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Gary Johnson – is he worth supporting?

Interesting piece by Diana Hsieh about Republican candidate Gary Johnson. As far as I can tell, he’s better than Ron Paul.

14 comments to Gary Johnson – is he worth supporting?

  • I thought so up until the time he suggested that we should normalize relations with Cuba. Then he really lost me when he said he would pick Ron Paul as his VP were he get the nomination. Ron Paul anywhere near the White House is a terrifying thought.

  • What is so horrible about knowing what a main sequence star is? Really. Why is that a bad thing?

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Andrew, the best way to undermine Cuba would be for the US to be able to trade with it. Capitalism would kill off the Castro regime faster than anything those spooks at Langley can come up with.

    Ron Paul’s recent comments about Iran and its regime render him unelectable, in my view.

  • clive davis

    I also think he would be an interesting choice and his track record in New Mexico is quite good. He removed 1200 jobs from the public sector created tax reductions in real terms and employment through the private sector increased to name just one thing. Despite such things I gather he doesn’t stand a chance, even less then Ron Paul because the Republican party do not want such a character. I don’t know enough about this but from what I’ve seen the Republicans are not as willing as they should be to reduce governement. If that’s true perhaps Liberterians need to infiltrate the R party much further than they are.

  • It isn’t just diana who had nice things to say about Gary Johnson. Radley Balko’s roundup(Link) was pretty impressive. Will Wilkinson has nice things(Link) to say. And so does Kari Sullivan(Link).

  • the other rob

    I like what I’ve read of Johnson and the fact that he doesn’t tick the correct boxes for some particular species of libertarian orthodoxy doesn’t trouble me.

    However, out here in the only part of Texas that voted Goldwater over LBJ, I’m starting to hear mutterings that he “seems too good to be true”. I suspect that that speaks more to disenchantment with the process than to any failings of the man, but it nevertheless presents an obstacle.

  • What is so horrible about knowing what a main sequence star is? Really. Why is that a bad thing?

    Indeed. In fact the whole ‘star’ remark demotes the article James linked to as an ignorant hatchet job that can be safely ignored. Gary Johnson clearly did NOT say “something must be done” about the fact main in the far distant future our sequence star will eventually expand… indeed I suspect the article’s author is the one who did not actually know that is true.

    And I too am all in favour of ‘normalising’ trade with Cuba… isolation has completely and utterly failed as a strategy to undermine communism in Cuba, so there is simply no justification for continuing to follow a demonstrably unsuccessful approach.

    ‘Fair Tax’? Well there are indeed things to commend sales taxes entirely replacing income taxes, however the most likely scenario is ending up with both.

  • Alisa

    I agree with Perry about Cuba.

    Johnson has about as much chance of winning the national election (or, for that matter, the Republican nomination) as does Ron Paul – which, seeing as he would pick the latter as his VP, is entirely a good thing.

  • Laird

    There is a lot to recommend in Gary Johnson, but something which gives me real pause is his apparent acceptance that AGW is “settled science”. He went so far as to mock Rick Perry (no prize, that one!) for expressing skepticism over it. Someone with that mindset in the White House could cause significant long-term damage.

    Another problem I have with him is his vocal support of the Fair Tax. While he’s certainly not alone among libertarians in supporting it, in my opinion (having actually read the bill), in its present form it is a truly awful creation and I am unalterably opposed to it. The concept isn’t bad, it’s the execution which is fatally flawed. I can only conclude that he either hasn’t bothered to read it or just hasn’t thought through the implications, neither of which reflects well on him. So I’m not in Gary Johnson’s camp.

  • guy herbert

    I don’t think I want to argue about Cuba with Andrew till he ceases to be a candidate in a Republican primary himself. But I think that’s a positive point in Johnson’s favour, too.

    Economic sanctions generally strengthen the hold of the regime they are aimed at.

  • Rich Rostrom

    Unlike Ron Paul, Gary Johnson has a record as a successful political officeholder. He was a reasonably effective and competent governor of a state.

    In all the years Paui has served in the U.S. House, he has accomplished nothing in terms of actual legislative or fiscal action – aside from the earmarks he has secured for his home district. None of the ideas he champions have been written into law, nor has he defeated or repealed laws he opposes, nor has he defeated any wasteful appropriations. Of course it is beyond the power of a single legislator to so act; but an effective legislator persuades and leads his colleagues to enact his agenda. Paul prefers to be a voice in the wilderness, protesting nobly but ineffectively.

    He is also 18 years older than Johnson – at 76 too old to serve as President.

    Finally, Paul, unlike Johnson, has a record of willing association with slimy elements of the racist right. An openly racist and anti-semitic newsletter was published under his name for years; he is friendly with people like the leadership of Stormfront.

    Better, of course, does not mean acceptable. Johnson’s adherence to AGW places him in allegiance to a gigantic scheme of near-universal state intervention on behalf of an alleged common good.

    And his immigration position is in support of the present program of slow national suicide. It is not even libertarian – he supports the DREAM Act which would give education and other state benefits to illegal immigrants.

  • Chuck6134

    I think Johnson is more the realist on foreign policy issues which is the only reason I have any problems with Ron Paul.

    Either one of them would be light years better than what we’ve got now and are likely to get from the Repubs for 2012.

  • Paul Marks

    Florida Straw Poll.

    Look at the numbers – and this was just after (inspite of his low position the opinion polls) Gary Johnson was given a spot at the Fox News Google debate.

    I am not saying that Hermon Cain is going to win the nomination (although the Republicans could do worse) – but I am saying that if you were not one of the top names in this Straw Poll then you are (most likely) wasting your time.

    Remember this is not 2010 it is late 2011 – the Iowa Caucus and New Hampshire Primary are only a few months away.

    If you are not making an impression by now – you are not going to.

    Also remember that Straw Polls attract activists – and libertarian candidates tend to do disproportionatly well among activists (as opposed to general Primary voters).

    And that means that Ron Paul is not in the third place spot he thinks he is in.

    The race is presently between Rick Perry (in spite of being so poor at debating he would be thrown off a High School team), Mitt Romney (who says what people want to hear with warmth and conviction – and would say the exact opposite if he was talking to different people) and (of all people) Hermon Cain.

    Of course as a native of Iowa M.B. will stay in the race – hoping that a win there will put her back with a chance.

    And both Sarah Palin and Chris Christie could get into the race (although I think they have left it rather late).

    But no one else really needs to be considered.

    And, sadly, included in the “no one else” are the libertarians Ron Paul and Gary Johnson.

    They do not have the votes – period.