Gary Johnson — Libertarian

A Difficult Presentation to Make Against the Opposition

weld-and-johnsonBoth Gary Johnson and his running mate William Weld had served two terms as Republican governors of traditionally Democratic states, New Mexico and Massachusetts, respectively. With the spirit expressed by our Founding Fathers, they served as citizen politicians and then returned to civilian life.

The mainstream press often blindsided Governor Johnson with out-of-context questions, or what amount to trick questions in a Libertarian sense, such as naming another world leader he admires. Libertarians usually do not admire other world leaders.

The openness, equality, and fairness that Libertarians embrace enables flakier party members to present themselves in ways that may subject the party to ridicule. Gov. Johnson’s strong advocacy of marijuana reform, coupled with his own self-professed frequent pot use damaged his credibility as a candidate.

During interviews, Johnson’s broad, casual sense of humor sometimes portrayed him as goofy, but he also was able to present serious, well-thought-out perspectives. The following is a Policy Speech at the University of Chicago that Johnson made on 2016 October 7. This policy lecture includes questions and answers, all from a reasoned perspective. It takes nearly an hour to watch at 0:59:37.

The following list from his website explained 15 Reasons Why A Vote For Gov. Gary Johnson Matters.

1. If Gov. Gary Johnson and Bill Weld Win Just One State, Everything Could Change

A realistic analysis of polling data shows that we can win enough electoral votes in key purple states like New Mexico to prevent Hillary or Trump from getting the 270 electoral votes they need to win. READ MORE

2. With Just 5%, We Can Make History By Creating More Competitive Elections

Achieving just 5% of the popular vote nationwide will achieve “major party” status for a third party for the first time ever. This will allow a new player in the game for the future…and is extremely important. The future for all generations can only be made better with the inclusion of more ideas and more candidates. With that status comes a competition that any Republican, true to their ideology, should invite, and any Democrat, true to their name, should expect. This will completely change the political landscape for the 2020 election. Now is our time to change history.

3. You Don’t Have to Vote for the “Lesser of Two Evils.”

“Vote for Trump or you’re voting for Clinton!” “Vote for Clinton or you’re voting for Trump!” All the time, Americans get bifurcated into two opposing camps: If you’re not with us, you’re against us. But all 300 million Americans certainly don’t fit into two neat party lines. Voting for the lesser of two evils is still evil. So why not vote for someone you believe in? Gary Johnson provides a candidate to vote for, not against.

4. The Johnson/Weld Campaign is Driven By Everyday Americans, Not Political Insiders

Gary Johnson and Bill Weld are supported by grassroots voters from across the nation. Over 70,000 volunteers joined our campaign in the first week we launched our recruitment platform. Financially, we are supported by over 220,000 individual donors, not special interests. By supporting Gov. Gary Johnson, you’re joining the millions of Americans who want a voice that represents people, not lobbyists, or other special interests.

5. 65% of Americans Don’t Feel Like Either Major Party Represents Them

Gary Johnson and Bill Weld actually represent the majority of America. Most often, voters side with one of the two parties not because they want to, but because they are told to fear the “other” option. According to Reuters, Forty-seven percent of Trump supporters said their main priority when voting will be to stop Clinton from reaching the White House. And 46 percent of Clinton backers said the same of Trump.

Imagine if everyone who said “I’d vote for Johnson if he had a chance,” actually did? We would win the whole thing.

6. Gary Johnson Can Force A More Nonpartisan Discussion About Important Policy

The two major party candidates spend too much of their time talking about how much America should fear the other. A third voice can force the discussion on issues, not personal attacks. Gary Johnson is committed to a substantive campaign and is already at 13% in some national polls. Even if you don’t agree with everything Gary says, an honest and open discussion with American voters is healthy for our democracy.

