Tag Archives: Gary Johnson

Why THIS Libertarian Is Voting For Mitt Romney

In the last few weeks, there’s been quite a battle in political circles between Romney supporters and Johnson supporters. I realize this may be a bit late to fully capitalize on the meme, but, oh, well.

I’ve made no bones about being a Romney supporter (though reluctantly, at first).

To set out why, I have to start with an “uncomfortable truth”: The Libertarian Party isn’t capable of getting someone elected town dogcatcher, much less President of the United States. The reason for this is simple: That element of libertarianism has assumed the intellectual “high ground” of defeatists: “I know I will never win, so I will make no effort to do so; I will sit here and complain about how terrible everyone else’s performance is”. They are the armchair quarterbacks of politics.

Meanwhile, in the last five years, libertarian-minded people have made tremendous progress- within the Republican party. Five years ago, we weren’t welcome in the house of politics; now we have a seat at the dinner table.

Need proof of this? Let’s start with Rick Santorum complaining about the emergence of the “more libertarian-ish right”. Or the number of Republicans who like what Ron Paul has to say “on everything except foreign policy”. I would even go so far as to say Mitt Romney’s campaign has been a validation of us: His message is purely about government spending, debt, budgeting, free trade, and economic liberty. Social issues have been pushed aside.

The GOP’s message, today, is essentially our message in the most rudimentary form. Why did the GOP win so handily in 2010? Because our message- individual autonomy and economic liberty- resonates with Middle America. Freedom is intoxicating. Our opportunity, now, is to use our newly-found voice to mold that popular sentiment. We know we’re right, and we’ve been right all along. Rather than act smugly, we need to show the rest of the country why we’re right.

Want to end the war on drugs? The best argument for it goes like this: It is costly and ineffective, and it funnels money to some of the world’s most evil people. Legalizing drugs would deny substantial funding to terrorist organizations and put Mexican drug cartels out of business. Our interests are complimentary to the interests of the defense hawks and the budget hawks alike.

Want to address the “warfare state”? Make the rational argument that we will only have “a military so powerful that nobody dares to test it” as long as we can afford it. This is essentially the argument Admiral Mike Mullen made, when he said “the greatest risk to our national security is our national debt” (and he offered up $100 billion in defense budget cuts). Once again, our interests are complimentary to those of the defense hawks and the budget hawks. Spending absurdly– which includes defense spending- is detrimental to our long-term national security.

Want sound money? The 99-year lease on the Federal Reserve expires in December of this year. Congress will renew the lease (which is a disappointment). However, this is a prime opportunity to bring sound money into the national political discourse, and it’s an opportunity which won’t come around for another 99 years. Let’s not waste it. We won’t “End the Fed“, but we just might have a chance to put it in chains, if we act wisely.

These are just examples of the potential in-roads available to us. Either we continue to advance, within the Republican party, or we sit on the sidelines and whine about seat belt laws. We can build on our accomplishments, or choose to accomplish nothing.

And for those libertarians concerned about the evangelicals within the party- and I am one of those libertarians- fear not; they are losing their influence. Rational people of faith agree with us, for the most part. They have no interest in “regulating your body”. The few who really do want to regulate people’s bedroom behavior are becoming a relic, because the GOP has learned that they lose elections when they cling to them. Witness the vast barrage of criticism fired at Todd Akin by mainstream Republicans.

We have the public’s attention- and the party’s attention too. We are demonstrating the correctness of Ronald Reagan’s assertion that “the heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism”.

For this reason, I am voting for Mitt Romney, and I encourage my libertarian fellows to do the same. Now is not the time to throw away the gains we’ve made- now is the time to capitalize on them! Make no mistake- we’re going to have setbacks, we’re going to be disappointed frequently, and we’re going to get angry. A hard road is ahead of us. But, little by little, we can change opinions and show people the wisdom of our position. After all, our principles are the consummate American principles. Freedom is intoxicating!

And a word to mainstream Republicans who attack Gary Johnson personally: He is probably the least-corrupted person in politics. His character is unassailable. This is the reason for his success as Governor of New Mexico, a state which is two-thirds Democrat (and one of the several reasons I had hoped he would be the GOP running mate). There is no doubt that he was shunned by the “establishment”, and any resentment he harbors is, in my view, wholly justified.

It is, to me, tragic that he is in the position of being unelectable. We need more Gary Johnsons in government. He is a good man, and I am indignant toward anyone who claims otherwise. Remember who our common enemy is.

The Libertarian Case for Mitt Romney – Take Two

In the spirit of the upcoming debates, I think I will indulge in something I rarely do, and honestly, I usually discourage others from doing it. However, given the fact that we’re looking at a close race in November, I consider it extremely important to keep the race from turning into a fiasco for conservatives in general.

Austen Hufford (CC)

Stephen Green, the Vodkapundit, ostensibly started this round of trying to make a case for Libertarians to vote for Romney. And that was followed with a reply from Doug Mataconis at United Liberty, claiming there is no reason for Libertarians to vote for Romney. Both made excellent points, but neither really made a case for Libertarians to vote “for” Romney.

Mataconis pointed out something that has regularly made my blood boil every time anyone mentions it – Romney was Governor of Massachusetts when they passed a healthcare law that was ostensibly a precursor to the Affordable Care Act. Please do note exactly how I worded that statement, because it is important. At the time that this legislation was passed, Massachusetts had a Democrat majority in their legislative branch. Romney was the minority voice. The legislation enjoyed widespread support of the citizens – not surprising, since they were the ones that put the liberal majority in control in the first place. So, that made it highly likely that even if Romney had vetoed the legislation, it would have still ended up the law of the land. What was Romney’s great sin, then? If we have gotten to the point where following ideology of a given political party requires behaving in a delusional manner, denying the reality of the situation on the ground, then we are really far worse off than anyone is suggesting.

And Green already did point out that this was one very good case against Libertarians voting for Romney, in spite of the fact that he was theoretically trying to point out the opposite. Of course, there was also the mention on both sides that we are faced yet again with a presidential race where voters are left with making a choice between the lesser of two evils. This also is nothing new, as I’ve regularly pointed out that I have never voted “for” a President – have rarely voted “for” any candidate for any office, in point of fact. But, there is a slight chance that may actually change for me this year.

