“The notion that Washington knows best has put us in the place that we are in right now, which is bankrupt,”
– GOP Candidate, Gary Johnson.
Should Libertarian philosophy be a large contributor to the GOP platform? Can Libertarian philosophy contribute significantly to the GOP platform? Or to ask another way, can we and should we govern America in a different fashion than that of Barack Obama? The opposite of Barack Obama is freedom. But after years of steadily growing the American version of Oligarchical Collectivism, how exactly do we get back to being anything that resembles the Constitutional Republic that our Founding Fathers bequeathed to us?
I like the fundamental ideal of smaller government. I strongly believe our current lack of self-reliance as a people is empowering the feel-good tyranny peddled by Barack Obama. Therefore, I’m greatly excited that a strong and intelligent Libertarian Republican will be running for President in 2012. Ladies and Gentlemen, I offer you a potential antidote to the soft tyranny of the modern welfare state. I give you the true GOP Libertarian – Governor Gary Johnson.
Governor Johnson faces a hard fight to even command our attention, much less the nomination. It’s a shame that Gary Johnson doesn’t get more play. He described the problems besetting modern America to perfection in his announcement speech.
“Today’s mess didn’t just happen. We elected it — one senator, member of Congress and president at a time,” Johnson said in a statement. “Our leaders in Washington, D.C., have ‘led’ America to record unemployment, a devalued currency, banking scandals, the mortgage crisis, drug crisis, economic crisis, loss of our nation’s industrial might — and a long list of other reminders our nation is way off course.”
Gary Johnson governed New Mexico from 1995 to 2003 with a similar set of views. He’s not a Libertarian-come-lately who touts the party line while taking earmarks under the table. Reason Magazine asked him what he was most proud of while he governed New Mexico. Johnson offered up the following answer.
This last year we passed a comprehensive charter schools act. Great! This is a way for public schools to become better…Building 500 miles of four-lane highway in the state. We have reduced taxes by about $123 million annually. More significantly, before my taking office there was never a set of six years in the state of New Mexico where not a single tax had gone up. We reformed Medicaid and got Medicaid costs under control. We built a couple of new, private prisons in New Mexico. We had prisoners housed out of state, and the federal court system had been running prisons in New Mexico under a consent decree since 1980. We are now out from under that consent decree. We have approximately 1,200 fewer employees in state government today than we did when I took office.
Gary Johnson has a major Achilles Heel that he will have to overcome. He advocates legalizing the possession and consumption of small amounts of Marijuana. He does not run from his position or claim that “he didn’t inhale.” He describes his point of view on Marijuana use below.
Johnson’s reasons: Marijuana is less harmful than alcohol and the costs of locking up pot smokers exacts too much of a toll on civil liberties and on taxpayers. He said marijuana would be considered less of a gateway drug if it were sold alongside “more dangerous drugs” like booze.
Johnson said it shouldn’t be legal to sell marijuana to children, or to operate a car under the influence. He said he also opposes legalizing cocaine, heroin or crystal methamphetamine.
Johnson is not the easiest sell to the GOP electorate. He will drive more authoritarian party members crazy. I can’t imagine him ever inviting John McCain, Lindsay Graham, Charles Schumer and Dick Durbin to fashion another bi-partisan act of Senatorial tyranny. He is the opposite of the Big Government Socialists and of the Populist, Authoritarian Right. He will not support a restrictive policy of tariffs. Big Brother will not be allowed to crash in The White House Basement under Gary Johnson. He has a documented history of dismantling regulation and privatizing what can be privatized.
He doesn’t come unblemished. Social Conservatives will have to stop and think before they vote for him in the primaries. Johnson will have to balance his desire to get government out of people’s individual affairs with the legitimate concerns of many Conservatives that our licentious and increasingly debauched culture is making us an increasingly weaker, more hated and more debased society.
But then again, government authoritarianism is the soil that has nurtured weeds such as John McCain and Barack Obama. Gary Johnson is the political opposite of Barack Obama. He is the GOP that comes far closer to that of Ronald Reagan than Richard Nixon. Gary Johnson may not be perfect and he may not be a superman. Instead, he tries to manage governance intelligently, with as light a hand as possible. Under President Gary Johnson, America could very well discover if we are still a great enough people to handle the difficult job of living free.