Gary Johnson, former two term governor of New Mexico, has been excluded from every primary debate but two. He has been abandoned by the Republican Party. (People who like to think the media play gatekeeper in the political process, take note of Gary Johnson.) Now, word around the campfire is that he’s mulling a run as the Libertarian Party candidate.
Make no mistake, Gary Johnson is a libertarian, and that term scares many people away. But there are plenty of reasons for conservatives to vote for him, considering the alternatives.
Gary Johnson is a self made man. He started a one man business, turned it into a big business and sold it for millions of dollars. (Frankly, that’s my own personal life goal, and he’s done it.) But isn’t that someone you want? A man who knows how business works?
The other thing worth mentioning is that he summited Everest six weeks after breaking his leg. I suggest watching the show Everest: Beyond the Limit, it gives a very vivid portrayal of the physical and mental challenges involved in summiting Everest. With all due respect to Newt, Romney and Obama, we all know they’d have no interest in trying.
Looking at this, it looks to me like a man who sees public service as that: service, not a permanent profession. He has his own life and history and personality, he’s not a pure political animal, but rather a businessman and an athlete. He made his fortune not by birth, not on the public dime, but by his own hand, Again: Isn’t that what we should be looking for?
Newt Gingrich is not an executive, neither is Ron Paul, Rick Santorum or Michelle Bachmann. Gary Johnson served two terms (he was term limited) as governor of New Mexico (a blue state) and is considered very successful.
When he was governor in the 1990s, New Mexico boomed. Any politician would and could claim credit for this. How many times did we hear Rick Perry talk about how he created jobs in Texas.
What does Gary Johnson say about the jobs he created?
“Don’t get me wrong. We are proud of this distinction. We had a 11.6 percent job growth that occurred during our two terms in office. But the headlines that accompanied that report – referring to governors, including me, as ‘job creators’ – were just wrong.” ...
“The fact is, I can unequivocally say that I did not create a single job while I was governor. We kept government in check, the budget balanced, and the path to growth clear of unnecessary regulatory obstacles.”
That should really be enough to make the case for the man, because, isn’t that exactly what he should say? Don’t we all wanna scream at the radio every time some blowhard politician lays claim to the jobs he created?
But let me go further. I live in New York, where no matter now asinine the law, it seems like nothing ever seems to get vetoed. The thing that hooked me about Gary Johnson was his veto record. He claims to have vetoed more laws when he was governor than his 49 colleagues combined.
A perfect example of this is the dog walking bill. The legislature passed a bill requiring dogs in pet shops to be walked regularly before they’re sold, for the health of the animal. It seems reasonable. Dogs in pet shops should be walked, Johnson agreed, but realized that if he signed the law he’d have to fund the dog walking police, to ensure the law was enforced. So he vetoed the law.
At this point, you’re sold on Gary Johnson. You’re ready to ring doorbells on his behalf. But let me point to some positions, which perhaps seem too liberal to swallow, that conservatives might have problems with.
1. Gay Rights
For a Republican, Gary Johnson is progressive on gay rights. He takes a libertarian view on gay marriage. He supports civil unions for gay couples, getting government out of the business of marriage. If that’s a complete deal breaker for you, you want to modify the US Constitution, so be it, but for many conservatives, it’s a perfectly acceptable solution.
And he supported the end of Don’t Ask-Don’t Tell. That puts him along side liberal lion Barry Goldwater. If you claim to be a Goldwater conservative and take your cues from him, be aware that’s where AuH20 was at.
2. Marijuana Legalization
Half the public supports it. So does Gary Johnson. There’s a very liberal magazine called National Review that does too.
Gary Johnson is pro-choice. And I know that’s a complete deal breaker for some people. If that fact by itself is not, then read on. As governor he supported parental notification and a ban on late term abortion.
Gary Johnson opposes government funding of abortion. Short of prohibition, which is not currently feasible politically or legally, that is the best way to reduce the number of abortions. Politicians can claim they want prohibition, but we all know that it is just not going to happen. If anyone claims otherwise, they are lying to you.
There it is. Ask yourself, if the choice is Mitt Romney, who thinks that it’s right, proper and prudent for the state to compel someone to buy something, and Gary Johnson, who do you vote for?