Everyone has been focusing on Romney’s past in politics and in business from a negative perspective – conservatives complaining about him playing nice with liberals in Massachusetts, and liberals complaining about his success in the business world. We’re currently dealing with a sluggish economy, with at least a few experts warning of a double-dip recession. Why is the debate over whether or not Romney is a good candidate for Libertarians to support centered on the liberal v. conservative argument in the first place?

Libertarians need a reason to vote for Romney. Libertarians are for free markets – ostensibly, pro-business, presuming we’re not talking about promoting crony-capitalism. Unless I missed something, no one is running about saying that Romney is a stupid man, so it is probably safe to assume that he is not planning to draw from his experience in the Governor’s mansion when it comes to dealing with the economy. Unless he is a colossal idiot, he’s going to rely heavily on his business experience, and on what he learned when he dragged the Olympic Committee out of debt in Salt Lake City. But, given that the liberals love to demonize him for being a success in business, of course he’s not going to hit the campaign trail with that as the centerpiece of his stump speech. Given his past experience with the Dems in Massachusetts, he already knows that’s political suicide. And that brings up another point Libertarians seem to love to bring up – Romney’s ability to play like Reagan, when it comes to compromising. I think a reality check is needed here. No matter how much anyone would like to wish it otherwise, the bottom line is that whoever ends up in the White House at this point will need to be damn good at the art of compromise. Obama is not. Romney is.

It’s been said countless times – we didn’t get in this mess overnight, and we’re not going to get out it that quickly either. Also, we are not going to see any large portion of the Libertarian platform adopted by our government until the Libertarian party gains far more representation on the Hill, and in state houses across the country. That is not to say that Libertarian values do not enjoy wide support from the people. That is merely pointing out the fact that people have not started voting en masse according to those values, if for no other reason, because there are not a lot of candidates out there running on them. Until there are far more people putting themselves on the ballots nationwide on the Libertarian party ticket, we will not see those values move into our government, period. So, the only thing left for Libertarians is to support candidates from the two major parties with at least a few of the values they hold dear. I’m being generous here, since Democrats that are for Libertarian principles, outside of social issues, probably do not exist.

The Libertarian case for voting for Romney is that he is obviously pro-business. He is the candidate that will at least do something useful when it comes to promoting free markets. On a far more practical level, he has been there and done that when it comes to pulling organizations (corporate and non-profit) out of being deep in debt. Since any president is only as good as his best advisers, Romney has a far better crop to pick from when it comes to foreign policy, and domestic affairs. And finally, if I had a dime for every time I have seen self-proclaimed Libertarians sing the praises of Paul Ryan and his plans for the economy and healthcare… well, you get the idea. And that in itself should be a huge incentive for Libertarians to support Romney. If he is willing to put someone you at least like and respect a little in as Vice President, it is insane to think that he would slam the door in the face of others with similar philosophies. Again, the shift to Libertarian values, and building the Libertarian party will not happen overnight. It will happen on the back of the GOP, with Libertarians slowly moving into positions of power in GOP administrations.

The bottom line is that there will never be a perfect candidate for the presidency (or any other office.) It takes a special kind of crazy to place one’s name on the ballot, so by definition, every candidate is flawed at least in that way. As for the Libertarians? The reality is that the party is not positioned to place someone in the White House, yet. Barry Goldwater pointed out long ago that the GOP would be finished if it was taken over by the religious right. He was right. It will happen. Sooner or later, fiscal conservatives will break away from social conservatism in the GOP – they will realize it is no less expensive to promote social conservative ideals than it is to promote socialist programs. And where will they go? Of course, the most likely destination is the Libertarian party. We’re already seeing the rifts over this, with the literal blossoming of “Libertarian leaning conservatives” on the scene. But, if the Libertarian party goes down in history for stealing this election from Romney, that inevitable movement will be pushed back by several years, at least. Is it better to stand purely on principles that have no real hope of being implemented in government for decades, or is it better to take at least a couple baby steps in the right direction? It is an important choice – arguably may be an historical one. But, make no mistake, if Romney loses, the Libertarian movement could easily be set back by years, if not decades. If the idea that “Gary Johnson supporters caused a Romney loss” would stick, that could be devastating to the Libertarian movement. It’s not fair, but it’s the reality of the situation. If you doubt it, by all means, go ask Ralph Nader. Personally, I don’t want to see the Libertarian party relegated to political irrelevancy. Do you?

Dear Libertarians, 2012 Is Not Your Year

I am a card-carrying member of the GOP, primarily because I reside in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. As a fiscal conservative, I find myself agreeing more with the Libertarian platform, but it is not in my best interests to register as one. The Keystone State is not known for being groundbreaking in anything political, as in we are largely behind the curve. We’re one of a handful of “control” states, where the Commonwealth enjoys a virtual monopoly on the sales of the wines and spirits. The computerized polling stations are still only partially implemented state-wide, and we still rely on paper tallies to certain extent in most counties. We’re followers, not leaders, for the most part. But, there is one thing that some here complain about that we actually do right. We have closed primaries – we can only vote for candidates running in the party we are actually registered to vote.

DonkeyHotey (CC)


That is how it should be everywhere. It is the entire point of a primary. The election is held so that the members of a given party can choose their candidates for the general election. And we rarely have even one candidate for many offices that is registered as Libertarian. There are rarely any candidates for any of the “third parties” recognized here, including Independent, Green, and Socialist. And now there is talk of former Gov. Gary Johnson fighting to be on the ballot here, presumably to “send a message”. My question is, who does Johnson want to send that message to? Obama? Romney?

“A former George Bush campaign insider told us, ‘Your Libertarian Presidential candidate Gov. Gary Johnson may determine who wins this Presidential campaign,’” Howell wrote. “You and I and our fellow Libertarians can seize this huge opportunity – IF we’re ready for the last 6 weeks before Election Day.”

