My next-door neighbor’s two dogs have created more shovel-ready jobs than this current administration. -
It seems all but certain now thatwill be the next Republican nomination for the presidential race of 2012 with 1013 delegates to the 229 belonging to (all speculation in the eyes of the Paul campaign, but when everyone has the same speculation you have to question if it actually is fact). Even with potential defectors from other camps even the Paul agrees that they only can expect 500 delegates to support ‘Dr No’ and his campaign for sensible money, ending the war in the Middle East and Liberty; nowhere near the number that he needs to be the nominee. Though it will make for a very interesting convention in Tampa with Paul guaranteed to have some say in the proceedings and potentially a very large and loud crowd outside the venue who will be there solely to support the (grand)father of the tea party.
Though it is not the numbers game that makes me question that Mitt will be up against Obama for the title fight, rather it is the endorsement that he received from Paul’s own flesh and blood in the form of his son, who better have got his 30 pieces of silver for the deed, or a shot at the VP slot. It will either be career suicide for the fringe “Libertarian” Republican or a move towards a more ‘acceptable’ tone to his politics. After his decision he lost 3000 followers from his Facebook page overnight and many have taken to the internet (a favourite of Paul supporters) to heap scorn upon Dr Paul’s first born. I think that it is only a matter of time before they begin criticizing him with the same tactics that they did to the candidates in the 2012 race (I’m thinking that rather than using the etch-a-sketch gag again Paul supporters could play happy families, a card game where players have to reunite family units together)
Now this turn of events leaves US Libertarians wondering who they should vote for in the 2012 elections and salvation is has arrived in the shape of Gary Johnson the Libertarian Party candidate that will be on the ballot in all 50 states this year. After watching him on The Daily Show the other night (I get my dose of John Stewart a little later than those in the USA) where Johnson in a well choreographed appearance where he was able to highlight all the reasons that a younger audience watching Stewart’s show would like him in the White House, he had obviously been well briefed on what to say by his campaign team though this made him come across as insincere at one point, though he managed to bring me back at the end. I was intrigued and did a little research and it appears he has all the credentials. He made no tax increases in six years, started a major road building program, shifted Medicare to managed care, constructed two new private prisons, canned 1,200 state employees, and vetoed a record number of bills. Andrew Sullivan quoted a claim that Johnson:
“is highly regarded in the state for his outstanding leadership during two terms as governor. He slashed the size of state government during his term and left the state with a large budget surplus.”
According to one New Mexico paper:
“Johnson left the state fiscally solid [and was] arguably the most popular governor of the decade . . . leaving the state with a $1 billion budget surplus.”
The Washington Times has reported that when Johnson left office:
“the size of state government had been substantially reduced and New Mexico was enjoying a large budget surplus.”
According to a profile of Johnson in the National Review:
“During his tenure, he vetoed more bills than the other 49 governors combined — 750 in total, one third of which had been introduced by Republican legislators.”
All of these great things to have on ones CV if running for President of the USA – one of the more esteemed positions we can offer as a planet, but the real question is are the American people willing to give a third party candidate a chance at taking the top job?
His campaign looks solid to appeal to not just Libertarians but those from other parties who feel that they might want to give a third party candidate a shot this time around, even appealing to the Green party voters who not traditionally in favour of the free market seeing it leading to an abuse of the environment. Johnson believes the best enviromental pratices are due to a good economy. He says: “America needs to be a land with a clean environment,” and supports “clean air and clean water action and believe[s] in conservationalism.” He cites the Enviromental Protection Agency as an example of “good government” not a phraze that many Libertarian leaning have uttered in their time, though he believes its regulations have gone too far.
In an election ad on Youtube Johnson asks voters to “”Be a Libertarian with me for one election” and for those who still aren’t convinced that Libertarian isn’t a flavour that they’d like to try at the political all you can eat then there is a helpful quiz on his website where after a few simple questions you can see if you are indeed one. The massive problem with this is that if you have even an ounce of humanity in you after Johnsons test you are put somewhere in the Libertarian perspective, he might as well ask: “Would you kick a puppy to death?” and if you answer “No” it would make you a Libertarian – the point is that it doesn’t really get into some of the more unpopular aspects of Libertarian thinking. Though this may be another part of the strategy highlighting the issues that Johnson is going to tackle as a sensible politician rather than as a Libertarian candidate.
Johnson is radical, but less radical than others and may not attract the support from the hard-line Paulites who are simply loyal to Paul and no other but it may be that Johnson is a more acceptable face ofand might appeal more to those who are uncertain about voting Libertarian. He is doing all of the right things to set himself as the ‘peoples president’ tried by the Americans Elect programme and their presumptive nominee Governor before the programme was declared a failure this year. He attacks, and recruits from, Democrats and Republicans equally in one ad saying: “The elephants and donkeys deserve the bird” hoping to appeal to those disaffected with their current parties and have maybe heard about the Libertarian movement through the Ron Paul campaign.
For those thinking about whetting their appetite with a little bit of Libertarianism should give a thought for Johnson, it might end up being diet Libertarianism, but it’ll taste just about the same!