As we prepare for the third, and final, debate of this election cycle I wanted to revisit an old blog post I wrote just before the LP Convention to try to persuade the delegates, my open letter to the LP. This originally appeared on my first blog I started, without the help of the great Tom Woods. (Have you checked out his Liberty Classroom yet?)
This post was my most successful thus far, mainly because I heavily promoted it because I could see the downfalls of a Johnson/Weld campaign a mile away. I’m happy to say that it did reach many delegate’s eyes, however, not nearly enough.
I caught a lot of flack for it because people confused my endorsement (if you can even call it that) of Austin Petersen as the central message, which was not my intentions. My intentions were please for the love of all that is good don’t select Gary Johnson and Bill Weld.
I knew Johnson wouldn’t get 15%, but even if he did I doubt it would matter. He lost almost all of his credibility and a lot of credibility on behalf of all libertarians. I’m sad to say my prediction came true, but let it be a lesson for the 2020 campaign, and let’s fix our mistakes.
The post is filled with fun little updates on certain matters:
I wouldn’t feel right if I didn’t do this. 2016 has brought libertarians a filet mignon on a silver platter, we cannot just flush it down the John(son). We cannot elect Gary Johnson and Bill Weld and claim to be the party free of corruption. We cannot elect Gary Johnson and Bill Weld and claim to be the party based on principles. We cannot elect Gary Johnson and Bill Weld and be taken seriously by the rest of the voting population. (UPDATE: we weren’t) We cannot, as principled people, even vote for a ticket that holds Johnson and Weld. We cannot. Now I’m not saying not to vote, but know that I will not be voting for a Johnson/Weld ticket. I have no allegiances to the libertarian “party” and I will not sacrifice the principles of Liberty for “party interests”. We are not the Republicans. We are not the Democrats. If nothing else, just know that a Johnson/Weld ticket is going to lose at least one vote.
Now, let’s backtrack. I voted Johnson in 2012. I just turned 18 and I was allowed to vote in the 2012 election. I was young in my libertarian years and I was just starting to grasp the basic concepts of the philosophy. The same concepts that Gary didn’t know about back then. And I’m sure he still doesn’t know them now. Quick story real quick, got some good news and some bad news. Good news is.. back in 1971, Gary Johnson first learned about libertarianism. Bad news is.. it’s 2016, and Mr. Johnson still hasn’t learned about libertarianism. We cannot elect Johnson and be the party of principles.
Johnson and his campaign have been acting shady all throughout the primary season. From making the media think he is our candidate to the stories about irresponsible campaign funding from 2012 to avoiding tough interviews from well respected commentators from the Liberty community. Seems like some leftover Republican tactics Johnson picked up before he joined the libertarian party back in 2012. Let me remind you, because he was slaughtered in the Republican debates. John Mcafee – a newcomer to libertarianism but one who truly believes and lives it – has said he cannot support Johnson if he wins the nomination. I’m with Mcafee on this one.
Even despite the shadiness, Johnson is a lazy mix of a liberal and a conservative, but not a libertarian. Johnson is lazy because he doesn’t know what a right is. Johnson is lazy because you can tell he doesn’t prepare for debates. Johnson is lazy because his only concern is getting in the debates but I don’t know why he would even bother. He would show up stoned, unprepared and would get eaten alive by
Trump. Let’s talk about just how bad Johnson is at spreading the message of Liberty. (You know who isn’t bad at spreading the message of liberty?)
I held small gatherings for the multiple televised debates. I invited over some of my friends, people generally uninterested in politics and even oblivious to what libertarianism is. You know how many people liked Gary Johnson? Not one. I had both left and right leaning friends over, not a single one liked Gary. He cannot even handle some heckling from Austin Petersen and we want to put him on a stage with Donald Trump?! Trump, a man with zero principles and has seen all his success come from his understanding of how to work television and the debates to get people interested! I’m a libertarian. I supported Johnson. I donated to him. I have a Gary Johnson bumper sticker on my car, and I have become completely uninterested in him. (UPDATE: it wasn’t long after this I ripped the GJ bumper sticker off of my car) He is uninspiring, boring to the third degree, and lacks the charisma to spread the message of Liberty, if he even understood it. (UPDATE: what is Aleppo?) How will others rally behind him if I can’t even rally behind him? We cannot elect Johnson and be taken seriously by either party. (UPDATE: we weren’t)
An article appeared in Breitbart today talking about Johnson. The first sentence of the article stated, “He has virtually no money, no strategy to compete in battleground states and no plan to stop talking about his drug use.” Johnson is a terrible representation of libertarians. His VP pick, Bill Weld, is even worse.
Bill Weld talks a big game about small government until, you know, he gets elected. Jeff Jacoby writes, back in 1996,
“For all Weld’s talk of downsizing, his administration has “upsized” in every year save its first. Final spending by Massachusetts in fiscal year 1992 was $13.4 billion; the appropriation for the current fiscal year (ending July 31, 1996) is $16.8 billion. State spending, in other words, will have climbed 25.4 percent in just four years. Inflation has totaled just 10.3 percent.”