That’s from Carla Howell, the Libertarian Party executive. Now, either Howell is extremely stupid, or she sincerely wants to hand the White House to Obama for a second term. If that is what the Libertarian party leadership stands for, I wonder what the rank and file Libertarian voters really think about that. Maybe she drank the same Kool-Aid Rand Paul has, and views the political landscape with the same lens. As Ramesh Ponnoru already observed, it is facile to assume that Libertarian views on social issues would virtually guarantee more moderate Democrat and Independent votes in traditionally blue states. For one thing, it ignores what I refer to as “brainless voting” – the ability of voters to simply choose “straight ticket” instead of actively choosing in each race. It is a depressing fact, but there is still at least a plurality of voters in many precincts that know nearly nothing about the candidates and issues they are voting on in a given election – they simply cast a ballot on party lines. That alone makes a case for the resurrection of poll tests, not to exclude a given race, but to exclude individuals that don’t bother learning anything about the people or offices they are choosing.

And there lies one of the major reasons why we still have a two-party system. History tells us where the current Libertarian movement is during this election season. Johnson could go down in history as the GOP’s Ralph Nader. Eye Desert made the observation that Republicans need to start listening to Libertarians, and most importantly, he has pointed out two possible outcomes if Romney does not win. If the GOP blames Libertarians, it could spell the end of the party. If not, it could mean a stronger, big-tent conservative party. It’s a solid thesis, and is nothing new. Barry Goldwater predicted the potential demise of the Republican Party years ago. He was there for the beginning of the takeover of the party by religious leaders, and the rise of social conservatism as we know it now. And Goldwater knew that would cause rifts within the conservative movement. Add in the big government spending that has been adopted by the GOP over the years, and that is a toxic mixture that has given rise to this latest growth in popularity for the Libertarian Party, and the Tea Party.

But, we’re not there, yet. The Libertarian message is growing in popularity, but it is not enough. Until it makes sense for voters in states like Pennsylvania to switch their parties to the Libertarian side, we’re not there yet. And, sad but true, until the Libertarian Party sheds its fringe image due to people like Ron and Rand Paul, we won’t see multiple candidates up for election in closed primaries, like we do for the Democratic and Republican parties. While I would greatly enjoy seeing the GOP forced to address its problem with overspending and overly invasive legislative objectives in the name of saving everyone’s souls, we can’t afford four more years of Obama, period. It boils down to this – right idea, but absolutely the wrong time. Sure, it might feel nice to buck the system, and vote for Johnson this November. However, if supporters of Johnson end up handing Obama a second term, then what? I don’t agree with Eye Desert on this one. If the Libertarian Party ends up getting blamed for a Romney loss this fall, the GOP will destroy the Libertarians, rightfully so. It’s what the Democratic Party should have done to Nader and the Green Party, but unlike that party, losing the Libertarian Party would be a real loss. Since it’s becoming fairly clear that the Republican establishment can’t seem to play well with the Tea Party, it seems that is where the work needs to be done. Imagine the political landscape in 2016 if the Libertarians and Tea Party join forces. Now, that is how you build a relevant third party in this country!

Is Gary Johnson the New Ross Perot?

The Former Governor of New Mexico and current Libertarian Party candidate for president Gary Johnson isn’t likely going to become the next president, but that doesn’t mean he won’t have an effect on the outcome of the election come November.

Johnson briefly participated in the Republican primaries and debates before switching over to the Libertarian ticket, and per Fox News, Johnson is polling about 5% nationwide, which isn’t particularly bad for a third party candidate. Despite his low numbers, Johnson isbeginning to show a little pull in a few battleground states out west which includes New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, and Colorado.

Libertarian Party Presidential Candidate Gary Johnson

According to the same poll, he is polling at about 9% in Arizona and 13% in New Mexico – it’s not enough to win, but it could certainly be enough to hand out a disadvantage to the major party candidate that he is taking votes away from.

Earlier in the week, the Libertarian Party had this to say about Gary Johnson, “Libertarian Presidential Candidate Gov. Gary Johnson Could Deprive Mitt Romney of 5 battleground states, 74 Electoral Votes, 27% of the Electoral Votes needed to win in 2012.”

No one can be certain on what kind of effect Gary Johnson will have on the outcome in November, if any, but he wouldn’t be the first ‘monkey to throw a wrench in the machine’.

Twenty years ago in the 1992 presidential election, third party candidate Ross Perot collected an astounding 19% of the popular vote. Some have come to think that Perot’s influence aided Bill Clinton into the White House with just 43% of the popular vote, and disadvantaged incumbent George H. W. Bush.

However, Ross Perot had a large amount national support, something of which Johnson is currently lacking. But with the race between former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and President Obama being so tight and within the margin of error, Johnson’s influence could likely turn a state red or blue.

To add, some think that Johnson might not just hurt one side of the aisle, but both. While most think that Johnson will pull votes away from Romney, the Liberal PPP (Public Polling Policy) believes that Johnson could hurt Obama in Colorado.

“He’s going to be a problem for somebody, somewhere,” writes political strategist and Fox News contributor Joe Trippi. “We don’t yet know which candidate he might harm the most … both campaigns should be looking over their shoulders at that guy almost nobody is talking about.”

All of the numbers and opinions aside, Gary Johnson is a legitimate candidate for presidency, and shouldn’t just be thought of as a ‘vote stealer’. Johnson is the third party alternate in an election where the two major candidates are thought to have a lot of similarities. Johnson stands for a lot of what the other two candidates won’t stand for, simply because of political ramifications.

 

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Gary Johnson's independent move: smart, irrelevant or Perot redux?

Gary Johnson has ended his bid to become the Republican nominee for President of the United States and switch to a run as an independent Libertarian candidate.

In an email this morning, Johson said that “a credible Libertarian candidate for president is the real path to liberty, opportunity, and a government that is put into its proper and limited role.”

Gary Johnson had been badly trailing the other GOP candidates for months and had no chance at finishing the GOP race near the top, but he states a different reason for jumping ship at such a late date:

In a recent national poll 63% of Americans said they wished there was a third choice for 2012. There is, and I intend to educate the voters about what we offer America.

