Diary

Gary Johnson : Reality Check

Conservatives pride themselves on being realists. We see a proposed law to allow transgender people to use the bathrooms designated for the sex in their head and see a law that would allow male perverts(who are not transgender) free license to enter women’s bathrooms to take pictures of them while they pee. And we are correct. Some psychologists now suggest that there may even be a biological basis for the difference between conservatives and liberals in the sense that we literally pay more attention and see danger faster than liberals. To me, that sounds like an important survival characteristic. Which brings me to our current political mess.

There is a lot of talk about creating a third party. After seeing the GOPe, supported by the full force of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire, conspire to deprive a conservative candidate of the nomination, it seems like a pretty good idea. Because reality is that by the time Donald Trump gets through with the Republican party, as Thomas Sowell notes, there is a pretty good chance that he will have attached his rancid smell to it for several generations. So when your car has been (as the Republican party is about to be) vandalized and stunk up by a couple of skunks living in it and spraying on it, do you try to repair it or do you buy a new one?? Depends, ultimately, on the extent of the damage. (I note here that comparing Donald Trump to skunks may be unfair to skunks who, other than having the capacity to stink up a place, are fairly harmless)

The Republican party was born out of a strong and principled disagreement about slavery. Today we have in the ranks of the Republican party a strong and principled disagreement about freedom. Yes, one can argue that the other side, the RINO establishment side, has no principles, but that was pretty much the case back in the 1850s as well. The old Whig party wanted to reach a pragmatic agreement with the slave owners and allow slavery to be extended to new territories. The founders of the new Republican party refused.

This history lesson brings us to our present situation, the Republican party appears to have been taken over by the corporatists who see the purpose of government as diverting massive amounts of wealth to those who already have it by suppressing dissent and competition against them. The social justice memes pushed by those on the left are nothing more than a head fake used to put a patina of righteousness on what is in fact nothing but a move to demoralize decent people and crush dissent. Example: young leftists will explain to you in all seriousness that the first amendment does not protect hate speech. When pressed it becames clear that any speech that disagrees with them is hate speech in their view.

While many people are talking about creating a third party, that would be a massive and very expensive undertaking and there are literally, only a few days to do it with any hope of electoral success– the deadline for getting on the ballot in Texas is imminent.

And that fact brings me to Gary Johnson. Gary Johnson is one of the three leading libertarian candidates for President. The nominating convention will be held on May 27. It is not a given that Johnson will win the nomination. Johnson is a former Republican who was the two term governor of New Mexico. If you read his campaign materials and review his statements in the libertarian debate, you will likely find much to like and much to dislike, intensely. Likes: he is in favor of limited government, lower taxes, balance budgets and school choice.He also supported a ban on late term abortions when he was governor. He started and owns the largest contracting company in New Mexico. Dislikes: he is in favor of liberal granting of work visas, legalizing all drugs (okay, I actually agree with him on that, but many will disagree), he actually makes pot and has had ownership in a marijuana company, he supports women’s right to choose in the first two trimesters of pregnancy.He does not support the right of a business to refuse to serve people they find to be morally repugnant (though I suspect that is a kind of knee jerk anti discrimination reflex on his part) The big areas of disagreement for me are religious freedom and immigration And they are big. And in a normal political year, those would be deal breakers for me.

But this is not a normal political year. Realists understand that we must choose between the candidates who are going to be on the ballot. While massive and well financed write in campaigns have worked in the recent past (Lisa Murkowski), that is the rare exception.

We will have, most likely, Trump, Clinton, Johnson, Jill Stein (Green Party candidate) and some other minor party candidates on the ballot. For me, of those choices, Johnson is the most palatable. Not voting is, to me, not the best option. Even if I vote for a candidate who loses, I want my vote to be counted. I want the political analysts and commenters to see a vote for freedom. I want go in to all the reasons I am both #NeverTrump and #NeverHillary. Those have been laid out at length by many people more eloquent than I am. Suffice it to say that I consider them both literally unfit for office for different reasons. Although I must add that the people who use the Suprme Court argument for voting for Trump have not said anything nor has he that proves that he can be relied on to actually nominate conservatives for the court, and has done much, like appointing a former Soros employee as his campaign finance manager, that persuades me that anything Trump says about Supreme Court appointments is just another one of his pantheon of lies.

It should be noted here that in a Monmouth University poll in March of this year, the respondents, given a choice of Trump, Clinton and Johnson, gave Johnson 11% of their votes. Given the fact that Johnson, as a candidate, has near zero name recognition, that is an astounding number. If his polling numbers reach 15%, the Presidential debate commission, according to its rules, will include Johnson on the debate stage. In a year when the majority of Republicans and a substantial minority of Democrats actively despise the probable nominees of their parties, many may find Johnson a palatable alternative as I do. He will draw in some Democrat votes because of his positions on marijuana and drugs and many Republican votes because he is not Donald Trump, favors smaller government, balanced budgets, and a more focussed foreign policy. In other words, it is not beyond doubt that he could win. And, I am pretty sure, his nominations to the Supreme Court will all be original intent people. Even if he doesn’t win, he will present a substantial threat that requires candidates to move toward liberty.

This is, in my view, in all likelihood, a temporary alliance. Many in the libertarian party will feel that their party has been taken over by dissident Republicans. They are more comfortable as part of a party that is a fringe party. People for whom the idea of religious freedom includes the right not to be compelled to perform services that are not essential* if they are incompatible with your moral beliefs, will not be comfortable in this alliance for very long. But being realists, we have to vote for the candidate who gives us more of what we want than any other of the available candidates. I have looked around and come to the conclusion that this year that candidate is Gary Johnson

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* I believe that this is not an issue of religious freedom, it is an issue of freedom of speech and association. I. E. if you are a Jewish printer, you should not be compelled to print up signs for a Neo Nazi skinhead rally. It has been established long ago, for example, that Jehovah’s witnesses cannot be compelled to say the pledge of allegiance. That principle has been subsequently interpreted to mean that a we cannot be compelled to say things that we disagree with. Putting two men on a wedding cake and writing Congratulations Harry and Ed, is just as much speech as the pledge of allegiance. On the other hand, if you are a doctor in an emergency room, or a common carrier (which includes everything from elevators to railroad trains) you may not refuse to provide service to people you don’t like because of the natural monopoly that you enjoy and the harm that may ensue if you are allowed to say no. And I note: there is no such thing as an emergency abortion. Any honest obstetric will tell you that, particularly when it is late term. If you need to save the mother’s life by terminating the pregnancy, you perform an emergency C-section which takes 30 minutes tops, rather than a late term abortion which takes three days.