Tag Archives: Libertarian Party

Libertarian Party of Texas Poised for Largest State Convention in its History

AUSTIN, Texas, April 2, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — With Generation Liberty! as its theme, the Libertarian Party of Texas will host its 2014 state convention April 11-13 at the Frank W. Mayborn Civic and Convention Center in Temple.

The party will nominate candidates for statewide office and elect new state party officers. The convention will feature an exciting lineup of speakers and events supporting Libertarian goals of peace, liberty and justice for all.

While national trends show declining party registration for Republicans and Democrats, since November 2012 the Libertarian Party has shown 11.4 percent growth (Ballot Access News).

The Libertarian Party of Texas has enjoyed growth as well. “Our growth has come from a wide variety of Texans, but we especially see interest among young people,” reports Patrick Dixon, Chair, Libertarian Party of Texas. “I am very encouraged to see future generations of Libertarians getting involved.”

The Libertarian State Convention will see over 200 delegates, with 25 candidates seeking nomination for 15 offices, and, what is tracking to be the largest number of non-delegates, in attendance.

Friday events are free and open to the public while Saturday and Sunday includes meal and speaker events that require registration.

With a 1 p.m. kick-off, Friday’s first session will provide important training for delegates to learn mechanics of the procedures observed during convention business sessions. A 3:30 p.m. “Come and Take It” rally in the Mayborn Center parking lot will feature speakers including C.J. Grisham discussing the importance of defending Second Amendment rights. Candidate debates for statewide offices are scheduled from 6 – 9 p.m.

Saturday business sessions will address state rules and nominations while break-out sessions will address topics like, “The Libertarian Message and Drugs, Data and the Dominatrix: Civil Liberties in Texas.”

Saturday’s lunch will feature Students for Liberty (SFL) founder Alexander McCobin discussing how the young generation can carry the Libertarian message.

The dinner banquet will include speakers Wes Benedict, Michael Cloud and Ben Swann. Benedict, executive director of the Libertarian National Committee, and Cloud, president and co-founder of the Center For Small Government, will talk on effectively spreading the party’s message. Swann, a broadcast news journalist known for creating “Reality Check” and his own media company, the Truth in Media Project, will deliver the keynote address.

On Sunday, 2013 SFL Student of the Year award winner, Noelle Mandell will discuss why young people matter and how Libertarians can work to attract/engage the next generation, and will also facilitate a hands-on exercise in activism.

A Sunday break-out session, “Free Beer: Liberating our favorite libations,” will highlight the challenges of small business owners in a highly regulated environment while lunch speakers will discuss “Bitcoin, Banks and Bailouts: How do Bitcoin, the Federal Reserve System, and crony capitalism affect the economy.”

Full convention schedule:
https://www.lptexas.org/2014-schedule

Registration information:
https://www.lptexas.org/convention-registration

A Letter to Working Class Democrats

I wrote an article a few days ago in which I appealed to conservative leaders in many fields to come together and form a 3rd political party to represent those of us not being represented In Congress.  To look at it on the surface one Eagle Changing Things I Cannotg Acceptmight think I was talking to Republicans and Independents primarily, but they are only a portion of the audience I want to reach.  I am truly perplexed by people who will vote for Democrat candidates when the party stands against everything you say you believe in and value.

During the hey-day of the TEA Party movement in the 2009/2010 election cycle you were right there with Republicans, Independents, and Libertarians; telling the federal government you have had enough of their big spending, “sit down and shut-up peasant” attitude.  You were a part of the 67% of We the People who assembled peacefully and voiced our desires as to how OUR EMPLOYEES should conduct OUR BUSINESS.

You are a Catholic, a Methodist, a Baptist, an Evangelical, a Lutheran, etc. who believes in God, believes in the salvation of Jesus Christ, believes in the freedom and responsibility to conduct your lives accordingly. You are an agnostic, Wiccan, pagan, etc. who are “religious” polar opposites of Christians.  You want to worship whatever orBible n Flag Picture whoever you wish, in peace.

You are a homosexual, bi-sexual, cross-dresser, etc. who wants to live your life as you want to live it. You aren’t the one out creating publicity stunts to get attention.  You are the one who just wants to live your life in private and mind your own business, and have others mind their own business.  Your skin has any one of a variety of tints but your blood is always red.  You live by the “Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”.

You are a union member who is forced to pay dues to a small group of people who control the job market.  This is called extortion and is illegal when not conducted by government and their henchmen.  You are a secretary, salesman, or customer service person at a store somewhere.  You want to live your life, have a job, and raise your children; and to be free to eat what you want; to go where you want, when you want, without government controlling every aspect of your life.  You want to be free to express your values and faith openly.