If Ron Paul is the consummate Libertarian, then Johnson is perhaps a more moderate version. Where this might play in the general election is difficult to predict, but could give anti-establishment voters somewhere to go  if Mitt Romney or Newt Gingrich win the nomination.

An independent outlet seemed to question Johnson’s libertarian credentials by noting that “Johnson joined the Libertarian Party in 1993-4, but did not renew his LP dues after the first year because he felt that at the time the Libertarians were too extreme.”

Johnson would likely take more votes from the right than the left which stokes fears of another Ross Perot-style dismantling of the Presidential election resulting in another four years of President Obama.

Johnson is the former governor of New Mexico – a swing state in the 2012 elections. And according to a PPP poll, his independent run would likely split the vote in that state resulting in the electoral college votes from New Mexico going to President Obama. It would not take too many other states following suit to allow the Obama’s to keep the White House as their home address.

Johnson had little impact in the nomination race in which he attracted less than 1% of registered voters in most polls and many are discounting his independent run as sound and fury, signifying nothing. Patrick Griffin, a senior fellow at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at St. Anselm College says that people like Johnson are “malcontents, and frankly, they should go on book tour.”

Ron Paul’s polling in Iowa and nationwide also give him a strong chance to be the nominee. If that becomes the case, Johnson’s message will likely fall on deaf ears.

Whether Johnson’s run has any impact at all in the 2012 election remains to be seen. It could mean nothing or it could mean another term for the current administration.

His announcement video can be seen on his campaign website here.

Gary Johnsons Email Announcing Change in Presidential Run [Full Text]

On Wednesday, Gary Johnson sent out the following email to announce that he would no longer be seeking the GOP nomination for President.

Dear Friends,

By now, you have probably heard the news.

This morning, I stepped before the microphones at a news conference in the New Mexico capitol and announced that I am seeking the Libertarian nomination for President of the United States. The Libertarian Party nominee will be on the ballot in all 50 states – as was the case in 2008.

It was both a difficult decision – and an easy one. It was difficult because I have a lot of Republican history, and a lot of Republican supporters. But in the final analysis, as many, many commentators have said since watching how I governed in New Mexico, I am a Libertarian – that is, someone who is fiscally very conservative but holds freedom-based positions on many social issues.

Frankly, I have been deeply disappointed by the treatment I received in the Republican nomination process. Other candidates with no national name identification like Herman Cain, Rick Santorum and Jon Huntsman were allowed to participate in the debates.

Incredibly candidates with no executive experience like Michelle Bachmann and Rick Santorum were allowed to participate while I, a successful two-term governor with a solid record of job creation, was arbitrarily excluded by elitist media organizations in New York. My appeals to the Republican National Chairman for basic fairness were ignored.

I had hoped to lay out a full libertarian message on all the issues in the Republican contest. I think this election needs a libertarian voice. While Ron Paul is a good man and a libertarian who I proudly endorsed for president in 2008, there is no guarantee he will be the Republican nominee.

When I announced that I was running for president, I promised you I would be a voice for bold ideas to bring government and its spending under control. I promised I would put my record as the ‘most fiscally conservative’ governor in the nation in front of the voters. And I said that, unlike too many Republican politicians, I think Americans’ government should be smaller and less intrusive and let people make decisions for themselves.

My Agenda for America is clear:

– I want to end deficit spending and cut federal spending by 43%.

– I want to enact the Fair Tax to stimulate real economic growth and jobs.

– I want to end the manipulation of our money by the Federal Reserve.

– I support the Second Amendment and oppose gun control.

– I oppose expensive foreign wars in places like Libya and Afghanistan.

– I support a woman’s right to choose.

– I support marriage equality for gay Americans as required by the Constitution.

– I support legalization of marijuana, which will save us billions and do no harm.

– I support returning strict adherence to Constitutional principles to our government.

It is clear that the elite national media and the political “ruling class” don’t want this message heard. It frightens them. It frightens them because they know our message is one that actually reflects the true beliefs of millions of Americans – and they don’t want those millions of people to know there really is a candidate for president who represents them, whether they are Republicans, Democrats, Independents or Libertarians.

Sadly neither the Republicans nor Democrats will offer this agenda to the American people.

They can’t handle the notion of a successful two-term governor, elected and reelected as a Republican in a Democrat state, who could veto 750 spending bills to shrink government — while refusing to play the special interest game or impose a social agenda on people who prefer to make their own judgments about “values”.

In other words, there is no room in the national two-party club for a candidate who actually proved that governing as a libertarian works – and whose platform on every issue is clearly supported by a majority of the American people.

Sometimes the best answer is the simplest. I’m a Libertarian in belief. I successfully governed as a Libertarian in everything but the name, and I am running for president as a Libertarian.

Even before I announced my decision, polls are showing that I would today gain more votes than any Libertarian presidential candidate in history – and have a very real impact on the election nationwide. And that is before our campaign even begins.

If I earn the Libertarian nomination, I will be on the ballot in all 50 states. I will not be held hostage to a system rigged for the wealthiest and best-known candidates in a handful of states who happen to have early primaries. And most important, we will offer a political “home” for millions of Americans who are not finding one in the current political establishment or its candidates.

I am excited. I am liberated. And I am committed to shaking the system as it has never been shaken before. Just the speculation that I might run as a Libertarian has garnered more national media attention than I ever received as a Republican candidate whose voice they didn’t’ want to hear.

Depending on which poll you read, at least 40% of Republicans are not satisfied with the “field” of candidates the media has produced for them. At least 1 in 4 Democrats is having real second thoughts about Barack Obama. Do the math, and it confirms what I have seen for months on the campaign trail: The only political majority in America today is the one made up of voters who are looking for leadership they haven’t found yet. America is ready for a President who will restore common sense to our fiscal and foreign policies and get government out of the boardroom and the bedroom.

A credible Libertarian candidate for president is the real path to liberty, opportunity, and a government that is put into its proper and limited role.

In a recent national poll 63% of Americans said they wished there was a third choice for 2012. There is, and I intend to educate the voters about what we offer America.

Together, you and I are going to offer that majority a choice. They will see that Your support in the past few months has created this amazing opportunity. I may be the messenger, but this isn’t about me. It is about seizing a moment in history and bringing America back from the brink.

