position in his cabinet?

Photo Credit: Photo Credit: Christopher Brown/Polaris/Newscom

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  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Truth is treason in the empire of lies.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    I'm excited to see how quickly this thread descends into hatefucking.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    *unzips*

  • Cthulunotmyfriend||

    I do love to laugh, which is half the reason I read the comments. It's so funny because it's so true.

  • BYODB||

    Just once, can Reason run a photo of Gary that doesn't make him look like King of the Doofus People?


    Or...wait...is that just what his face looks like all the time?


    That said, I still feel like a GayJay Presidency would have been monumentally better than the other options. It's too bad that only murderboners get elected.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    If you don't project power, why become president?

  • BYODB||

    Good question, lord knows it's not to make effective changes. For that you'd need to capture the legislature. Still, it's a start I guess. *shrug*

    A doofus President is still better than a blowhard or a harpy.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    They were all doofuses, it's just that Gary wasn't as good at hiding it.

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    He's just too darn honest!

  • Episteme||

    GayJay should grow a giant Sam Elliott mustache, give himself some machismo!

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    "Christ, what an asshole." - Citizen X

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    "Citizen X, what an asshole." - Christ

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    I need to stop this now, or else he'll think that I don't actually think he's a cool poppa.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    He knows it's all in good fun.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    I KNOW NO SUCH THING.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Millenial denialism is so hot right now.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    "I always thought that honesty would rule the day. I always thought integrity would rule the day. I always thought that telling the truth would rule the day. And it doesn't," says Gary Johnson

    Gary, Gary, Gary. Why ever would you think this? You've been in politics for years!

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    New Mexico is just too friendly a place to learn about the real world.

  • BYODB||

    I suspect what remains of the Native American population in that state might feel otherwise. Then again, Casinos!

  • Citizen X - #6||

    I thought the official drug of New Mexico was meth. Are you saying it's actually ecstacy?

  • Brett Bellmore||

    Worse, he had the nerve to call himself a Libertarian while rejecting large parts of libertarian ideology. So he knew honesty doesn't win the day, just from having secured the nomination!

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Getting involved in politics at all is hard to rationally reconcile with libertarian philosophy. This is why libertarian-leaning private citizens are (present company excepted) eminently sensible people, while libertarian politicians (especially Libertarian politicians) are almost always raging loons.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    That's certainly true; Back in the 90's I ran for State Rep in Michigan, just to fill the ticket, not seriously.

    I'd wake up in a cold sweat from nightmares where by some freak accident I won. Normal libertarians do NOT want to hold office.

  • Brandybuck||

    OMG! He's not a purist! Gotta join the Libertarians for Trump now!

  • Teddy Pump||

    EXACTLY!!!....When I head him & Weld campaign I was shocked at how much they sounded like the DEMs & GOPers!....So, I did the honorable thing & voted for Rand Paul via write-in!

  • gphx||

    'I was going to be President I don't know why - but then I got high, then I got high, then I got high'.

  • Nardz||

    Damn it. You beat me to it. Though mine was going to read: "Gary, Gary, Gary... come on, buddy. You can't be serious."

  • Mickey Rat||

    You did, Gary? Did you pay attention to political history in your education at all?

    If you did, then you should be aware of the difference between "should" and "does".

  • silver.||

    Johnson: [...] So when it came to goffs, they had the firepower to come back.

    Gillespie: Do they ... Could I just ask, you mean 'gaffs', right, not 'goffs'?

    ... Johnson, stop being baked during interviews.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Did he combine Goof and Gaff?

  • jelabarre||

    He secretly wrote My Immortal.

    At least it wasn't Eye of Argon

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    He meant coif.

    Robby's not the only Reasoner with mesmerizing hair.

  • guy who laughs at naiveté||

    Gary Johnson: 'I Always Thought Telling the Truth Would Rule the Day.'

    Ha!

  • Eidde||

    "I always thought that honesty would rule the day."

    "But just in case, I had a running mate who vouched for Hillary's integrity, so maybe dishonesty doesn't work either."

