Sunday, August 19, 2012

Gary “Baldrick” Johnson: Spoiler alert: He loses

Libertarian Candidate Gary Johnson
We have a very short amount of time ahead of us in which things can either be turned around and our country gets back on the right track, or slowed down enough to give us more time to work within the GOP to try and make the necessary changes to allow us to turn this ship around before it’s too late. I happen to agree that a surface glimpse of Romney’s record leaves much to be desired, so too did Reagan’s track record as governor of California, and for that matter Calvin Coolidge had signed on to the Progressive movement before jumping off that band wagon later in his career. That said the profound transformation of Calvin Coolidge and Ronald Reagan should be an historical precedence that just because someone did dumb things earlier in their career does not mean they will be bad presidents.

That historical precedence is not enough to convince some Libertarians, though it is enough for libertarians (notice the distinction) like myself. Enter Gary Johnson. In years past when I thought there was a third party candidate who was clearly the better option and I knew the Democrat would loose (there is no such thing as a “small d” democrat anymore by the way) I would enter my protest vote. I did not vote for Bush in ’04. In a race this close I cannot justify doing that again, especially since it so clear, and I must apologize for my upcoming harshness, that Gary Johnson is not the better candidate that anyone with half a brain cell, anyone with any semblance of intelligence should be able to see this.
The new Libertarian bilboard
I have seen Gary Johnson on TV, I saw him in the debate he participated in, he’s been on Stossell and other Fox News shows and each and every time I have to cede the point, Gary Johnson is an inarticulate moron. His answers to each question always bare a remarkable resemblance to, “I have a cunning plan!” The Libertarian Party is essentially running S. Baldrick for president.-A) How this guy has managed to get as far in his life as he has to me is an enigma. I suppose plenty of stupid people manage to finagle their way into positions of influence, Paul Krugmen has managed to convince the New York Times to take him seriously even though he thinks that the best way to help the economy is to stage an alien invasion.-1.
Gary Johnson’s idiocracy is well documented but comes in a different form. This man is no John Galt. Unlike John Galt who can go on for 60 pages about the problems of America and keep you engaged, Gary Johnson cannot articulate much of anything. Libertarians and their “small l” comrades have got to win the intellectual argument before an election can be won. They/we have failed to do that, and in fact the extreme behavior of the big Libertarians have turned a lot of people off. I won’t name names here (Jake Shannon, Alex Jones) but when I got involved with Utah’s GOP in 2010 they were ecstatic to have the libertarians “coming home.” Now they can’t wait to get rid of us because instead of trying to have an intelligent conversation we yelled, we screamed we called names, even threatened elected officials, good solid folks who would have been friendly to our cause had we showed up with a pen and a paper and a word, but we instead showed up with pitchforks and torches, and so now there is not much of a seat at the Republican table. Rather than admit the egregious error in behavior now many Libertarians are vowing to destroy the GOP instead, even if that means Obama being re-elected and the country facing total collapse under his abysmal leadership.  
What frightens me is that we are starting to see Gary Johnson impact the 2012 election. At present Obama leads in the Rasmussen polls with 45% to Romney 43% and 5% preferring “some other candidate,” with much ado on the radio this week that this “other candidate” would be Gary Johnson and on the news some Libertarians celebrating the fact that they are polling well enough to deny Romney the white house.-2 Add that 5% to Romney’s 43% and you have 48% and Obama is denied a second term, if we could work together to accomplish that the GOP would respond by allowing us a seat at the table, moving forward with audit the fed, and who knows maybe a Paul Ryan/Rand Paul ticket in 2020, or p2 as I like to call it.
Some are celebrating Johnson’s potential role as a spoiler saying that when the country collapses we’ll just rebuild it anew. Let’s assume Obama is the dictator many fear he is, is there a history of dictators allowing for opposition parties in the aftermath of their take over? Historically the Libertarian Party mounted quite a resistance to Hitler’s Nazi party, and what a great job they did keeping people from starving to death in Communist China… oh wait.. The opposition parties were all killed… hmm… no that doesn’t end well, there was no Libertarian force to rebuild after the countries collapsed, they collapsed into tyranny.
If there is real concern that Obama is leading us down the road of a dictatorship and that this country will subsequently collapse there is no historic examples of a new liberty society emerging from the ashes of such catastrophic failure. The despotic and debauched Weimar Republic collapsed into Nazism which collapsed into socialism, a smiley-faced version of the same thing. Despotism become fanaticism becomes socialism becomes communism. Do you see freedom anywhere in this formula?
The American Revolution was a fluke, a freak of nature, to have a liberty society is so rare on this earth that we should be fighting tooth and nail to preserve it, the best way to do that is not to ensure the second term of a man who if he continues down this road of bypassing congress and just doing whatever he wants by executive order, and spending us off a cliff will inevitably lead us toward despotism, if not at his own hands by setting the stage for a future despot.
Even if Romney only slows things down it buys us more time to win the intellectual debate which must be won to turn this ship around. The selection of Paul Ryan, to me, symbolizes Romney’s willingness to have those conversations because if the Libertarians could put down their clubs for a moment and look at the good Ryan has done in congress they would find that while Ryan’s voting record is imperfect he has done more good than bad and has been one of a very few who has been talking of spending cuts and entitlement reform including exploring privatization of some programs, even though such notions have been demagogued in the  media for generations. Paul Ryan has been trying to urge people to have this adult conversation for 14 years. Does he go far enough? No! But it’s a start and a good one too.
With the election of Mitt Romney the opportunity exists for Libertarians to once again try to engage in the national conversation about the direction this country needs to go, Romney may have been on the wrong side of many issues in the past, but his selection of Ryan shows he is serious about having that discussion. If Obama gets re-elected at best we can count on four more years of “the reason that we have this problem is because there’s Republicans,” which will evolve into, “if there weren’t Republicans we wouldn’t have this problem. What? What’s that you say? Round up the Republicans and throw them in ovens? Now there’s a great idea! We can’t wait for Congress! I’ll just do it by executive order, and while we’re at it, let’s toss in those irritating radical extreme tea party and Libertarians too… oh this will be so much fun!” Don’t doubt me. You will not have a seat at the table if Obama is re-elected. There won’t be a table if Obama is re-elected. A vote for Gary Johnson is a vote for Obama and the polls are already reflecting that.

-1 To see this insanity the quickest way to an un-scrubbed copy is here: at about 2:45 in  
-2 Joseph Webber, Fox News Libertarian Party eyes spoiler role in 2012, 8-18-12,, accessed 8-19-12
-A) Reference to the classic British Comedy “Blackadder,” Baldric was the poor unintelligent servant to counter the affluent, wealthy but unlucky  Edmund Blackadder.

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