I want you to be with me as we launch this great endeavor. I ask for your continued support. I ask for your advice. And I am asking for your contribution today to provide the spark for the movement we are igniting.

You are one of my most generous supporters, and I must depend on you to be as generous as you can once again. Please send your contribution of $2,000, $1,000, $500, or $250. It will be used wisely to take our message to every corner of this great country, and to provide a voice that will otherwise never be heard in 2012. Go to: Gary Johnson 2012.com.

As a candidate for the Libertarian Party nomination my campaign will be eligible for Federal Matching funds — which means whatever you send will ultimately be matched. A $100 contribution is worth $200. A $250 contribution is worth $500. Please send your maximum contribution today.

Thank you for your support and your friendship. It means more to me than you will ever know.

Sincerely,

Gary

P.S. For those who say my decision to run as the Libertarian Party candidate will only draw votes from the Republicans and re-elect President Obama let me predict that, as my full platform based on freedom becomes known, my candidacy will draw votes from both the Republicans and Democrats and many, many independents.

The Basis Of Big Government?

Let me ask you, the reader, this question: What motivates a person to believe that a government which controls every aspect of your life, your business, your personal habits, and your body, is a good idea?
To answer the question, let me emphasize the word your. Your life, your business, your habits, your body. We all know that big-government proponents seek to exempt themselves from the same measures intended to restrict you and I.

The evidence of this is legion: Far-left celebrities who preserve their own wealth rather than redistribute it as they would yours; far-left politicians who evade taxes while insisting that you pay more; leftists who keep guns in their homes while seeking to ban you from having them.

This isn’t an attitude exclusive to the left, though. There are some on the right who also maintain this belief. Organizations like FreedomWorks are doing a good job ferreting them out.

So again I ask, why would someone adopt the belief that government should rule you? The answer is obvious: They believe themselves more qualified to make decisions for you than you are. To them, we’re simpletons, unable to make good decisions for ourselves. They see it as their divine obligation to protect us from ourselves.

When choosing a Presidential candidate, ask yourself this: Which of them is most likely to leave you alone? Which one will make government as inconsequential in your life as possible?

Or, which of them believes he’s “the smartest man in the room“?

Gary Johnson For VP?

Ramesh Ponnuru makes this point in his piece “Heartbreak Awaits Republicans Who Love Gingrich“:

We already know the basic strategy of the Obama campaign. It will be to portray the Republican nominee as a dangerous right-wing extremist. Romney’s demeanor — his steadiness, his reasonableness — would undercut that strategy. It seems likely to be much more successful against Gingrich. After all, it already was: In 1996, Clinton ran against Gingrich as much as he ran against his nominal opponent, Bob Dole. Clinton portrayed Gingrich as callous and radical, and used Gingrich’s ill- considered words, such as his claim that Republican plans would cause the Medicare bureaucracy to “wither on the vine,” against him.

(emphasis mine)

Obviously, Ponnuru isn’t saying anything we don’t already know: The liberal media will use that attack against us. He’s also right that that attack won’t work so well against Romney- but then, how many of us actually want Romney as President? I certainly don’t.

Whomever gets the GOP nomination- assuming it isn’t Romney- will need a running mate who can do two things: a) Pull the “middle”- independents and moderate Dems- to our side, since we need more than half the country to vote for our guy; and b) nullify the Democrat “heartless” myth.

Enter Gary Johnson: Two-term Republican governor of New Mexico, a state where Democrats outnumber Republicans two-to-one. He didn’t win election and reelection by compromising, either: Johnson dramatically cut state government regulations on businesses, balanced New Mexico’s budget every year, and got concealed carry for New Mexico residents. These are three things one wouldn’t expect to happen in a two-thirds Democrat state, but Johnson accomplished them.

The secret to Johnson’s success in that state is that he has an excellent capacity for educating: He uses facts, presented in an inoffensive way, to change minds on critical subjects. He has a gift of reason and casual “good guy” appeal which is attractive to the center and immunize him from the Democrat attack machine.

I think our eventual candidate would do well to capitalize on Gary Johnson.

Gary Johnson Continues Whining – Threatens Third Party Run

The former Governor of New Mexico, Gary Johnson is getting frustrated with a lack of invitations to GOP debates. Now, he’s threatening to drop the party and go 3rd party.

Johnson is a Republican candidate for president, but has been polling dead last or not at all in many national polls lately. Due to his polling numbers, Johnson has only been invited to 5 of 19 of the debates. “We qualified for the CNBC debate,” Johnson complained “but they wouldn’t even return our phone calls” he stated in a Fox News interview with Neil Cavuto .

In a sort of revenge play, Gary Johnson is threatening to split the GOP vote by running as a third party candidate. More-than-likely, he may grab some of the independent vote, but not likely to be anything election changing.

September 22nd Fox News/Google GOP Debate [Full Length Video]

Thursday, September 22nd at 9pm, citizens got to ask questions of nine GOP presidential candidates. Fox News and Google co-sponsored the GOP debate and let viewers ask questions of the candidates through a submit and vote-up feature.

Attendees were:

  • Michele Bachmann
  • Herman Cain
  • Newt Gingrich
  • Jon Huntsman
  • Ron Paul
  • Gary Johnson
  • Mitt Romney
  • Rick Santorum
  • Rick Perry

In case you missed it, here’s the full length video of the debate:

Presidential Candidate Gary Johnson Receives Endorsement From Willie Nelson and the Teapot Party

Fiscally responsible former Governor of New Mexico continues to garner support nationwide

May 17, 2011, Santa Fe, NM – Republican presidential candidate Gary Johnson today announced that he has received the official endorsement of legendary entertainer Willie Nelson and the National Teapot Party, which Nelson co-founded.  The endorsement comes following a meeting between Johnson and Nelson last week, and marks the first presidential endorsement for the Teapot Party.

Upon hearing the news of the endorsement, Governor Johnson said, “I am truly gratified to have the endorsement of such a legendary entertainer and champion for individual rights as Willie Nelson.” Johnson continued, “Not only is Willie a superstar talent but, he is a strong advocate for social change, as seen through his tireless work on behalf of family owned farms and hard working Americans.  People across this country are demanding the freedom and opportunity to pursue their dreams without interference from a heavy-handed government, and Willie and I stand together to lend our voices to those demands.”

