Gary Johnson says he’s ready to run for president again, but why?

This month, former New Mexico Governor, GOP presidential candidate and eventual 2012 Libertarian Party presidential nominee Gary Johnson told Newsmax TV that he would like to run for president again.

Videos by Rare

I supported Gary Johnson’s Republican bid for president in 2012, even preferring the governor to Ron Paul. I admired the fact that Johnson was a successful two-term governor of a mostly Democratic state and that he made pragmatic, non-ideological arguments for libertarian positions instead of being ideologically rigid.

However, I was disappointed when Gary Johnson decided to join the Libertarian Party in a hopeless presidential bid instead of running for the U.S. Senate.

Imagine a Senate that had Gary Johnson fighting for liberty alongside Rand Paul and Mike Lee?

Which brings me to this new bid for president by Gary Johnson. Johnson said this about the debate on taxes:

Where’s the libertarian viewpoint, which says do away with it completely? Do away with income tax, corporate tax? Abolish the IRS. If you’re going to replace it with anything, replace it with a national consumption tax. That’s real meat on the bones. I just don’t see any meat anywhere.

As someone who was once noted for his pragmatism, Gary Johnson should know the unlikelihood of abolishing taxation. The American people don’t like paying taxes, but they also like services from their government. The debate on taxes and spending needs to focus on cutting government spending, not devising which tax system is best to fund the current spending binge of both parties.

Johnson also took a shot at the man who is probably doing more than any other politician to promote pragmatic libertarianism, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul:

On half the issues he’s right, but on the whole social issue thing… Look, libertarians are flaming liberals when it comes to social issues, when it comes to civil liberties. A woman’s right to choose, drug reform, immigration, marriage equality. He’s not there.

Rand Paul is strongly pro-life although some social conservatives might disagree with that. However, Gary Johnson is simply misleading when he attacks Paul on drug reform, immigration, and gay marriage. There has been no bigger advocate of drug policy reform than Paul in either party. While Paul would not personally support drug legalization, he supports the right of states to legalize drugs if they want. Frankly, that’s all libertarians have the right to ask out of a candidate that wouldn’t support using the government to enforce their personal preferences.

On immigration reform, Paul supports it including a path to legalization for those here illegally. Senator Paul did vote against a specific bill because he believed that it would be ineffective. What more does Johnson want?

On gay marriage, Senator Paul personally believes that marriage is between one man and one woman. I share this view. However, I don’t believe that government should be in the business of defining marriage. Neither does Paul. Paul does not want to legislate his personal viewpoints on the topic. So again, what more does Gary Johnson want on this issue?

If Gary Johnson wants to play the libertarian purity card that’s fine. However, in doing so, he has some explaining to do based on his own rules.

In his 2012 campaign, Gary Johnson took some positions on foreign policy that most libertarians would disagree with. Johnson refused to rule out drone strikes in Yemen and Pakistan, wouldn’t rule out bases in Afghanistan, supported going after Lord’s Resistance Army leader Joseph Kony in Africa despite the fact the LRA poses no threat to the United States, and wouldn’t rule out support humanitarian interventions as well. Gary Johnson also signed into law as governor a bill giving out tax credits for the film industry. Essentially, giving out corporate welfare to millionaires and billionaires.

Who would be the better spokesman for liberty, the CEO of a marijuana company who thinks marijuana is a cure for Ebola, or a Senator who performs free eye surgeries on his summer break from the Senate?

Who would be better on discussing economic issues, the guy who signed into law corporate welfare bills or the guy proposing plans to revive our impoverished major cities and rural areas?

Who would be the better man to promote tolerance, the guy who wants to preach about gay marriage like the secular version of “The Church Lady” or the guy going into black neighborhoods to listen to that community about drug policy, voting rights, and school choice and push for change on those issues?

If Gary Johnson truly wants to advance liberty, he should stop his puritanical attacks on Paul and join him in advancing liberty. Especially since Rand Paul is clearly in the top tier of presidential candidates for the GOP nomination according to the latest GOP primary polls.

What do you think?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Stupid politician tricks: A breakdown of the worst campaign gaffes around the country this election cycle

U.S. cities brace for protests off Ferguson decision