  • Just Say'n||

    Hillary also made Johnson run a neoliberal campaign opposed to religious liberty and libertarianism

  • SIV||

    "I'm done with elected political office,"

    Moar like: "Elected political office is done with YOU", GayJay

  • Imissbuckley||

    "Its an opportunity to give a Libertarian perspective on things..."

    So he'll be introducing David Boaz to speak? jk

    Look I love GayJay, and certainly prefer his low tax/low spending, anti-drug war, anti-war liberal Republicanism compared to Clinton or Trump. But he's a terrible advocate for libertarianism. I wish Larry Sharpe was speaking instead, he's a much better advocate, and is much more articulate.

  • Just Say'n||

    When was Gary ever anti-war? He endorsed humanitarian war and a permanent base in Afghanistan in a 2012 interview to the Weekly Standard. I've never heard Gary ever speak competently about foreign policy. And that probably hurt him

  • Imissbuckley||

    He called for an end to America's involvement in Afghanistan in 2016: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g4V9z4tpAcg

    Anti-war might've been too strong of a term. Anti-war as compared to Clinton and Trump (who has so far continued our overseas involvements). Agreed that Johnson wasn't very competent talking about Foreign Policy and that definitely hurt him, especially his Aleppo and "can't name a World Leader" moments.

  • Flinch||

    Politics and Libertarianism are not mutually exclusive, but there is a problem: politics demands dealing with common denominators, and its not negotiable. And where america is concerned, protestants are still [barely] that commonality. You won't know it by our media - it just shows up at the ballot box with regularity where progs don't own the media to beat the populace into submission 365 days a year like NY or LA do. Gary didn't need to believe anything protestant, but he did need to recognize their existence somehow. His campaign seemed to indicate zero awareness of them, so he never arrived. By contrast, the horrid creature we know as Hillary did at least put up a picture frame of "our values" when running for senate that protestants could fill with their imaginations despite her being a staunch enemy of their beliefs where policy was concerned. Gary is clueless... and he lost.
    I doubt the candidacy of Petersen could have ever gotten the nod in 2016, but Libertarians might have something to learn there.

  • Eidde||

    To get past the stereotype of Libertarians as Republicans who smoke pot, the LP nominated a Republican who *dealt* pot.

    They also thought there were not enough Leslie Nielsen lookalikes in politics, so they nominated Weld as well.

  • Sometimes a Great Notion||

    How dare you, sir, compare Leslie with Bill. I don't care if it is based on looks, you will not ruin the Naked Gun movies or Airplane for me.

  • Eidde||

    What can I say, I'm a superficial guy.

    This is Bill Weld.

    This is Leslie Nielsen.

    Strange but true...I tried to get a picture with both of them in it, but I couldn't find such a picture. Strange, no?

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Should have gone with a Nielsen/Simpson ticket.

  • jelabarre||

    Having read this article: Gary, you are not articulate. I agree with him, but a lot of the things he's saying–the way he speak, really, how this transcript portrays him–he is the dumbest person ever. I'm not saying he's stupid, but the way he talks sure doesn't make him sound smart.

    Well, considering the most articulate candidate the New York Libertarian Party ran was Howard Stern, I expect it's a party-wide problem.

  • John||

    What does it mean that Trump's tone is awful and why does that matter? When people say things like that, they are really saying that Trump is violating the beltway code of manners. What makes someone like Johnson saying it and being so concerned about manners is that the left uses manners and the need to abide by a set of rules in order to be considered one of the educated classes, as a way to make most conservative and nearly all libertarian positions completely outside the boundaries of acceptable discourse. You can't say truths the left doesn't like or make arguments they can't refute because they have declared doing so rude and in violation of the courtly manners of the educated class. People like Johnson are offered a devil's bargain whereby in return for having good manners and being an ineffective opposition they are granted the status of being considered a member of the enlightened classes.

  • creech||

    What, there are no ways to call someone an asshole without looking like one yourself? Buckley eviscerated assholes while rarely looking like one. Trump's coarseness makes him enemies who should be on his side or neutral. Churchill mastered the art of insult. Reagan managed it without looking mean-spirited. Libertarians need to get better at it.
    Rothbard used to do it. Boaz sometimes pulls it off as does Palmer. Poole doesn't suffer fools gladly.