Recently, Governor Johnson appeared in the first Republican Presidential debate on FOX News. Throughout the debate, Governor Johnson reinforced his reputation and credentials as the most fiscally conservative governor in modern times, including his unmatched record of vetoing 750 bills. Governor Johnson was the only candidate to discuss sensible drug policy, advocating a cost-benefit analysis of the War on Drugs. As part of his drug policy platform, Johnson reiterated his unequivocal support of marijuana legalization, stating, “I advocate legalizing marijuana – control it, regulate it, tax it.”

Serving as the Republican Governor of New Mexico from 1995 to 2003, Johnson formally announced his candidacy for President of the United States in April from the New Hampshire State House.

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Update: It seems Willie Nelson has had a change of heart on his endorsement for Gary Johnson.

to see more candidate profiles, visit our 2012 Election Page

Herman Cain Shines in South Carolina GOP Debate

Update May 12th 2011 Recent Zogby poll has Cain second in Republican Primary-

Last night Fox News held the first round in it’s new series of 2012 GOP Presidential candidate debates on live television across the nation. Afterward, Frank Luntz asked a focus group of 29 Republican voters from South Carolina who they thought had impressed them the most in the debate. Watch the following video for the somewhat stunning victory of who received top honors in this debate. While there were many notable candidates absent from this debate, it appears that Republican voters are fed up with the Old Guard GOP and it’s apparent lack of true conservatism. As we see in the following video, just being a longtime GOP politician no longer ensures that you will win the 2012 Republican nomination in 2012. This speaks volumes about the weight of the grassroots  Tea-party movement and their message during the 2010 mid-term elections.  See the winner of the first 2012 Republican Presidential debate  here.

While the focus group in the above video had a clear-cut view of who they thought won last nights GOP debate, this writer thought they echoed the sentiments of most informed voters in America today. We need to cut back on the size and scope of the Federal Government, and reign in spending. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that America is being destroyed under the weight of  our fast approaching $15 trillion dollars of debt.  If we take out the obvious message of  the need to cut spending in our government, we then get a clearer picture of who is the most complete candidate among this group. here are some of my observations from last night’s debate:

 

Tim Pawlenty – While most candidates have been expressing disgust with Obamacare in general, Mr. Pawlenty articulated the facts behind how the Democrats crammed it down Americans throats in a very partisan and somewhat illegal/unconstitutional fashion fairly well.  Understanding that America didn’t want the Government takeover of the their health-care system after the fact is one thing, reminding the people just how wrongly it was done is yet another. Across the board, this Independent voter thought Mr. Pawlenty had good solid answers to all the questions in this debate, and showed America that he is in fact in touch with the American people and their concerns with the direction of the country today. Just because Mr. Pawlenty doesn’t have the WOW factor when he speaks does not mean he wouldn’t make a good President of the United States some day. Mr Pawlenty closed the debate with the plea for more common sense values out of our nation’s capitol, which, when looking at the elitists and tyrants pushing anti-American, big government Socialistic policies in our government today, would be quite refreshing.

 

Gary Johnson – Mr Johnson came out with the standard message of the need for budgetary reform and fiscal sanity in our government, and he has the proven track record to actually fight both progressive parties in D.C. (RINOS and Liberal Socialists) to back it up. See my article here for more proof about Mr. Johnson’s abilities in balancing a budget and battling both Liberal Republicans and fake Democrats to get it done. Mr. Johnson stood out last night in his call for a quick visa for illegal immigrants that would supposedly help our economy and create jobs. The problem there is that he didn’t say create jobs for AMERICANS, which I find repulsive to the core. Add to that the fact that Johnson, while being an anti-war zealot, did not state that he would immediately withdraw our troops from the 3 wars we are in if elected. As a matter of fact, no candidate really mentioned the fact that while Obama declared victory in Iraq, we still have thousands of troops there, and many are being killed every day. I say pull them out and let them rebuild their own mess of a rock-pile there, period.

 

Rick Santorum – Mr. Santorum came out with a somewhat defensive stance to many questions last night in trying to explain his previous statements on the war on terrorism, the national debt and social issues. This is a man who seems to be having trouble articulating his stances in a clear and concise manner, which could relegate him to being the first to drop out of the GOP Primary race, in my opinion. I would like to see Santorum do some extended one on one interviews that would give him a platform to explain his core beliefs a little better. While he does have the conservative credentials of past experience, he needs to step up and relate that experience towards dealing with the problems America faces today with some viable solutions. If Mr. Santorum would like the chance to articulate his stances on the issues of today in a different atmosphere that may be more conducive to explaining why he would make a good president in 2012, I would certainly like to hear what he has to say in an interview. I do feel that this debate format left me without any answers as to why I should support him in a Presidential bid. Contact my editor Sir, and I,ll give you a fair shot.

Ron Paul – Mr. Paul did an excellent job of answering all the questions at this debate, and never wavered on expressing his Libertarian platform, which speaks volumes about this man’s unwavering character, unlike most of the long-time GOP wishy-washy-flip-flopping cowards in D.C. the past two decades. Mr. Paul spoke eloquently and strongly about the three wars Obama and the Democrats have us engaged in today, and the fact that there is no apparent defined mission in any of them. Mr. Paul is the staunch enemy of big government and he doesn’t care who knows it! Good for him. He also proved he has the knowledge and understanding to deal with America’s problems today in this debate in his explanations on what is plaguing America. Bottom line here is that Mr. Paul’s stock as a viable U.S. Presidential candidate went up a few notches during this debate, much to the dismay of the Old Guard GOP entrenched Progressive-leaning politicians., which is a good thing in my opinion. Whether they like it or not, Mr. Paul will be a formidable opponent in the upcoming GOP Presidential debates. His participation forces the fence-sitters to clarify their idea of what we need to do to fix this mess in America today.