You are people who believe in the values instituted by our founding fathers, understand what they believed, know what they established, and desire to pass those values and beliefs on to your children and grandchildren.  You believe in the George WashingtonBill of Rights as stated in the Constitution; that those rights are “God given” and do not come from the benevolence of government. You are part of the 67% of We the People who make up the TEA Party.  I know you have courage, I have seen it.

The Democrat Party favors the confiscation of firearms, do you?    The party believes in open borders and clamping down on law abiding citizens in favor of people who break the law, do you?  The party elites believe only they are intelligent enough to know what you can eat, how you can spend your money, and on and on and on. Do you believe you are intelligent enough to make decisions on how and where to spend your money, feed your kids, spend your leisure time?  The party doesn’t believe it but I do.  I know you are intelligent, I have seen it.

Both political parties have joined forces to thwart the TEA Party mindset, not just the organizations but those who make up the rank and file.  You are a threat to a dictatorship being implemented by allies on both sides of the political aisle.    You are a veteran who has served your country with honor and dignity.  You are a part of those being declared “enemies of the state” or “potential domestic terrorist”.  You and I, the grassroots element of America, are being pushed out of everything, by both political parties, in favor of a central government control system that threatens all of us equally.

We are in this together, you and I, the common man/woman who desires the freedom to make our own choices in life.  You and I are much alike.  We have the same basic beliefs, as did our founders.  They had many differences, slavery being one of them.  Some were Christian, some atheists, some essentially agnostic; but they managed to forge a great nation.  We have many differences but we have much more in common.  If our founders could come together and find aConstitution way to establish the United States of America why can we not come together and do it again?  And when I say “come together” I mean unite behind the Constitution and the men and women who built this grand nation.

I address this to the rank and file Democrat voter but not you alone.  Every bit of this applies to Republicans, Independents, and Libertarians.  We must come together based on the values we share, the values we know are essential to the future of America as a Republic.

You are part of the 67% of We the People who stood up in 2009 and said, “We have had enough of this”.  It is time to stand up again.  I tried to make a difference from within the Republican Party and found out it is hopeless.  Even people at the county level are dug in with the liberal party establishment.  The “party first” mentality must end if we are to save our nation for future generations.

It is time for a new generation of founding fathers, and the foot soldier who made it possible.  Everyone remembers George Washington but who remembers the common people in the days leading up to and through the Revolution?  Eagle- America Deserves BetterYou and I are the foot soldiers Washington depended on to succeed.  We are the people who banded together to throw off the bonds of tyranny and establish the greatest nation to ever exist.  WE are those who will not be known in perpetuity but we are the ones who must make the future.

You and I, WE THE PEOPLE, are the ones ultimately responsible for the future.  I know you have the courage, I have seen it.  I know you have the intelligence, I have seen it.  I know you are patriots, I have seen it. You picked up your own trash at rallies and were polite to policemen, and other officials, and each other. You treat others with kindness, consideration, respect, and friendship.   You have the same values and desires for your nation as I do.   Do you have the willingness to step up again as you did in 2009 and be part of a new movement to restore the United States of America?

I have offered a solution to our political party problems.  Some will say “it can’t be done”, “we don’t have enough time”, “I don’t like that group”, etc.  I say it can be done and it is up to us to do it.  Let us come together to restore liberty and limited government as designed by our founders. We are no less courageous, no less intelligent, and are no less capable than were those 237 years ago.  The question is: “are we as determined to live free as our founders were”?

I submit this in the name of the Most Holy Trinity, in faith, with the responsibility given to me by Almighty God to honor His work and not let it die from neglect.

Bob Russell

Claremore, Oklahoma

February, 27, 2013

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?

Why The GOP Shouldn’t Ignore Libertarians

“If you analyze it I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism” – Ronald Reagan to Reason Magazine, July 1975

Both Rush Limbaugh and Laura Ingraham made salient points this week by telling Republicans they needed to “shut down” if President Barack Obama is re-elected. The comments show a problem Republicans have had in convincing the Tea Party to support Mitt Romney.

It also shows the Republican Party has failed to listen to what has long been considered their conscience: libertarians.

What people have forgotten is the rise of the Tea Party wasn’t just a rebellion against the increased spending in late 2008, early 2009. The origins of the Tea Party can be traced all the way back to several of President George W. Bush’s decisions, including the Patriot Act, the Department of Homeland Security and the government’s response to Hurricane Katrina.