  • John||

    Buckley was hated just as much as Trump. And he was much less effective at winning voters.

  • Imissbuckley||

    Buckley was hated by the Left for his brilliance taking in apart their arguments and his ability to make a point without making an enemy. And I don't believe they sent him anywhere near the same hate that Trump gets, but its hard to compare the two since Buckley was prominent in a different era.

    As for the voting thing, that's because Buckley didn't really run a serious campaign, hell his most famous quip from his mayoral run was, if he won was he would "demand a recount"

    I agree with Creech that Trump might be a little more effective if he was less brash. But we'll see if Trump was right or wrong in his approach to governing and his ability to keep "winning" both this November and in 2020.

  • buybuydandavis||

    "What does it mean that Trump's tone is awful and why does that matter? When people say things like that, they are really saying that Trump is violating the beltway code of manners. "

    Any statement off The Narrative is bad tone.

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    The truth is: there is no such place as Aleppo.

  • John||

    We have always been at war with Aleppo.

  • IceTrey||

    Not anymore.

  • Eidde||

    Johnson was simply ahead of his time.

  • Rockabilly||

    To brighten your day watch Jonathan Richman sing 'I Was Dancing In The Lesbian Bar.'

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XjFU98mEem4

  • Robert||

    I keep forgetting to update my address on his mailing list (snail mail only).

  • NoVaNick||

    the left uses manners and the need to abide by a set of rules in order to be considered one of the educated classes

    Manners for the rest of us. For them, manners don't apply obviously, or you wouldn't see them dressing up in vagina costumes or shutting down or assaulting right of center speakers on college campuses.

  • John||

    Yes. The rules only apply to the other side. The left routinely resorts to the worst sexist and racist slurs when it suits their purposes.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Quit whimpering.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Maybe we should just kick the shit out of you progtards so you learn your place. Just like every other smelly hippie.

  • Echospinner||

    Thanks Trump voters.

    You had your vote.

    But at least it is not Hillary. Nickels on the dollar.

    Nickels on the dollar matter. It is always about the money.

  • Brandybuck||

    To be fair, I still don't know what a Leppo is. I looked it up but apparently it was one of the Marx Brothers.

  • Eidde||

    "That's-a Zeppo!"

  • Episteme||

    Gary Johnson does look like he could be a long-lost Marx Brother.

  • drugwarisevil||

    Aleppo should not be considered a gaffe. While Johnson was ridiculed for his statement, his honesty was refreshing and if the question had been asked more honestly and not as a nonsequitor gotcha hunt, then he would have given a great response.

    The media colluded to ignore the most qualified Republicans running - yes Johnson and Weld (while running as :ibertarians) because they were former Governors had more experience as executives than any of the other candidates (including most of the GOP primary field) - to help Hillary win against what they considered a very flawed candidate in Trump. Well good for Trump for defeating the two most corrupt political families, Bushes and Clintons, the two most corrupt criminal war parties and their media lackies.

  • JFree||

    The media is always gonna ask the gotcha question - esp to a third party who unlike the duopoly nominees doesn't get a foreign policy briefing from the CIA (Trump got his first one on 8/17/16 after delaying it for a couple months - 10 days after 'Aleppo')

    He should have known that the gotcha was coming - and prepared a very generic response to ANY gotcha question where he doesn't know the answer. eg

    ? - What would you do about .... Aleppo
    A - What would be your recommendation about what we do about .... Aleppo?

    ? - Who is your favorite leader of a foreign country?
    A - The President of the US cannot base our nations foreign policy on who might be a favorite or who we like. [transition to what you actually want our foreign policy to be based on]

    ? - Where/who is Gitchigoomee?
    A - Why is that critical to US interests?

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    I don't know if he would have given a "great" response, but the confusing, unmotivated pivot in the discussion was clear to anyone who actually watched the video.

