Imagine

Apparently Gary Johnson, former governor of New Mexico, has been officially nominated as the Libertarian Party’s candidate for President of the United States. While I am not a member of the Libertarian Party, I am pleased that Johnson won the nomination. (Not that it will do much good if he can’t raise enough money to matter.) Johnson also gave a speech just before the vote. Mike Riggs of reason.com reports:

Content-wise, Johnson’s speech was nothing new. He’s talked about winding down the war in Afghanistan, ending the war on drugs, fiscal responsibility, tax reform, GLBT rights, and gun rights at speeches across the country for months. But today’s delivery showed Johnson has finally learned how to package those ideas into sound bites.

Some of the punchiest lines:

“Imagine a libertarian president challenging Congress to bring about marriage equality.”

“Imagine a libertarian president ending impediments to free markets.”

“Imagine a libertarian president challenging Congress to repeal the PATRIOT Act.”

“Imagine a libertarian president challenging Congress for meaningful immigration reform.”

“The libertarian candidate for president is the only candidate talking about gun rights and gay rights in the same sentence.”

“The libertarian candidate for president is the only candidate that’s going to be talking about slashing welfare spending and warfare spending in the same sentence.”

It’s nice dream, but it will not matter unless the Libertarian Party and candidate Johnson raise and spend considerably more money than they have in the past. Pretty much the only third party candidate to ever give the Democrats and Republicans a real threat was Ross Perot. And he was able to do so because he spend a whole heap of money to get his name and message out there. If the Libertarian Party ever expects to become a threat to the two mainstream political parties* they will have to spend a whole heap of money. They may not need to spend as much as Perot did, but they will need to get into the same ballpark. And to do that, they need to first collect the money, but I’m not seeing any effort to make that happen.

Anyway, congratulations to Gary Johnson. I hope he fares better as a Libertarian Party candidate than as a Republican one. (But I’m not holding my breath.)

* Really, there is one political party in this country, and it has a “liberal” side (which is not actually all that liberal) that calls itself the Democratic Party, and a “conservative” side that calls itself the Republican Party. In the end, they both want the same thing. More authoritarian control. Which is why, even though supposed liberal types protested everything Bush the Younger did, the fact that Obama has doubled down on most of that raises nary a peep out of them. And it is also why the Republican plan to cut spending does nothing to cut spending, only projected spending growth. The two “parties” make a lot of noise about being in opposition to one other, but in the end, they achieve the same goals. Which is why I wish the Libertarian Party would get off it lazy ass and start raising money. Until someone with genuine anti-authoritarian government principles spends the money necessary to truly get his or her message out to the people, this one party system will not change.

I suggest further that Johnson needs to sharpen his soundbites.

Imagine a President who genuinely fights wasteful government spending.

Imagine a President who wants to help people not by controlling them but by empowering them.

Imagine a President who understands that true safety is better than the illusion of safety.

Imagine a President who fights to keep the government out of your marriages and your bedrooms.

Imagine a President who believes rights are not privileges granted by government.

Imagine a President who genuinely stops catering to lobbyists and special interests.

Imagine a President who does not believe he is better than you.

Imagine a President who fights to put an end to corporate welfare and massive wealth transfers to the wealthy.

Imagine a President who does not panic and rush to do something just to appear to be doing something.

Imagine a President who understands that the citizenry, not the government, creates jobs.

Imagine a President stands against paternalism, government abuse of power, and petty bureaucracy.

Imagine, and then vote libertarian (small ‘l’, because I’m plugging the principles, not the party), because that is the only way you’ll ever get there.  

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