Herman Cain – As you now know from the video included above, Mr. Cain proved to be the voters choice in South Carolina last night. He was articulate and very adamant in expressing his views about America’s problems today. He scored points for stating how he would weigh the advice of all the experts involved in the current wars America is involved in, before being able to state a position on what he would do. That is a very down-to-earth realistic approach that most Americans can appreciate. Mr. Cain is a businessman, which also makes him the obvious anti-Obama candidate extraodinaire. The other glaring difference between Barack Hussein Obama and Herman Cain is one that most politically correct cowardly writers will not write about. While Mr. Cain is black, he carries himself like an un-hyphenated American first, who loves his country, whereas Barack Obama is widley touted as half-African first, and anyone with an once of common sense and an understanding of U.S. culture and values can see the fact that Obama is anti-American at his roots. Mr Cain is a pure Capitalist, who believes that anyone can become successful through hard work and determination through America’s freedom from over-regulation by an out-of-control, too big government. The anti-capitalism Mr. Obama and his far-left Liberal party masquerading as Democrats are as opposite of Herman Cain and American independance and freedoms as one can get. This is the reason true informed Americans are rallying behind Herman Cain today. One is simply an America-loving Patriot in every sense of the word, whereas the other is hell-bent on destroying American freedoms and prosperity. Right now, the choice is clear if the election was held today. Herman Cain would embarrass Barack Hussein Obama in a landslide, and not even a billion dollars in Obama campaign cash will  buy America into supporting the Nanny-State destruction of American freedoms that Obama wants to continue to relegate her to. Nice job Sir.

Was That George McFly In The First GOP Debate?


The buzz tonight is all about the GOP Presidential Candidates Debate in South Carolina. It was with great enthusiasm that I sat down to watch the debate. To date I do not have one candidate that truly sticks out as a solid choice for me.

There was one candidate tonight that I did not know at all. As a former governor of New Mexico, Gary Johnson was a new name and face to me.

Right out of the gate I was somewhat impressed with him. When asked about his views on Afghanistan he immediately earned my respect, saying that we should leave tomorrow. He added that he realized leaving tomorrow would take approximately 3 months.

Unfortunately, Mr. Johnson did not continue to impress me. At one point I literally stared blankly at the TV, not believing that I was actually hearing and seeing correctly! But my eyes and ears were not deceiving me!

Gary Johnson- a man applying for the job of President of The United States- actually interrupted Chris Wallace to complain that he was not receiving enough questions! Are you kidding me? He continued on, going from bad to worse, when he compared himself to the idea of the “fair tax”, stating the “fair Johnson” should be applied.

Chris Wallace assured Mr. Johnson that he had a question for him coming up.

It was like watching a warped TV episode of “Back To The Future”. Gary Johnson laughed nervously, stumbling awkwardly over himself in true “George McFly” style.

After one of the other candidates completed answering his question, Chris Wallace turned to Mr. Johnson, stated that he was glad to get to him. To this, Mr. Johnson replied sheepishly, “Great. Thanks!”

Quite honestly, the question that was asked of him was a very important question concerning Medicaid and Medicare but I could not have told you how Mr. Johnson answered the question had I not implemented the luxury of modern technology. Thankfully, I had DVR’d the debate. I had to rewind the DVR twice to actually hear what Mr. Johnson had to say because I was so embarrassed for him!

After he completed his answer, he thanked Chris Wallace, and it seemed as though the evening was going to move along as planned. However, Brett Baier must have felt sorry for Mr. Johnson as well, because he interjected a quick comment to him that they would be “fair and balanced” with the questions the rest of the evening.

Once again I could only stare at the screen in horror and embarrassment for this poor man! Is he serious? Once again, the images of George McFly flashed before my eyes! Gary Johnson- GOP Presidential Candidate for 2012- grinning a goofy grin, pointed his finger playfully at Brett Baier and said, “fair and balanced… that’s what I was thinking!”

What? You have got to be kidding me!

It continued to be a point of banter a bit later when Shannon Bream had her turn to ask the candidates questions. She turned her attention to Mr. Johnson, and said, “Governor Johnson, another question for you…”  You could hear the hint of laughter in her voice. She tried. She really did. And she almost made it to the question without actually laughing. But she didn’t quite make it. You could hear the ripples of laughter lightly sprinkled throughout the crowd, and Ms. Bream allowed a small, seemingly embarrassed chuckle to escape her before she asked Mr. Johnson his question.

Unfortunately, his answer did not impress me greatly. The question was regarding his stance on immigration, and he went on to explain that he was not in favor of putting up a fence to protect our borders. He turned my head a bit when he explained his idea for a “grace period” for illegal immigrants who are here now to be able to get work visas. While I do not believe his idea will actually work, I think it is a start. However, I STRONGLY disagree with him regarding a border fence! We MUST secure our borders or we are not going to have a country to be concerned about immigrants- legal or illegal.

By the end of the debate it appeared that Gary Johnson had regained some sense of self-respect, albeit it very little. There was no more whining from him about not receiving as many questions as the other candidates. The panel composed themselves and were able to ask him questions without having to stifle their giggles and reassure the Presidential Candidate that he was going to be treated “fair and balanced”. However, I found it very interesting that he received a somewhat “whimsical” question asking him if he had a reality show, what he would call it. Yet another odd and uncomfortable moment for Mr. Johnson!

While there were other issues discussed that I won’t discuss here, there is one last issue that I will cover.  Gary Johnson’s stance on this issue absolutely, without a doubt lost my vote if he had not already, when he discussed his pro-choice views. No thank you, Mr. Johnson! No thank you!

To paraphrase Biff, “Hello? Hello? Anybody home? Huh? Think, Johnson. Think!”  

You are applying for the job of Leader of The Free World! We already have one whiney weasel in the White House currently! What makes you think We The People will willingly elect yet another whiney weasel on the other side of the aisle? If you want this job you have to at least appear Presidential! Mr. Johnson- tonight you did not appear Presidential at all! Issues aside, America needs and wants a President with class. I’m not so sure you will get another chance to show us if you have class or not.

If I close my eyes really tight, I can almost hear that embarrassed and nervous chuckle/giggle/cackle from George McFly…..”Ah-ha-ha-ha, very funny.”