  • Nardz||

    "yes Johnson and Weld (while running as :ibertarians) because they were former Governors had more experience as executives than any of the other candidates (including most of the GOP primary field)"

    Here's the problem: you're equating executive experience to political executive experience. Trump's been a CEO for 40+ years. I think that's the most executive experience of any candidate.

  • Brandybuck||

    Trump is qualified when it comes to using government connections to aid his private real estate deals. That doesn't mean he was the best person in the running to be president. He's gone bankrupt four times. Once is normal, twice is forgivable, three times is suspicious, but four times is crazy.

    This is a guy who does NOT know how to run a private business without insider help from the government.

  • John||

    Anyone who is in real estate development goes bankrupt a lot. And knowing how to manipulate the government to give you what you want is perfect preparation for being President. And he is accomplishing things. You may not agree with him but there is no denying he is doing a lot. Sorry but the Trump is a buffoon line is just bullshit.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Most real estate developers do not "go bankrupt a lot." But I imagine people unfamiliar with successful entrepreneurs could believe that to be true.

    More important, Trump inherited his life (although he is a somewhat able salesman and an able reality show performer). He may be what an unpolished, unaccomplished person believes it must be like to be wealthy.

  • silver.||

    This is actually a pretty good description. Like a trailer park billionarie.

  • Sevo||

    Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland|3.7.18 @ 7:15PM|#
    "Most real estate developers do not "go bankrupt a lot." But I imagine people unfamiliar with successful entrepreneurs could believe that to be true.
    More important, Trump inherited his life (although he is a somewhat able salesman and an able reality show performer). He may be what an unpolished, unaccomplished person believes it must be like to be wealthy."

    This is someone claiming to be a "Rev.", so you'll forgive me if I find his posts to be bullshit, like his handle.
    Fuck off, "rev."

  • Elias Fakaname||

    He is bullshit. He doesn't know anything about business either. Just like every other dimwit progtard. It's like my commie retired university prof. Aunt talking to me about business like she has the first clue.

  • vek||

    Trump DID NOT go broke overall 4 times. That basically happened once, and he bounced back and has been slow and steadily up ever since for the most part.

    Other than that, he bankrupted specific business entities he owned, as allowed by law, so he didn't have to bail them out with other assets. You can argue it's immoral for a billionaire to not saaay piss away 300 million dollars throwing good money after bad when he has the 300 million bucks to do it... But it's perfectly legal, and rich people/corporations do it ALL THE TIME.

    Most major companies own tons of subsidiary LLCs/Incs so they can do exactly this. "Oh the assembly plant in Little Rock is losing money, and has all these liabilities... Let's BK that bitch so we don't have to bail it out!" Happens all day long.

    I don't think it is super ethical, but it is standard practice. Trump hasn't done it any worse than most other people playing at his level. I don't think he's an exceptional business man, his main strong suit is being a sales/hype guy, but he's not completely horrible either. Contrary to popular belief he surpassed his fathers net worth looong before his father died, and did it mostly on his own. He got a name, education, connections, and a big (but not insane) loan from pops. Other than that he did it himself through his hype skillz.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    You nailed it. I get so tired of hearing morons here and other p,aces spout off about corporate bankruptcy like it's the chapter 7 they had five years ago where they wrote off their poorly used credit cards. None of them understanding the first thing about corporate bankruptcy organization.

  • JFree||

    HAHAHA

    That explanation is why we should get rid of elections and turn the Office of the President into a committee of 5 - with one new person selected at random every year and rotated into that committee - with one rotated off

  • Nardz||

    Maybe.
    I certainly support it for Congress.
    Random selection of social security numbers, rotated, with all legislation requiring renewal 5 years after original passage or each renewal. No regulation imposed by agencies; instead they must be voted on in Congress like any other law. Bills limited to some set number of pages and font size, spacing, margins, etc.

  • Macy's Window||

    I have to admire Gary Johnson. Very few people calling themselves libertarians have the mental agility to argue that government should force people to bake cakes or arrange flower decorations, especially when such actions violate their freedom of conscience.

    Close-minded, stodgy old libertarians would probably think that forcing people to bake cakes is an absolutely absurd use of governments monopoly on violence. But they are not super mentally agile like Gary Johnson and his supporters.