7. Gov. Gary Johnson and Bill Weld are Ready to Lead from Day 1

Johnson and Weld have executive experience as popular two-term governors. Although Hillary was a senator and secretary of state, she’s never held an executive position. And although Trump may be a successful businessman, he has never served in public office or been accountable to taxpayers. Gary and Bill know how to govern because they’ve been there and done that. Johnson and Weld are ready to lead America from day 1.

8. Gov. Gary Johnson Would Set a Good Example

Whether it’s Governor Johnson’s positive demeanor, his appreciation for intellectual discussion, or his dedication to adventure and fitness, we should have a presidential candidate who can create the conditions for a better presidential debate. Gov. Gary Johnson’s voice of reason and responsibility would be healthy for our national political discourse.

9. Gov. Gary Johnson Can Help Bridge the Partisan Divide

If one of the other two candidates are elected, the partisan divisions will only widen. This is because both candidates play on the electorate’s fear of “the other option” in order to win votes for “their side.” On the other hand, Governors Gary Johnson and Bill Weld have little appetite for partisan politics. As former Republican governors from Democratic states, they were both re-elected by wide margins because they spent their time representing people, not just their political party.

10. Gov. Gary Johnson Can Make Our Political Discussion More Positive

Both parties run campaigns that try and “divide and conquer” the electorate. They do this, in part, by playing on our fears. Both candidates would have you think that the world will end if the other is elected. Only Gary Johnson will tell the truth. We are a nation that is getting better. And one day, we will move forward with respect and cooperation. A vote for Gary Johnson is a statement that we want that “one day” to be now.

11. Governors Gary Johnson and Bill Weld Have a Great Sense of Humor

Think we could lighten up a bit? Governors Gary Johnson and Bill Weld are serious candidates that don’t take themselves too seriously. We all need a little humor.

12. Governor Gary Johnson Supporters are Ideologically Diverse

Unlike the other two candidates, Johnson and Weld are attracting voters from across the political spectrum as a meaningful alternative to the divisive major party options. Today, politicians spend too much time representing the “red team” and the “blue team.” Governors Gary Johnson and Bill Weld don’t think that is a healthy way to promote unity. Representatives should be accountable to everyone, not just members of their team. So, at a time when partisanship is tearing the country apart, we have a unique opportunity to bring ideologically and demographically diverse Americans together.

13. Governors Gary Johnson and Bill Weld Have Been Successful Executives

Governor Gary Johnson’s economic policies worked for New Mexico, driving down unemployment and allowing the economy to grow. At the same time, they also drastically improved New Mexico’s schools and infrastructure. In 1992, Governor Bill Weld was rated the most fiscally conservative governor in the United States by the Wall Street Journal. More importantly, the unemployment rate in Massachusetts plummeted from the highest among the 11 industrialized states to the lowest by the end of his first term!

14. Governors Gary Johnson and Bill Weld Have a Clean Record

Unlike the other two candidates, Governors Gary Johnson and Bill Weld are notably absent from political scandal. Think we could use a little more focus on policy and a little less concern over credibility? Vote for Gov. Gary Johnson.

15. A Vote for Gov. Gary Johnson Can Improve Our Democracy

Most importantly, supporting Gary Johnson and Bill Weld says that you’re sick and tired of the partisanship and polarization of Washington. Gary Johnson and Bill Weld can shake up the establishment, end the duopoly, and fundamentally improve our democracy.


Disclosure: Gautier Van Cleave contributed modest funds to Gary Johnson’s presidential campaign.

Traditionally, voters argue as to whether a vote for Johnson is a wasted vote. In a state where clearly either Hillary or Trump might have prevailed, we advised to vote for the dubious Trump rather than the scandal-free and freedom-loving Johnson, specifically to prevent Hillary from winning.

In states where one or the other of the main candidates was destined to win the state regardless of a great many votes cast otherwise, a principled choice for Johnson was morally sound on its face, while contributing to post-election third party statistics, which sometimes lessen the cost necessary for third-party candidates to appear on the ballot in subsequent elections.

Johnson and Weld presented a principled choice above the major party candidates.