Tag: Gary Johnson

Gary Johnson’s Third Con Job

 

Jim Geraghty has long sounded the alarm about politicians who run campaigns not to win but as book tours. They mess up primaries, in particular, by creating noise that makes picking the right candidate harder and slows the unifying of the party before the general, while contributing nothing of value. At best, they offer an idea that the public can enjoy (although it’s much easier to find a memorable idea, like Cain’s 9-9-9 tax plan, than an idea that has gone on to have an impact). 

What is unusual about Johnson’s campaign, and unlike his last two efforts, is that he’s finally come out and said it. In an interview on Scott Steigler’s Stig show, he said “By ‘fully expect to win’ – I’ve won, because – is winning receiving more votes? Maybe that won’t be the case.” Then later “Winning? I’ve won, really. I’m sitting here with you. You wouldn’t have had me on any other way, right?” Stig says “If that’s your qualifier, we need to raise your standards.” Johnson responds “Does winning mean you get more votes?” Stig explains that “Winning does mean you get more votes. You can’t influence anything if you don’t, right?” And Johnson says “Well, maybe that’s not the case. That’s kind of what I’ve dedicated my life to, is talking about these issues as they should be talked about… You can argue that I didn’t stand a chance in either one of those [presidential] races.”

Stacking the Deck: How Ballot Access Laws Are Written to Disadvantage Minor Parties

 

 

If the 2016 election was good for anything, it reminded us that controlled markets produce garbage products. In 2016, we saw the two most disliked presidential candidates in American history go head to head. That might explain why nearly nine million people voted for third-party candidates and another 5 million (or more) stayed home.

I call it a “controlled market” because third parties are intentionally excluded. There are several structural barriers inherent to our system of government, but two additional barriers are put in place by major parties to make sure third parties don’t muck things up for them: debates and ballot access.

Principle is Foreign to Johnson

 

Most reasonably informed people will tell you that Gary Johnson doesn’t know a lot about foreign policy, but he has principles. This is partly because Johnson regularly tells people that he’s unusually principled, partly because he’s the nominee of the Libertarian Party, which has a terrific brand for purity, and partly because Johnson so effectively casts himself as a category rather than a person; one of his most frequent interview schticks is to respond to questions with “Libertarians believe … ” Thus, even his critics often suggest that his statements can be extrapolated into an ideology.

Among libertarians, though, the issue is a little less clear. When Johnson announces his principles, they’re roughly the principles of Ron Paul. Nonetheless, Ron Paul speaks more highly of the Green Party’s Jill Stein than of Johnson, specifically because of her foreign policy superiority. That isn’t because she’s more knowledgeable (Paul defends Johnson from claims that his ignorance is relevant), but because she’s more principled.

Well, I Made My Pick

 

i_voted_sticker_american_flag2016 has been a miserable year for conservatarians like myself. Republican primary voters soundly rejected constitutionalists, budget balancers, and limited-government enthusiasts, opting instead for a shouty 70-year-old Hillary donor who’s more concerned with tweeting typos than getting out the vote.

When Reince Priebus and his feckless RNC attempted to silence lifelong Republicans such as myself, I stepped away from the party and declared my independence.

Over the past few months, I’ve seen a few “Never Trumpers” reluctantly endorse The Donald, apparently unclear on the meaning of the word “never.” But neither Trump nor Clinton is fit for the presidency so I cannot vote for either one. (Besides, I was assured throughout the primaries that my vote wasn’t needed for Trump’s November landslide, and who am I to doubt the predictive powers of @WhyteGen0cyde88?)

Member Post

 

I know we’ve discussed this subject a time or two this election cycle; but, I thought I’d take a little closer look at the Libertarian parties’ presidential ticket and their relative success so far. The Libertarian Party (hereinafter to be referred to as LP) looks to be headed toward their best finish ever in their […]

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If New Mexico Voters Want Trump to Be President, They Should Vote for Johnson

 

Gary-Johnson-New-MexicoIn a recent poll by the Albuquerque Journal, New Mexico voters were asked which candidate they support: 35% said Hillary Clinton, 31% said Donald Trump, 24% said Gary Johnson, and 2% said Jill Stein.

As these numbers suggest, if a significant share of Trump supporters were to vote for Johnson, then this would give Johnson a plurality of New Mexico’s voters, which by New Mexico law, would give Johnson all five of New Mexico’s electoral votes.

If the electoral vote among the other states is sufficiently close, this would cause no candidate to win a majority of the Electoral College, which would mean that the presidential race would be decided by the US House of Representatives. Should this happen, the Constitution requires House members to vote by state delegations, whereby each state only has one vote.

Member Post

 

I flirted with the idea of voting for Gary Johnson for a while. He lost me when he said that unless the Government forces Christians to bake cakes for gay weddings, then the streets will run red with the blood of religious violence. He also lost me on his “no limits” mass immigration policy; he’s […]

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I guess it’s up to Hillary now to make the case for unlimited mass immigration, using the Terrorist Watch List to deny Second Amendment rights, and forcing Christians to bake cakes for Teh Gheys.  With the assistance of Dr. Newport, the Board determined that the polling averages called for in the third criterion are as follows: […]

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Johnson, Stein, McMullin Locked Out of Presidential Debates

 

jill-stein-gary-johnson-evan-mcmullin-green-party-2016The system is rigged. The Commission on Presidential Debates announced today that the only candidates to be invited to the first scheduled debate are Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. While claiming to be non-partisan, the CPD has again demonstrated that it is instead bipartisan — a racket designed to protect the interests of the Democratic and Republican parties against the threat of other options.