  • silver.||

    I disagree with Masterpiece, particularly the six-figure restitution, but I wouldn't fault Johnson for supporting it. It's one of the many opinions that I keep to myself in the current political climate. My view of the case's conclusion cements me as a gay-hater because nuance isn't a thing. I have to fit into predefined tribes so people will be able to extrapolate my entire personality from one sentence.

  • SIV||

    GayJay knew women are too weak and stupid to know they shouldn't wear hijabs.

  • gphx||

    'Dude, can Easy Bake ovens makes brownies?' - Gay Jay

  • buybuydandavis||

    " promoting libertarian positions on immigration"

    Go read the page. It's all about protecting DACA illegal aliens from US immigration law, which they've broken for years.

    It's not even about legal immigrants who follow US law. It's all for those who broke US law.

    #IllegalAliensFirst

  • Nuwanda||

    Talk about the wrong guy in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    Politics is toxic? Is this a newsflash? Gary, bless his weed-addled mind, at least stood up and was counted, but we all know politics is toxic. That's why you have to bring a big old can of neutralizer and have the balls to spray it hard and wide. And that was Gary's failing: no bark, and no bite.

  • Joseph C. Moore (USN Ret.||

    I have been a registered Libertarian for quite a long time (but not since its inception). I voted for Johnson not because I think he is more intelligent, but for the basic principles of Libertarianism. I did not fault him about Alleppo as I am sure most of the country also had no idea of what that referred to. I find from the transcript w/ Gillespie that his grammatical errors speak only of average intelligence. That is not to say that one must be Mensa qualified for office, just that one should have a firm grasp on the moods, standards, opinions, welfare of the general public, to serve them without dictatorial principles. The duopoly of the dems and reps who front a world government policy in an affront to the Constitution of our Republic and (even) the party planks is reason to vote for the citizen, politician who has the pulse of the blue collar state (instead of the duopoly ties to multi-billionaire globalists).

  • Hank Phillips||

    Well said! I too vote for the platform, and Gary was a damn sight better than his coathanger abortion opponent or the noob who had just joined the party and hadn't read the platform. Another good candidate pulled a Horace Greeley by dropping dead. Truth is there are LOTS of good LP candidates. We have a Gary Johnson in Texas whom I would proudly back--plus other activists no less qualified. There is something wrong with a nominating procedure that offers us a corpse, a noob, an impostor and a recycled Republican still learning the basics about women having rights.

  • Sevo||

    I voted for Johnson since he was the best of the three.
    But I live in CA; my vote doesn't count.

  • Cthulunotmyfriend||

    Not true. It showed up in the final percentage total, which will drive future change. I saw the Trump wave coming, felt disgusted and voted for Hillary. It made no difference for the election, but hurt the Libertarian percentage and left me feeling soiled. To do it all over again I would have voted my conscience for Johnson.

  • buybuydandavis||

    " whom he said was appealing to racist sentiments"

    Donald Trump "is appealing to a segment I'll just label racist," says Gary Johnson

    That about sums it up. As per usual, Progressitarian nitwits don't make arguments, they just label. And the labeling is always to foster the Leftist Big Lie.

    People who promote racially unbiased civic nationalism, like Trump, are "racist". People who promote relentless antiwhite racism, and racial sectarianism generally, are "against hate".

    Gary Johnson promotes The Narrative. As does Reason.

    Sad watching the Progressive rot spreading through formerly libertarian institutions.

  • silver.||

    Start a new one!

    If nothing else I'd like libertarian-esque publications to emphasize independent thought. "The Narrative" evolves. Being "socially liberal" is actually pretty difficult because the word "liberal" has been diluted into nothingness.

    That said, I think Hillary demonstrated that it's unwise to broadly denounce the supporters of your opponent.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    One of the great achievements of our society during my lifetime is that our bigots no longer wish to be known as bigots, at least not in public. The intolerance once was open, and casual, and common. Sometimes it was violent. Today's bigots are defensive, however, and increasingly operate at our society's margins, hiding behind terms such as colorblind, post-racial, and traditional values.