This series of responses started shaking people, waking them up from their long slumber. They realized the U.S. was running into major problems, the government was expanding too quickly and things needed to be cut. The Tea Party rallies, and the candidates which followed, were proof people were starting to pay attention and getting active. Libertarians were starting to be heard.

But what’s happened since then?

Certainly, the libertarian caucus in US Senate has grown from South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint. It now includes Rand Paul, Pat Toomey, Mike Lee and Ron Johnson. Hopefully, reinforcements are coming with the possible election of Ted Cruz, Connie Mack IV, Richard Mourdock and Jeff Flake. But that’s only nine out of 100 senators.

The House looks no better, with Michigan Congressman Justin Amash replacing Ron Paul as probably the most libertarian member. South Carolina Republican Trey Gowdy should also get praise for fighting for reigned in spending and cutting the government. Arizona Congressman Trent Franks has been considered libertarian at times, but that’s only three out of 435. Plenty of Republicans pay lip service to libertarian ideals (see: House Speaker John Boehner and, to a lesser extent, Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan) but don’t follow through.

The fact is Republicans need to listen to libertarians, especially in terms of government growth and the budget. The party which claims to be for “limited government,” allowed massive expanses during the Bush Administration. The original stimulus package may have been avoided if Congress had waited.

To be fair, libertarians have to take blame as well. The rise of social conservatism may have been held back a bit if libertarians did a better job at pointing out why some social policies are best left to states. There’s a reason why the Libertarian Party is known more for wanting to end the War on Drugs, instead of reduced spending, smaller government and more freedom. Organization and activism have also been major problems the Libertarian Party has failed to solve. This could be the reason why there are libertarians considering a vote for Mitt Romney, instead of Gary Johnson.

Ultimately, it may not be in the best interests of libertarians to leave the GOP. It’s possible libertarians will have to suck it up and keep trying to convince party leaders, elected officials and local activists why they’re right. Certainly the Koch brothers believe this and Rand Paul as well. For this to work, conservatives will have to be willing to listen and both sides will have to reach a consensus. It does nothing for Republicans to simply brush off libertarian concerns as a fringe element, or “hobbits,” but to ultimately sit down, look at what’s being said and move forward. There really are libertarians out there who want Republicans to succeed.

The solutions may be slightly different, but it should be a lot easier for conservatives and libertarians to come to an agreement. Certainly a lot easier than conservatives and liberals.

But if Republicans lose in November, what then? Will the party start listening to libertarians or blame them for their own failure? If it’s the former, things may turn out okay. If it’s the latter…the Republican Party may be doomed.

 

Libertarians Claim Romney Cannot Appear on the Ballot in November

On August 15th, the Libertarian Party in Washington State petitioned to have Mitt Romney’s name removed from the Republican ticket in November. They are claiming that the GOP is no longer ‘significant’ enough to qualify as a major party under Washington law.

2012 Republican Candidate for President Mitt Romney (AP)

Chapter 29A of the Revised Code of Washington defines a major party as:

a political party of which at least one nominee for president, vice president, United States senator, or a statewide office received at least five percent of the total vote cast at the last preceding state general election in an even-numbered year.

The lawsuit by the Libertarian Party claims that Republican Dino Rossi, who received 48% of the vote for the U.S Senate in 2010, was not officially nominated by the GOP. Therefore, no Republican nominee qualifies to be on the November ballot, because no Senate candidate reached the ‘magic number’ of votes.

Much to no one’s surprise, the GOP disagrees. Per the Associated Press, the Republican-led state election committee points to an administrative code that essential repealed the rules cited above. Chairman of the committee, Sam Reed, argues that the enacted election regulation of 2004, defines a major political party as, “a party whose presidential candidate received more than five percent of the vote in the last white house vote”.

Using this standard, both the Republican and Democrat party qualify as major political party, and should both be represented on the presidential ballot come November.

But whose definition is the correct definition?

John Mills, the attorney representing the Libertarian Party, calls for a separation of powers. He argues that laws passed by the state legislature carry more weight than regulations passed by separate government agencies.

“As a legal matter, that’s kind of a frivolous argument,” Mills said. The Legislature hasn’t repealed the old laws, and an effort to make those changes a few years ago failed.

State Republican Party Chairman Kirby Wilbur is calling the lawsuit “silly.”

However, does any of this really matter? If you know anything about the Electoral College and how states lean, you know that Washington state is almost a guaranteed Democratic state every presidential election. So does it even really matter if Romney is on the ticket? Some say no, but Republicans in Washington will make sure Romney is on their ticket, that I am sure of.

 

Follow me on Twitter: @chrisenloe

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.

 

Follow Me on Twitter: @chrisenloe