Thursday, February 23, 2012

Warming Up To Gary Johnson's Libertarian Presidential Bid

I've been critical of Gary Johnson, former Governor of New Mexico, during his bid for the Republican Presidential nomination. He was competing for the same group that Congressman Ron Paul goes for, the libertarian leaning group. Even though Johnson offered up several policies that differentiated him from Paul, there wasn't room in that party's primary for two libertarians. Johnson's lack of stage presence and slightly awkward public speaking ability probably didn't help either. He was shut out of debates, finished low in both Iowa and New Hampshire, and eventually started exploring the nomination for the Libertarian Party.

But last night, he appeared on Alan Colmes' nightly radio show in a live interview. And Governor Johnson really represents this new wave of small L libertarian belief that can effectively work in today's modern society. Instead of the standard libertarian response of "Government shouldn't be involved in marriage at all!", Governor Johnson has fully embraced marriage equality. Johnson also spoke out against drug testing welfare beneficiaries, claiming that would be discriminatory actions against poor Americans, and said he would be against building a border fence. I think, as a former border state Governor, he'd know a thing or two about that topic.

This isn't to say that Johnson is going to appeal to absolutely everyone. He wants to cut the federal budget drastically and return a lot of that money, including much of what goes into Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, to the states to manage on their own. He's also endorsed the Fair Tax, a national sales tax that would replace federal income tax rates and FICA payroll taxes. But even on these issues, he stressed that he wouldn't get in the way of reducing the size of government if it meant compromising to get 90% of what he wanted.

Politics is the art of the possible. And Governor Johnson understands that. I don't agree with him on all counts. But considering that the Libertarian (national) Party has nominated some real looney tunes over the last handful of Presidential cycles, he would make an excellent standard bearer for the Libertarian Party.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please see the Indy Student Blog Policies page for the full policy on blog comments. Verification of comments by typing in a random word is required to prevent spam. Due to recent blog inactivity, comments are now pre-screened to prevent spam advertisement.