    America continues to improve, especially with respect to tolerance and inclusivity.

    Carry on, clingers.

  • buybuydandavis||

    One of the great achievements of the enemies of western civilization during my lifetime is that these racist authoritarians have convinced people that they're opposed to racist authoritarians, at least in public.

  • Griffin3||

    Today's bigots are defensive, however, and increasingly operate at our society's margins, hiding behind terms such as colorblind, woke, post-racial, safe spaces, and traditional values.

    FTFY

  • Elias Fakaname||

    "our bigots no longer wish to be known as bigots,"

    No, you don't, do you? Now your racism is paternalistic instead of antagonistic, but you're as evil as ever.

    Seriously Arty, you and your progtard pals are just racist, Stalinist murderers with friendlier slogans and better packaging, but don't ever think you're anything other than the same mass murdering pieces of shit they were.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Gary's vote take tripled when he quit pimping for the Coathanger Abortion lobby. There's a lesson in there somewhere. But since DemoGOP looters lie, why assume their vote-counters don't? I would bet money Gary got twice that many votes, but how would the evidence be found to settle the bet? It's not the votes that count; it's the people that count the votes.

  • ||

    "I think it would be horrible if Hillary would have been president,"

    Didn't he echo Weld about she being a 'great public servant'?

  • Kevin Bjornson||

    Gary Johnson--a "libertarian" on tax policy? That would be like Dracula being on a panel dealing with vampires.

    A 23% national sales tax could not be imposed on foreign retailers (like those in China, Canada, or Mexico) who now have the capability to market and ship directly to American consumers. His proposal would effectively wipe out large sections of what's left of smaller retailers on Main street. I met him in person a couple times to ask how he would prevent that from happening, but offered no solution, except to jail American retailers who don't comply with his diktat.

    Government is supposed to defend property rights, and rightful government has a right to charge a user fee for those who want that service. That which is protected, is the property people currently have, not how much they spend. So, a wealth protection user fee could easily substitute for the income tax.

    Gary Johnson, while governor, could have pardoned pot prisoners en masse, but declined to do so. Then he ran a pot company and drove it into the ground.

    2016 was a golden opportunity for the LP, considering the unpopularity of the two major candidates. Instead, the LP share of votes didn't even keep pace with the increase in population.

  • Nuwanda||

    "A 23% national sales tax could not be imposed on foreign retailers (like those in China, Canada, or Mexico) who now have the capability to market and ship directly to American consumers. "

    Why not? See how other nations deal with this issue. Customs simply looks at the declared value of the goods and if it passes a threshold they apply the tax which must be paid before the goods are released for delivery. The system works just fine.

    Not that I'm in favor of a sales tax just that what you say is not correct.

  • buybuydandavis||

    "A 23% national sales tax could not be imposed on foreign retailers (like those in China, Canada, or Mexico) who now have the capability to market and ship directly to American consumers. His proposal would effectively wipe out large sections of what's left of smaller retailers on Main street."

    Note that the moratorium on charging sales tax on cross state internet sales has exactly the same effect on wiping out Main Street, this time to the enrichment of Amazon (the seller) and Google (the advertiser).

  • SIV||

    Even Wayne Allyn Root could have broke 4% in the 2016 election.

  • Eidde||

    And politicians love to indulge in the sort of "self-criticism" which says, "I was just too good for this world, too nice, too principled, blah blah."

    Leave that sort of masturbatory fantasy for Hillary and her ilk.

  • Eidde||

    Yes, I included the terms "masturbatory fantasy" and "Hillary" in the same sentence.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    I threw up a little in my mouth when I read that.

