Why I Wouldn’t Vote for Gary Johnson

Gary JohnsonThose crazy Libertarians are at it again, calling for anyone and everyone to come vote for Gary Johnson, who has recently thrown his hat into the 2016 ring for President once again.  Libertarians are fanatical when it comes to third party candidates, they insist that everyone ought to support their guy and when people say no way in hell, as most do, they start insulting anyone and everyone who doesn’t buy into their camp.

So I went and specifically looked up Gary Johnson’s platform, at least his platform from 2012, so I could detail what it was specifically that I disagreed with.  There’s a site called On The Issues, which lets you take one of those stupid online quizzes that I hate so much to find out which candidates you most agree with.  I did it and found out that I disagree with everyone, which is no surprise at all.  The best match I got was 50% and I wouldn’t vote for them if my life depended on it.

But enough of that, let’s look specifically at Gary Johnson’s platform and see where I agree and disagree.  I’ll stick to the categories listed above for ease of reference.  To make it even simpler, I’ll color code the headings, green for agree and red for disagree.

Abortion

This is actually a close one, mostly because I do support federal funding on stem cell research and I want birth control covered on all insurance plans.  If he really thinks the woman ought to be able to decide, how can they do that if their choices of birth control are limited or entirely removed?  However, since I’m good on 3 out of the 5 statements, I’ll give this one a green.

Budget & Economy

He gets green here too because I agree that we need to stop borrowing money and live within our means, no matter what that takes.  However, I think that a lot of his ideas, like a lot of libertarian ideas, are simply unworkable once you delve into them.

Civil Rights

He gets it right here too, being pro-equality across the board.  Keeping religion out of the government is also essential to a free and open society.

Corporations

This is where we start to see things go wrong.  Now while I am totally on board with free enterprise and a free market, I do not think that it ought to be something we give away.  Corporations ought to pay their fair share of the taxes because they benefit from the things that tax money pays for.  It shouldn’t be excessive, we should get rid of any and all corporate welfare, but it seems he wants to go too far the other way.

Crime

At issue here is his support of private prisons.  I think we need to get rid of private prisons altogether.  For-profit prisons require a never-ending supply of new prisoners to keep them full, this is a distinct conflict of interest that I find unresolvable. I do agree that drug users have no place behind bars, they belong in mandatory treatment programs.  I also think that drug dealers ought to be automatically executed.   More of this comes into play in the next category.

Drugs

I will never, under any circumstances, support a candidate who wants to legalize drugs.  I’ve gone through this in detail before, I find drug use reprehensible and even though I don’t think drug users ought to go to prison (see above), neither do I think just legalizing the whole thing is a valid argument either.  Much of this goes back to my “stupid people are stupid” argument.  Just because people might want to use drugs doesn’t mean that we ought to validate it.

Education

I am not in favor of school vouchers, at least not as they have been suggested.  We do need to completely overhaul the public education system, but Johnson, like most libertarians, wants to do away with federal oversight, which we absolutely need to make education equal across all states.  I’ve made my thoughts clear on this here, among other placese.

Energy & Oil

I’m generally fine with a lot of what he says, but I don’t see any actual plans for implementing his ideas.  I think that’s a huge problem and one that libertarians have no way of overcoming.  Even if Johnson got elected President, virtually nothing on his agenda would actually get acted on.

Environment

This was a close one, I had to go against it though because I don’t see how you’ll enforce any of these things without federal oversight.

Families & Children

I am all in favor of maintaining the family.  My question is, how can he be pushing for federal funds if traditional libertarianism places all of these things under state’s rights?

Foreign Policy

I’ll go with a lot of this, I don’t think we ought to be buying international friendship with billions of tax dollars and that’s largely what we’re doing.  I don’t want to sound isolationist, but we could do with paying more attention to what’s going on at home and less to trying to spread democracy around the world.

Free Trade

Again, this is difficult because I don’t see any actual plans, just talking points.  I suspect this will be closely linked to immigration, which I will address further down.

