Understandably, many voters on both sides of the aisle are upset with their parties’ nominee. Some are searching for a third party candidate to feel good about supporting. The two available alternatives are Jill Stein, a far left Green party candidate, and Gary Johnson, a free market libertarian.
While a free market libertarian sounds like a viable and even attractive choice for disaffected conservative Republicans, a closer look reveals he is a more appropriate choice for left-leaning voters unwilling to pull the lever for Hillary Clinton. Here’s why.
Un-Presidential and Dishonest
One of the biggest qualms voters have with Donald Trump is his brash style and over-the-top remarks. Many, including myself, have found it un-presidential at times. If acting presidential is a key requisite for your support, Gary Johnson falls remarkably short.
While arguing that Libertarians have a golden opportunity with two weak candidates from the major parties winning nominations, Gary Johnson called Donald Trump a p***sy. He cited his climbing of mountains as a reason why he is different. When asked about it, he admitted it was “kind of a misfire,” but then repeated the insult anyway. See for yourself.
In another instance he misquoted Donald Trump in order to call him a racist. Johnson was asked if he’d take on Donald Trump and he responded by saying:
“Taking him on when he says Mexicans are murderers and rapists. It’s incendiary! … It’s racist. It’s just racist!”
This attribution is so dishonest, left-leaning Salon.com had to opine to clarify. Here’s what Donald Trump actually said:
“When Mexico sends its people they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you; they’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists, and some, I assume, are good people. But I speak to border guards and they tell us what we’re getting.”
While it’s fair to strongly disagree with Trump, but it’s not honest to twist his words to mean that all Mexicans or all Mexican immigrants are murderers or rapists. That’s simply not what he said – even if his comment was wrong.
Furthermore, Gary Johnson doubled-down on attacking Trump. When asked if he agreed with his running mate, Bill Weld, that Donald Trump’s immigration policies are comparable to policies of Nazi Germany, he said “I do.” That type of rhetoric is exactly what most of us want to end in Washington.
That discussion leads nicely into another area where Gary Johnson strongly disagrees with most Republicans. He is extreme in his open border stance. Here’s what he had to say on the issue:
“My vision of the border with Mexico is that a truck from the United States going into Mexico and a truck coming from Mexico into the United States will pass each other at the border going 60 miles an hour. Yes, we should have open borders.“
He’s strongly opposed building a border fence, the position of Trump’s that vaulted him into the spotlight and gave him primary momentum he would never surrender.
“I’m taking him on wanting to build a fence across the border. That’s nuts”
Meanwhile, other countries have built border fences. Recently, Hungary erected a border fence to control the flow of migrants. While it may not be enough to completely quell the flow of drugs or illegal aliens into the US, it could help, and even if not, as we see other countries find some success with it, calling it “nuts” seems somewhat partisan.
Gary Johnson is stridently pro-choice. Asked by Anderson Cooper his opinion of the issue, he did not equivocate:
“I support a woman’s right to choose. How could there be a more difficult issue that only should be addressed by the woman involved?”
To his credit, he is to the right of Hillary Clinton on the issue in that he does not believe in abortion after the point that the unborn is a viable child:
“Life is precious and must be protected. A woman should be allowed to make her own decisions during pregnancy until the point of viability of a fetus.”
Extremely Pro Recreational Marijuana
He’s more extreme on the issue of drugs than any other candidate. He isn’t just for medicinal marijuana, which is widely supported by most Americans, but also recreational marijuana. He takes it step further though by arguing the substance makes the world a better place:
“Look, I think it makes the world a better place. … On the recreational side, legalizing marijuana would lead to less overall substance abuse because it’s so much safer than anything else out there, including alcohol.”
Furthermore, until January 1, 2016 he was actually the CEO of a marijuana company. While the majority of Republicans support the legalization of medicinal marijuana, someone advocating for it’s recreational use and arguing that it would decrease substance abuse takes it too far.
Weak on ISIS
The nail in the coffin for me in rejecting the notion of supporting Gary Johnson in any federal election is his stance on ISIS. He seems unconcerned and in interview after interview brings up North Korea, an enemy we can locate and thwart when needed.
“I think the biggest threat in the world is North Korea.”
“JW: Would you consider the ISIS-inspired San Bernardino shootings an attack?
GJ: No. No, I would not.”
He argues that ISIS rose to power due to US intervention and we should not fight them without a declaration of war. Asked if we should declare war, he says no. His plan to defeat ISIS is to simply strategically cut off their funds.
This isn’t enough! FBI Director James Comey warns that we may see a massive terrorist diaspora out of Syria “like we’ve never seen before.” This isn’t good news for an open-borders candidate that does not prioritize ISIS.
The most important task a President undertakes is their responsibility as the commander-in-chief. By having such a unconcerned attitude and toothless plan to face the biggest threat to world safety, Gary Johnson fails in the most important way a candidate can.
So who should he win over?
In an interview, Gary Johnson himself said he’s not a play for former Ted Cruz supporters:
“J. Wilson: Right now, it looks like Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton will be the nominees and Ted Cruz and Bernie Sanders supporters would be shut out in the cold. How would you make the argument that Ted Cruz voters should switch to you instead of voting for Donald Trump?
Gary Johnson: Well, I don’t know that I have many arguments for Ted Cruz voters as I’m not a social conservative.”
Ok, but what about folks like me who supported Rand Paul. Well, he called Rand Paul a “sellout” for joining a major political party, essentially calling him not “pure” enough.
So who should consider voting for this third party candidate that holds open-border, pro-choice, pro-pot positions and is weak on ISIS. Likely a left-leaning voter that is turned off by Hillary Clinton’s consistent dishonesty. It certainly should not be a conservative looking for a better solution than the Republican nominee.