Weld has supported gun control – and don’t buy his “apology statement” catered towards libertarians – when the following day he said the complete opposite on CNN. Guns are for hunting tyrants – something I think Weld might be. While in Massachusetts, he supported eminent domain, despite saying eminent domain was a policy ‘better suited for communist China than America’. Weld was involved in theWatergate scandal. And he might’ve even had a fling with none other than Hillary Rodham Clinton! (UPDATE: wonderful public servant, lifelong bond) Woo! Talk about bringing over the Bernie supporters! Or the Republicans – who, let me remind you, SELECTED TRUMP BECAUSE THEY ARE TIRED OF CAREER POLITICIANS! Weld is your typical politician – he’ll say whatever it takes to get elected. We cannot elect Weld and claim to be the party free of corruption. Do you know who Weld voted for?
Back in 2008, he was a Romney supporter. Meh. But whatever. And yes I mean 2008, not 2012. As you remember, McCain was victorious of the Republican nomination back in 2008, so Romney, Weld’s guy, dropped out. So who did Weld support? None other than Barack Obama. Now is that a candidate a libertarian would support or a candidate an authoritarian would support? Think it over. Before becoming Johnson’s VP in 2016, Weld supported John Kasich. John Kasich! The guy who – through SB193 – removed the libertarian party from the Ohio ballots! Not only did Weld not support Rand Paul – he supported a major opponent of the libertarian movement. We cannot elect Weld and claim to be the party of principles.
A Johnson/Weld ticket is a libertarian disaster. (UPDATE: it was) We need Austin Petersen to be our nominee if we want the revolution to continue.
Petersen is a better candidate all across the boards. Firstly, and most importantly hecares. Caring led him to understand the philosophy better. Through caring he has developed more passion. He spends more time perfecting the craft of stage presence, a crucial ingredient to a politician’s success. He is a young face who can bring over the demographic the Johnson campaign failed so miserably at – the Bernie supporters. Half of the Bernie supporters are made up of disillusioned Ron Paul voters. They are skeptical of big government, they don’t want some career politicians, they want a fresh face. They just cannot refine their knowledge to realize Bernie would make all the problems he correctly defines even worse, they need a teacher, a leader. When the inevitable happens, and Bernie drops out, who better for a millennial to support than a millennial just like them? Especially the one touting to be the continuation of Ron Paul’s revolution.
Petersen has had two videos on NowThis Election’s Facebook page in the past 24 hours, Johnson had one. Petersen’s preached change, while Johnson’s promoted weed legalization. It’s almost as if Johnson is working a double secret mission for the major two parties to paint the libertarian party as a laughing stock. We are more than ‘Republicans who smoke pot’ we understand Austrian economics and how it can help our economy – well, uh, save, um, Johnson. Petersen got more likes on each of his two videos than Johnson got on his. Petersen is trying to actually Cure the Bern.
Additionally, Petersen has had YUUUGE success flocking Ted Cruz supporters over to our team. Glenn Beck stopped just shy of endorsing him. Beck has millions of listeners each day. In the latest poll conducted by lp.org, Petersen received 50% of the votes with 9685 votes, more votes than the total number of votes in each of the previous two polls. Before the last poll, which was the only poll conducted after the FOX Stossel Debate, Petersen didn’t receive more than 20% of the vote. Why? Petersen knows how to debate…
A long time Petersen hater, marketer, and trend predictor, Israel Anderson, recently endorsed Petersen. He even took it a step further and claimed that Petersen has a real chance to win the general election based off of his debate style and the way he appeals to emotions far better than Johnson or Mcafee, or even Ron Paul. Anderson worked extensively with the Paul campaign in 2012, and sees even more potential in Petersen. If Anderson can change his mind, all you Johnson supporters should be able to, too.
The Liberty movement is bigger than any individual. Changing your vote should have nothing to do with your ego if we really are the party of principle that we claim to be. Electing Gary Johnson will only continue to hurt the Liberty movement as a whole – I already stated I will not vote for him. Mcafee as well. Johnson and Weld do not hold Liberty as the most important political value, the biggest factor I take into consideration when casting a vote. Sure, Gary *might* be better than Hillary or Trump, but if I have to choose between the lesser of three evils, I will write in Ron Paul or even Austin Petersen.
The opportunity we have this year is unfathomable. Both major party candidates are so disliked that we have a chance to put a huge dent in this corrupt two party system. To inspire change. Please, for my sanity, don’t blow this opportunity on Gary Johnson. (UPDATE: they did) Petersen has appealed better to both sides of non-libertarians and he deserves the nomination. I started off real skeptical of Austin, (hence me purchasing a Gary Johnson bumper sticker) but he has proved me wrong. He has proved himself the most libertarian. He has proved that he will to go the extra mile. He knows how to work technology, save we don’t get access into the debates. (UPDATE: we didn’t, Petersen actually campaigned better for Gary than Gary did!) And Petersen will be more apt to battle Hillary and Trump than Johnson could ever dream to be. And he appeals to emotions in the same way 80% of Americans think.
That’s how you become a leader of the movement. That’s how you continue a revolution. Austin Petersen is the only way forward if we want to actually be the third party in American politics. Delegates, please, I am begging you, select Austin Petersen and not Gary Johnson.