CPD’s official selection criteria are as follows:

  1. Candidate is constitutionally eligible to hold the office of President of the United States.
  2. Candidate has achieved ballot access in a sufficient number of states to win a theoretical Electoral College majority in the general election.
  3. Candidate has demonstrated a level of support of at least 15 percent of the national electorate, as determined by five selected national public opinion polling organizations, using the average of those organizations’ most recent publicly-reported results. These polls are from ABC-Washington Post; CBS-New York Times; CNN-Opinion Research Corporation; Fox News; and NBC-Wall Street Journal.

Libertarian Gary Johnson has been endorsed by four major newspapers and is on the ballot in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. This means he obviously meets the first two tests but fails to achieve the arbitrary third test. The banning also applies to his running mate Bill Weld who will not be allowed to attend the first vice presidential debate. Johnson expected this result, but remained disappointed:

NH Union Leader Endorses Gary Johnson

 

Gary-Johnsonx-large-1New Hampshire’s largest and most influential newspaper has endorsed Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson for President. This is the first time in more than a century that the Union Leader is not endorsing the Republican nominee.

In 1972, Union Leader Publisher William Loeb found himself having to recommend either President Richard Nixon or challenger George McGovern.

Loeb’s advice: Hold your nose and vote for Nixon.

Member Post

 

Episode 02 – Gary Johnson, Aleppo, Book Review, Chicago homicides, and Honoring Parents September 11, 2016 Next on Thinking It Through with Jerome Danner, I try to think through the issue with Gov. Gary Johnson not knowing the name Aleppo (in Syria), the horrible homicide rate in Chicago, and understanding what it is to honor our […]

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The Good News and Bad News in Gary Johnson’s Polls

 
Click to expand.

Click to expand.

Gary Johnson’s campaign for President has lately had a mix of bad and good news in the polls — more on that in a moment — but the poll on the front page of yesterday’s Washington Post definitely is one he will be talking about. Using SurveyMonkey online methodology, the survey measured voter opinion in each of the 50 states over the past month. And it finds the Libertarian candidate to be a serious factor in the race.

The headline finding for Johnson is that he reaches 15 percent of the vote or better in 15 states, and 10 percent or better in 42 states, that is, all but eight. The states where he makes the strongest showing are his own New Mexico (25 percent); Utah (23 percent); Alaska, Idaho, and South Dakota (19 percent); Kansas (17 percent); Colorado, Iowa, North Dakota, and Washington (16 percent); and Maine, Minnesota, Nebraska, Rhode Island, and Wyoming (15 percent).

Member Post

 

A few weeks old, but I have been debating commenting on it and finally decided to comment on it. It was as part of a response to a question about religious liberty. I mean under the guise of religious freedom, anybody can do anything. Back to Mormonism. Why shouldn’t somebody be able to shoot somebody […]

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The Pre-Pre-Debate Debate

 

With both the Republican and Democrat conventions over, the general election has begun in earnest, meaning that we’ll know which doom our future holds in fewer than 100 days. Part of what will determine said doom are the august (well, September and October, actually) presidential debates, and the less-august vice presidential debates. Already, controversy is swirling around them. The debates are organized by the Presidential Debate Commission, an ostensibly non-partisan 501(c)3 organization that has been doing this since 1987. The current controversy has to do with the dates and times of the debates, which will apparently overlap with the the observance of America’s national religion (football). This post though isn’t really about the scheduling of these debates — it’s probably impossible to find a time slot that doesn’t overlap with something that will draw complaint — but about who should be in the presidential debates.

Beware the “Libertarians”

 

johnson-weldIf there was ever a year for a frustrated conservatarian to consider voting for the Libertarian Party ticket, 2016 would seem to be a godsend: Trump and Clinton are … well, no need to rehash this … and the Libertarians have nominated not one but two former Republican governors. But as Ilya Shapiro writes on Cato at Liberty, the theory of the Johnson-Weld ticket and its reality diverge greatly, and not in a way that pays any compliments to the latter:

[In this recent] ReasonTV interview … Weld praises Justice Stephen Breyer and Judge Merrick Garland, who are the jurists most deferential to the government on everything, whether environmental regulation or civil liberties. Later in the same interview, he similarly compliments Republican senators like Mark Kirk and Susan Collins, who are among the least libertarian of the GOP caucus in terms of the size and scope of government and its imposition on the private sector and civil society.

What’s painful about this is that it’s not as if there weren’t other alternatives available to them. There’s no shortage of libertarian-friendly judges whom they might have cited, including Justice Clarence Thomas. And why on earth would this list include Collins and Kirk but not Reps. Justin Amash and Thomas Massie, or Senator Rand Paul?

Member Post

 

The starting premises of this conversation are that Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are unacceptable as President, and Gary Johnson (the Libertarian candidate) or any of the vanquished Republicans from the primaries are acceptable. If you feel differently, then the rest of this is not for you. Gaming things out, I conclude that the most […]

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Member Post

 

A few conservative sites are raising sturm and drang over a comment made by Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson that he “agrees with 73% of what Socialist candidate Bernie Sanders” says. Now, that’s the side of Bernie that has to do with pro-choice, pro-marriage equality, let’s stop with the military interventions, that there is crony capitalism, that […]

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Scared Straight at the Libertarian Convention

 
Libertarian Convention

James Weeks, candidate for Libertarian Party chair, danced and stripped down to his thong before leaving the stage amid a chorus of boos.

By dinner time Saturday I was a bit disappointed with how my experience at the Libertarian Convention had progressed. Part of me was eager to bask in the craziness that I had assumed such a gathering would inevitably draw out. Yet to that point, I had encountered little out of the ordinary. We met with numerous campaign workers, all of whom seemed polite, professional, and possessing a full measure of sanity. Discussions with various delegates turned out many people who seemed eminently reasonable and thoughtful. As James of England and I sat down to eat before the debate, we each expressed a bit of surprise out just how uneventful the entire affair had been thus far.