How Gary Johnson’s Failure Shows That Selling Out Doesn’t Work for Libertarians

in Culture/Politics

Being dead-set in the middle of the libertarian students movement gives me a unique perspective in the development of the cause. It cannot be understated on how much the Johnson/Weld campaign has damaged the movement, both as a whole and for the future. The embarrassment began back when Gary demanded that Jewish bakers be compelled by state force to bake Nazi cakes. That was a pathetic misstep, and one that he has since amplified with many similar concessions of libertarian principle. Johnson sympathizers within the libertarian movement have said that these types of statements are necessary to remain pragmatic, but those voices forget that private property rights and the non-aggression principle are the core principles of libertarianism, and  – without them being at the forefront – our movement falters.

Those are only the underpinnings of the laundry list of abysmal statements made on the campaign trail by both Gary himself and his “original libertarian”  globalist warmongering counterpart Bill Weld. The “OG” Weld loves guns so much that he advocated for law-abiding citizens in Massachusetts to have their rights revoked arbitrarily by bureaucrats. He went on to make this jawdroppingly clueless statement on guns in August 2016, showing that his mentality has hardly changed over the years:

“The five shot rifle, that’s a standard military rifle; the problem is if you attach a clip to it so it can fire more shells and if you remove the pin so that it becomes an automatic weapon, and those are independent criminal offenses. That is when they become, essentially a weapon of mass destruction. The problem with handguns probably is even worse than the problem of the AR15. ”

This is a man that Johnson backs and considers a long-time role model.  Worse yet, his followers back him regardless of what he says because he is, in their words,  our “only hope.” Remember when Obama was our only hope? How did that all turn out? The Libertarian Party and its staunch followers even expect us to follow a ticket that has openly praised the ultimate collectivist herself, Hillary “For Prison 2016” Clinton. Of all the issues Gary should’ve been particularly strong on, it should have been the drug war, yet somehow he managed to screw that up as well by refusing to advocate for full-blown legalization and the end of the drug war. His recent flip-flops on the so-called “carbon fee” and mandatory vaccines were only the icing on the cake.

Libertarians have shamefully accepted these two irrelevant moderate republicans and paraded them around on the national stage, giving them the opportunity to show Americans that libertarians essentially have no strong principled stance on much of anything. Many within the movement have said that these weak statements were made to help get the ticket on the debate stage. It was time to hit the big time, they said.  Last week, it was released that the Gary and Bill ticket blew it hard and will not be included in the debates. That’s right – the Libertarian Party is, yet again, a big fat rotten stinking failure.

The supposed 15 percent goal to get in the debates was shoved down our throats incessantly. We were also told that if the libertarians got 5 percent of the vote, they could get a big old welfare check from Uncle Sam. This was supposed to impress us, but what did it get us in the end? It has gotten us jack-squat, but it has shown us a startling truth about the movement. It has shown that libertarians will sell principle down the river as fast as any statist, even if only for the mere prospect of political success. Hell, at least when statists sell their souls they actually get something in return. Libertarians have sold their souls and all it has done is further cement their Party as a pitiful laughingstock.
What must we do at this point to bring back the bold, radical, pre-Gary nature of the liberty movement? It’s not that hard. We just have to go back to the principles that Ron Paul stood for.  He built the movement into a force to be reckoned with. He never kowtowed to the leftists and neoconservatives. Ron Paul always stood strong even when the deck was stacked against him. We must follow his example, rather than the example of unexceptional wash-outs like Sad Sack Gary.

Mitchell has been involved in the student liberty movement with the Young Americans for Liberty where he served as a State Chair for them in Indiana and Michigan. He also worked as a Field Representative for the Leadership Institute. In the past he has managed a campaign for a liberty republican and worked in local politics in the metro Detroit area.