posted on May, 29 2012 @ 09:22 PM
I read in multiple places that Governor Gary Johnson is "Ron Paul lite." In chat rooms and through comments on stories I constantly come across
people who are upset with Johnson for attempting to run for President in the same year as Dr. Paul, or who are antagonized by the fact that the
Governor keeps pointing out that by November he will be the only "freedom" candidate on the ballot.
On various internet forums I've seen about a 50/50 split between those who said they'll vote for Johnson if Paul isn't the nominee and those who
will write Paul's name in. I could go on a long rant about how writing Paul's name in will do jack beyond showing that this movement is tied to just
one man, this isn't why I'm writing this.
He's my first choice, and he's frankly one of the main reasons that I am getting back involved in politics. I donated to Ron Paul in 2008 during the
primaries. I was originally as psyched as many other people, but I never got hugely personally involved. Primarily it was because I had a few policy
differences with the good Doctor.
I believe in abortion rights, although that's not necessarily a deal-breaker for me.
When there were multiple Republicans running for the nomination in 2011-2012, at first I did not pay a lot of attention. I noticed right away they
were--as usual--marginalizing Ron Paul, and I noticed that the MSM had a field day elevating each candidate du jour--from Santorum to Cain to Newt
(even flirting, for just the shortest moment, with taking Paul seriously)--only to fall back into the narrative that the nomination was Mitt Romney's
I heard about the Gary Johnson rule that kept him out of the debates, but to be honest I did not pay attention to him until he thwasked Rick Santorum
over the head on gay rights. I got interested, I started reading about this guy, following him (which, even with the internet was not easy). By the
time he dropped out of the GOP race and went Libertarian I was beginning to think I'd found my guy.
For one thing, he actually had a record of governing a state successfully as a libertarian (Republican). I'm sure there are blemishes on his record
somewhere, but you can't find too many. He ran when the local GOP said, "Wait your turn," and won anywhere. He inherited a $300 million deficit and
turned it into a $1 billion surplus in eight years while cutting taxes 14 times. He vetoed stuff--a lot of stuff. He improved public education,
cleaned up bad environmental spills, announced that he was in favor of legalizing pot . . . and then he said, "You know, I'd like to climb Mount
Everest now," and did it.
He's thoughtful and honest. I had noticed, watching his interviews, that he doesn't do sound bites very well. He must drive his staff crazy, because
you can tell he's struggling to remember that he's supposed to do that. Instead, he gets a question, and there is a pause, and he takes the time to
damn-well think about the question. Then he tells you what he thinks, and doesn't appear too worried about whether you like it or not. He's not
telling you what you want to hear, he's telling you what he thinks. He told The Daily Caller that, no, he doesn't really depend on God to help him
figure out what to do, because he's not really a religious man. (So at least he's not a Mormon, right? wink wink)
Gary's utilitarian libertarianism (yeah, that's a mouthful)
Gary is a utilitarian rather than ideological libertarian. He thinks in terms of what works, and what are the potential costs and benefits of any
decision. I imagine he read John Stuart Mill at some point in his life, and had an epiphany: "That's it! The bastard nailed it! That's what I
Being a utilitarian libertarian, Gary is not going to hold himself to what Ralph Waldo Emerson called "a foolish consistency" that is the
"hobgoblin of litle minds."
He won't tell me he'd abolish the Fed because he knows that's likely to be a promise he can't keep, but he tells me what steps he would take to
open up the Fed to accountability and to limit its authority.
He won't tell me he'll just eliminate taxes because taxes are theft--he'll tell me that he will use a consumption tax (Fair Tax--Less Unfair Tax
his handlers want him to say) and work to repeal the 16th Amendment plus abolish all corporate taxes.
In other words, I am voting for, and working for, Gary Johnson as MY GUY because (1) he has the governing experience, (2) he's a thoughtful/honest
man, and (3) his libertarianism is expressed within the practical confines of government.
No, he has yet to show the ability to get 20,000 people to faint at the sound of his name, or to become convinced that he really won all the primaries
if only somebody would report accurate vote counts.
I respect Ron Paul, and I admire the people who have sacrificed so much to follow him toward the ideals of liberty.
But I believe that once in office Gary Johnson is the man who can deliver, whether it's this year or 2016.