When I was in Australia last week, libertarians all asked me my thoughts on Ron Paul’s candidature. And when I told them all that I wasn’t supporting the Good Doctor, but rather, his rival, Governor Gary Johnson, I got this stunned look… this silence… I mean, how could any decent libertarian oppose Ron Paul?
Well, in my mind, the answer to that is easy. And it comes in the form of Governor Gary Johnson, a down the line libertarian who wants to cut taxes, cut spending, end the nanny state, and has the history to prove it. I admit, I was skeptical at first, but upon hearing him, I was a convert, and you should be too.
Firstly, let us look at his history. Gov. Johnson started his own business – he was his own employee – in New Mexico, as a 23 yo. Within 20 years he singlehandedly grew this backyard business to over 1000 employees, and, was became of New Mexico’s largest businesses.Not bad, I would say! So he obviously has executive experience. But what about political?
Well, when he ran for Governor – without any (real) Republican Party backing, in a heavily Democratic State (voter Registration was 2-1 in favour of the Democrats), he was thought of as a joke by all. Except somehow he won. And then, after his first term, he won re-election with an even bigger margin, and was term-limited out of running again with record high approval ratings.
All well and good, you may say, but how does he stand on the issues? Well, the easy argument for me to make would be the fact that he veto’d more government spending bills than every other governor combined, cut taxes, and cut the size of government. In record numbers.
Now, at this point, you would think Gov. Johnson a fairly good libertarian, and a pretty good contendor for our vote in the 2012 primary. If it wasn’t for Dr. Ron Paul. I mean, we all love Ron Paul. He’s libertarianism incarnate, right?
Well, no. Not really. Even if we were to ignore Gov. Johnson’s business experiences, even if we were to ignore his executive experience, even if we were to ignore his proven political track record, he still pull up far ahead of Ron Paul. And, as much as I admire Ron Paul, facts are facts.
As GMU Professor and Reason Contributor Ilya Somin States:
“The difference between the two is strikingly large. As I explained back when Paul ran in 2008, he has very non-libertarian positions on free trade, school choice, and especially immigration. He also believes that Kelo v. City of New London was correctly decided because he thinks the Bill of Rights does not apply to the states. The latter is theoretically compatible with being a libertarian; one can believe that the Constitutionshould protect us against various forms of oppression by state governments, but simply fails to do so. But Paul’s position is at odds with most modern research on the original meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment, and with the views of virtually all libertarian constitutional law scholars. It also bodes ill for the nature of his judicial appointments in the unlikely event that he actually wins the presidency.
On all of these issues, Johnson is clearly superior to Paul from a libertarian point of view. He supports school choice and free trade agreements, he’s as pro-immigration as any successful politician can be, and he believes that the Bill of Rights constrains the states as well as the federal government.”
So there we have it. Not only does Gov. Johnson have the executive experience to govern, and the political experience to win, he is – hands down – much, much, much more down the line libertarian than Ron Paul.
So, when things come down to the wire, we have, in Gov. Johnson, a hardcore libertarian on every issue, who ticks every box we want in a candidate. And sure, he will never win the primary as he believes pot should be legalised, be he is still our guy. And we should support him.
And, unlike Ron Paul (who I really do love!) isn’t batshit insane to boot…