Well, not so much, Mr. Johnson. No so much!

What to Expect from the First GOP Presidential Debate

Thursday night at 9pm, Fox News and the South Carolina Republican Party will co-sponsor the first debate of the 2012 Presidential election. Five presidential possibles will be present for the debate: Herman Cain, former chief executive of Godfather’s Pizza; Gary Johnson, former governor of New Mexico; Ron Paul, U.S. representative from Texas; Tim Pawlenty, former governor of Minnesota, and Rick Santorum, former senator from Pennsylvania.

What’s also important to note is that the candidates polling at the top of the most recent polls, Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, Donald Trump, and Sarah Palin will not be in attendance.

For those that chose to show, two main themes will more-than-likely be omnipresent: pot shots at President Obama and attempts for each of the candidates to differentiate themselves from each other.

Gary Johnson and Ron Paul will likely stress their libertarian roots by attacking the Fed’s monetary policy, shrinking the size of government and stressing the need for the U.S. to get out of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya. Johnson’s laser-like focus on the legalization of marijuana may place him firmly in the fringe camp especially since he’s been largely out of the limelight since leaving the New Mexico Governorship in 2002.

Tim Pawlenty will likely stress his executive experience as the Governor of Minnesota and crafting the image that he is the only realistic candidate in the race against Obama. In the past, Pawlenty has struggled to create an image of himself that excites the Conservative base. The debate could prove a pivot-point for him in becoming the most-serious contender for the GOP nomination.

Herman Cain has a tough push in the debate. While an effective communicator, he has some unclear positions on more liberal-leaning policies such as affirmative action and government intervention in the workplace. If those issues come to light, he will be hard pressed to either distance himself from prior stances on these issues or avoiding answering them altogether. Either one may not play well with the GOP base.

Rick Santorum will likely do well in the debate if it focuses on foreign policy, a strong point for the former Pennsylvania senator. A key concern is Santorum’s electability. While he will likely be fiery and exciting in the debate format, his loss of his recent Senate seat may cause many to question if he can beat Barack Obama in the general election.

Exploring Possible 2012 Presidential Candidates: Gary Johnson

Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson could very well be the sleeper no one expected to win, candidate in the 2012 presidential elections. This budget hawk was the Governor of New Mexico for 8 solid years in which he proved a formidable foe to big spending State politicians from both parties. In another surprise, he also placed 3rd in the recent CPAC 2011 presidential straw poll beating the likes of big name con-servatives such as Newt Gingrich, Tim Pawlenty, Sarah Palin,, and Mike Huckabee. Of note is that the CPAC straw poll was dominated by Ron Paul and his supporters once again, as Mr. Paul won with 30% of the votes.  Also of note is that many people consider Mr. Johnson to be a Ron Paul- type Libertarian, yet when we take a close look at Mr. Johnson’s credentials we see two very different politicians. For all of Ron Paul’s bluster, he simply hasn’t accomplished the budgetary success, or proven to be as effective at slowing down big government, as Mr. Johnson has.

29th Governor of New Mexico*
In office
January 1, 1995 – January 1, 2003
Lieutenant Walter Bradley
Preceded by Bruce King
Succeeded by Bill Richardson

Born January 1, 1953 (1953-01-01) (age 58)
Minot, North Dakota
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Dee Simms (1977-2005) (divorced)
Alma mater University of New Mexico
Profession Businessman
Religion Lutheranism

Another fact to consider is that Mr. Johnson could run as a Republican, Libertarian, or even on the Teaparty ticket if the GOP forces the forming of another party by not heeding the warnings of the 2010 mid-term elections. This man also doesn’t fit the mold of the big spending old guardGOP RINOS that helped spend us towards $15 Trillion in national debt the last decade. That is a huge plus for a presidential candidate to woo the voters who are fed up with business as usual in DC. I  am already seeing Democratic operatives trying to downplay Mr. Johnson’s credentials, and pass him off as some kind of Ron Paul light, which should tell the voters that he would be a formidable opponent to far left Barack Obama in 2012.

Mr. Johnson took a controversial stance while Governor of New Mexico in 1999, when he advocated the legalization of marijuana. Citing the huge costs of  States prosecuting and jailing drug offenders, he suggested it be treated as a health issue instead of a criminal issue. He also admitted to self-medicating himself with marijuana after a very serious hang gliding accident in 2005, yet today he says he abstains from all recreational drug use, including alcohol, caffeine and some sugar products.

Mr. Johnson is also a very successful businessman, turning his handyman service into a multi-billion dollar construction company with over 1000 employees. Now that is what I call job creation, contrary to President Obama’s agenda of government intrusion into the private sector businesses. Mr. Johnson has traveled to over 30 states recently, possibly to give himself name recognition for the 2012 primaries and elections. He re-buffed invitations to join the Libertarian Party in the 2000 elections and endorsed Ron Paul for the 2008 Republican Presidential nomination. Looking back at that election, endorsing Ron Paul over the other candidates doesn’t look like such a mistake on Johnson’s part, considering where we are today. Bottom line is that people need to look at proven track records and experience when voting today, and ignore the media hype and party-line propaganda. In Mr. Johnson’s track record we see some very impressive  statistics against big government spending, which is the most pressing issue in America today. He fought against both parties in his eight years in office, to cut spending and balance the budget successfully. He used the line item veto thousands of times, more than all 49 other governors combined. He cut the growth rate of New Mexico’s government in half. He currently lives in Taos, New Mexico and has 2 grown children. He was married to his wife, Dee Johnson for 28 years and they divorced in 2005, and she passed away in Dec. of 2006 of heart disease.

This man is a proven fiscal hawk along the lines of Paul Ryan, with the proven ability to work with both parties to cut down the size and scope of our government. He will have great appeal to the Teaparty and independent voters alike. The main problem is whether the Old Guard GOP would be willing to extend a hand to him to break their pattern of nominating proven Crony-Rinos, which would only ensure Obama gets reelected in 2012. This man certainly deserves a serious consideration for the Republican nomination for President in 2012.

*Stats provided by wikipedia  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gary_E._Johnson

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