  • Sevo||

    "I always thought that honesty would rule the day. I always thought integrity would rule the day. I always thought that telling the truth would rule the day. And it doesn't," says Gary Johnson"

    I have no idea if Washington or Lincoln told the truth, but given the incentives, Washington probably did most of the time, Lincoln less so for the same reasons.
    Any reading of FDR's presidency makes it clear that the man lied most always and everywhere. He lied because, by his own admission, he was devious ('don't let the right hand know what the left is doing'). In the opinion of a large part of the American public, he was a great president, which makes the Constitution all that much more important: Direct democracy is mob rule.
    Obama probably set records for lies, exceeding Bubba's efforts by some amount. It's possible Trump will top it, but claiming his guess to have been on the cover of Time 4 times more than he has been as a LIE!!!! says more about the claimant than it does of Trump.
    Regardless, claiming your devotion to the truth was your downfall says you have missed a LOT of history lessons.

  • Ranselaer||

    Well I'm certainly glad he's stopped googling himself.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    Yeah, I learned recently that the art of compromise often involves lying. My mom stopping arguing with me over my plans to check a stripper in Chem for a birthmark, because I agreed to cancel arrangements for him and I to drive Jerusalem so that she could stop having nightmares about me asking for directions in Aleppo.

    By the way, I will give extra points to any commenters who can present facts about the Jewish communities of Chem and Aleppo. From what I hear, the Jews from Aleppo are wiser than the wise men of Chem.

  • vek||

    I voted for Johnson. He was good on some stuff, awful on other stuff, but since I live in a state where Hillary was always going to win, there's no reason not to protest vote.

    I'm pretty sure the LP is straight back to being a side show next go around. It probably always will be. Principled libertarianism is NEVER going to go anywhere, as people just don't care. Hell I've become a less principles libertarian as I've got older and learned more about human nature/history, so people who never were into the principles at all will definitely never buy into it.

    A squishy pragmatic version could sweep the nation, but the LP doesn't seem to be interested in that, so that means the Rs or Ds will need to be taken over, or yet another third party with the goal of being a squishy libertarian party will have to be built from scratch. I'm pretty much back to just trying to infiltrate the GOP and influence it in the right direction personally. It seems the most likely avenue for success. Old SoCons will be dying out over the coming years, so will many Neocons, if those that replace them are more libertarianish, it might not be so bad. A party of Rand Pauls might actually be possible, but a party of true AnCaps will never get anywhere.

  • Eidde||

    Splitter!

  • Robes Pierre||

    Well, the Romans did give us roads. And Aqueducts.

  • gphx||

    The truth is Gary Johnson is a moron. Ron Paul attracted lots of people to libertarianism at a time when he was actually running as a Republican and Gary Johnson managed to turn most of them away in disgust. The fact some people think Gary Johnson was great epitomizes why libertarianism with a capital 'L' will never accomplish anything.

  • I am the 0.000000013%||

    Truth might have been the answer if Gary had been better at stating it. Most of his answers to questions made my head hurt.

    I still voted for him, but I would have liked someone who could state libertarian principles more cogently and convincingly.

  • styopa||

    Gary, you didn't lose because you "told the truth". I hope your self-image doesn't rest on that self-delusion.
    You weren't a serious candidate because you were frankly an idiot that I'd be embarrassed vote for.
    Seriously, you made Trump look reasonably well-informed.

    "What's Aleppo?"

    (had to put spaces in following link because reason.com doesnt' like links)
    https://www.alternet.org /election-2016 /gary-johnson-gaffe-track-all-times- libertarian-candidate-really-didnt-know-what-hes

  • Nuwanda||

    "had to put spaces in following link because reason.com doesnt' like links"

    It's nothing to do with links. The link is too long. It's seen as long word. I think 50 characters is the limit for a word.

    If you want to post a link use a shortener like https://bitly.com/

  • ||

    And yet, John Kerry can create the country of Kyrzakhstan and be Secretary of State. Keep that in mind.

  • Robes Pierre||

    This is probably the exact wrong place to ask this question, but why are the comments on Reason almost unanimously non-Libertarian?

  • Nuwanda||

    They're not. They are variously against anarchism, open borders, or any of the other pseudo-libertarian positions people advocate.

  • Robes Pierre||

    YES! That is exactly what I am talking about! 'Anarchism' being a euphemism here for liberty and 'Open borders' being a euphemism for free trade.

    Why is it that the commentators here have zero understanding of libertarian principles? Or just outright reject them? Or consider themselves libertarian in the first place?

