Gary Johnson, a Libertarian is running for President in 2016. Although he would never be my choice, as an option to Donald Trump he seems like a stellar choice for Conservatives and I am surprised that more Republicans have not jumped on board. Except for the fact that he thinks we should legalize drugs, especially marijuana, to end the War on Drugs and that we should treat drugs use as an illness, not a criminal act, his platform seems as if it is right out of the Republican playbook
Gary Johnson spent two terms as the Governor of New Mexico and he managed to leave New Mexico with a million dollar surplus although he had to slash and burn to do it. He is a small government guy. He wants to close the Department of Education and HUD immediately if he wins the election. He is in favor of letting the states deal with most social programs on their own and he favors vouchers for schooling and privatizing prisons.
He believes in low taxes which is good because by the time he has finished cutting budget items he doesn’t need all that revenue. He used the veto 200 times in his first six months in office (Wiki) and has been called “Veto Johnson” and “Governor Veto” (Wiki). He was considered a good governor in New Mexico although some of his more controversial ideas did not fly. “Johnson’s accomplishments in office were described as follows: “no tax increases in six years, a major road building program, shifting Medicaid to managed care, constructing two new private prisons, canning 1,200 state employees, and vetoing a record number of bills. He really became popular for his handling of the disastrous Cerro Grande Fire.
You can find a list of his statements on important Presidential issues at
To summarize, here are just a few of the stands he has taken, stated in his own words:
On abortion his most recent stand was “don’t require insurers to provide birth control, May 2012”;
On economics he states “National debt approaching $20 trillion is bankrupting us, Jan. 2016” and “No bank bailout; no farm subsidies; no stimulus, May, 2012”, “Cut federal budget by 43% to bring it into balance, Feb. 2012, “End the Fed; they’ve devalued the dollar by printing money, May, 2011”
Where have I heard these cold-hearted judgments based on an economic point of view that is not shared by all economists? Republicans say these things incessantly – they say them as if they become truer with repetition. Yes, Mr. Johnson left New Mexico with a 1 million dollar surplus, but why? How does having money sitting in a government account help the people? How did almost shutting down the New Mexico state government to attempt to extort acceptance of school vouchers help the people?
Johnson is against the Affordable Care Plan, says that “government managed healthcare is insanity”, says “ObamaCare is unconstitutional; so is Bush’s Medicare Rx plan” and these are obviously statements that warm the cockles of many a heart on the right. He does however, want to “let the Patriot Act expire” and he says, “the Founding Fathers would be disgusted about spying on Citizens”, which might not go over quite as well with Conservatives.
Some quotes on War and Peace:
- We are no safer after years of failed nation-building abroad. (Jan 2016)
- Afghan nation-building will fail; withdraw immediately. (Aug 2012)
- Cut all support and aid to Israel. (May 2012)
- No military threat from Iraq, Afghanistan, nor Libya. (Aug 2011)
- Iran is not currently a military threat. (Aug 2011)
- Let Israel deal with Iranian nukes; not US role to tell them. (Aug 2011)
- Absolutely would not have gone into Libya; get out now. (Jul 2011)
- We wiped out al Qaeda 10 years ago; leave Afghanistan. (Jun 2011)
- No threat from Libya; so no authority to topple dictator. (Jun 2011)
- Afghan War initially warranted, but not for 10 years. (May 2011)
- Military surveillance should discover WMD before invasion. (May 2011)
- I opposed the Iraq War from the beginning. (May 2011)
- No Afghan timetable; start tomorrow & finish in a few months. (May 2011)
- Eliminate ineffective interventions in Iraq & Afghanistan. (May 2011)
These stands are more purely Libertarian and might be tough to swallow for some Republicans.
All in all Gary Johnson has much more in common with Republicans and the right than he does with any Democrats and his economic policies would be real deal breakers for voters seeking an alternative to Hillary Clinton, but not so much to voters looking to ditch Donald Trump. Although I don’t even like to think about having a Libertarian in the White House, given the nonsense that Grover Norquist, another Libertarian, has caused with his well-enforced pledge against raising taxes, I favor having more than two parties involved in America elections and I favor it even more in times like these when there is such an enormous partisan divide.