  • Elias Fakaname||

    A strictly constitutional government still has sovereign borders. Are you against the US constitution, and it's underlying principles? Given that it is probably one of the most libertarian documents of it's kind in human history.

  • Robes Pierre||

    It is totally profitless to engage in that conversation. The question is why Reason has become so popular with non-libertarians, who reject libertarian principles?

    For example, how did you wander over here?

  • Elias Fakaname||

    So that's a yes. You're against the constitution. That's more of an anarachist view than libertarian. As for me, I'm sure I would fail most libertarian purity tests from people like you. I just want to be free of most government bullshit and be left alone. On the other hand, to make that happen (since we don't live in a vacuum) we need sovereign borders and some modicum of government to protect those borders so we can live by those principles without foreign interests, government or private, subverting them. Hence the value of the constitutional republic, and the underlying document that enshrines it's underlying principles.

    But maybe none of that is of value to you.

  • Mark22||

    It is totally profitless to engage in that conversation. The question is why Reason has become so popular with non-libertarians, who reject libertarian principles?

    You tell us: you are the non-libertarian.

  • Mark22||

    Anarchism' being a euphemism here for liberty

    Well, you can delude yourself into believing that "anarchism" means the same as "liberty", but that doesn't actually make it the same.

    and 'Open borders' being a euphemism for free trade.

    "Open borders" refers to the unidirectional, uninhibited movement of people into the US welfare state; that's not a libertarian position, and it has nothing to do with free trade.

    but why are the comments on Reason almost unanimously non-Libertarian?

    I think we resolved that question: you're confusing libertarianism with lawlessness, anarchy, and massive redistribution.

  • Echospinner||

    I voted for him. He was just too decent a guy and had actual principles. That never wins elections but I do not believe in voting just to choose the least odious republican or democrat.

    Libertarians should continue to inform and influence politics.

    We have the porcupine which is a decent animal unless you get too close.

    I like that, we are porcupines.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=_r2rDBVFAv4

  • Elias Fakaname||

    He also picked a horrible running mate and ran a vey bad campaign. Painfully bad.

  • ||

    Are you serious Gary? From the outset you had to have known that you had to run a perfect campaign, while Hillary and Trump would be free to err (and nearly collapse). That's the main reason you lost, anything you did wrong would be magnified to the 20th degree, any successes you had would be edited, or marginalized.
    That's how this game is run.

  • RockLibertyWarrior||

    Gary Johnson wasn't a libertarian, he was Republican lite which is the reason why I voted for Trump. Trump told the libtards to pound sand and passed tax cuts, look at our economy now. While I don't like everything he does or stands for, economics wise he is doing better than the evil, globalist, witch ever would've done.

  • Robes Pierre||

    If I was a pro-inflationary authoritarian I would completely agree!

  • Mark22||

    If I was a pro-inflationary authoritarian

    You are.

  • edchipper||

    Oh look. All the Trumpatarians hate G J.

  • Mark22||

    "I'm done with elected political office," he avers, even as he discusses his ongoing work with Our America Initiative, a nonprofit dedicated to training libertarian candidates and promoting libertarian positions on immigration, sentencing reform, occupational licensing, and more

    Great! Gary Johnson can join Michael Hihn as an example of how not to advocate or promote libertarianism.

  • funnyjokes||

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    Not only good posts but also great comments.
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  • Hank Phillips||

    Gary and Nick seem not to have noticed, but when Gary was blabbing about overriding Roe v. Wade (the decision copied from the LP platform of 1972), he barely got one percent of the vote. When in 2016 he decided women had individual rights after all, his vote tally increased by 328%. This tells us that candidates who promise to bring back coathanger abortions are a liability. Candidates who, as in Canada, leave all such choices to women and physicians, are an asset to the Libertarian Party.

  • Mark22||

    I always thought that honesty would rule the day. I always thought integrity would rule the day. I always thought that telling the truth would rule the day

    Not by themselves; they need to be coupled with wisdom and good judgment, which, I'm sorry to have to say, seemed lacking in your candidacy.

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