Government Reform

Virtually all of this is just a “rah-rah, look what I did” session so most of it is pointless.  Where it went wrong is that he wants to allow unlimited corporate political donations and I honestly would like to see political donations, whether by individuals or corporations, severely limited.  Of course, what he’s doing is trying to play to his potential donors, Johnson clearly wouldn’t mind if corporations could pay him millions.

Gun Control

There isn’t much here, I’m going to give him a pass because I support private firearm ownership and agree that a lot of gun control legislation isn’t doing much to help the problems.  That isn’t to say that I want to get rid of all such legislation, I’m not mindlessly pro-gun like a lot of libertarians and neo-cons are, I’m adamantly pro-responsibility.

Healthcare

Likewise, I’m going to give this a pass because, while he does say that Obamacare and similar systems simply don’t work and I agree, he doesn’t list a plan for actually improving the situation.

Homeland Security

So much of this is very close, I don’t really like what he has to say because he’s not really saying much of anything.  Yes, we ought to get rid of the Patriot Act, we ought to get rid of the TSA, we ought to study how sensitive infrastructure is vulnerable to terrorist attack.  I’m not really seeing any plan for keeping us safe though, that’s what I’d need to see.

Immigration

Absolutely not.  This is, indeed, tied in with his ideas on free trade and, in fact, with the way a lot of libertarians want to just open the borders and let people go back and forth without restriction.  I am never going to agree with that.

Jobs

Yes, private businesses create jobs, how is he going to deal with the fact that there are millions and millions of people nationwide on the government payroll?

Principles & Values

He sees values the same way Ayn Rand does?  Oh hell no.

Social Security

My problem here, even though I’m going to grudgingly agree with him, is that there’s a limit to how high you can raise retirement age.  Medical science is going to continue to increase life expectancy, does he plan on keeping people working until they are 100 in the coming future?  Secondly, Social Security is paid for by the employee out of every check.  I personally think that people ought to get exactly as much as has been put in, plus whatever interest has been earned, and not a penny more. This is problematic, again because of modern medicine, because people are now living many more years past retirement and that money is going to run out unless the individual has made some decent investments over the years.  When you used to keel over 5-10 years after retirement, it didn’t matter.  Now that you might live 20+ years past retirement, it does.

Tax Reform

There is no way in hell, no matter what the libertarians want, that we’re ever going to get rid of the IRS.  Beyond this, I never thought the flat tax was workable, especially not one touted by libertarians.  It’s just going to stop people from buying the non-essentials because the taxation is so high.  This will reduce the amount of money taken in taxes overall, which just means the government either shuts down (which would make a lot of libertarians happy), reduces services, or just finds another way of taxing the citizenry.  Like it or not, the government needs money to operate.  There are many services that the people want, whether or not we think they ought to have them, they are going to send representatives to Washington to ensure they get them.  This is really where I think libertarian ideals are just pointless, this is a plank in his platform that he could never keep, no matter how much he might want to.  Wishful thinking has little place in politics.

Technology

I don’t care what he’s built, I do support total net neutrality so I’ll give him a thumbs up here.

War & Peace

I’m sort of torn here.  I know that a lot of these are old quotes and statements and I try not to look back at them, knowing the future from that perspective.  Now I’m not a war-monger by any stretch of the imagination, I think most of the wars we’ve been involved in for the past couple of decades have been utterly stupid.  I’m also not an isolationist, I think there are some things that we ought to be involved in, but if we get involved, we need to go, get the job done and not come back until we accomplish what we set out to accomplish.  That’s where American foreign military conflict has utterly failed.  We spend more time on “rah rah, USA! USA!” than on actual planning, we go out and do a half-assed job and then bow to public opinion polls instead of finishing what we start.  We go at it the wrong way, we give up too early and we lack the balls to do what needs to be done.  It’s easy to say we should never have been in Afghanistan, we should never have been in Iraq, these wars were completely pointless, it cost billions of dollars and many American lives (not to mention all the innocents who got caught in the crossfire), but we walked away and nothing really got changed.  It just got worse.  I acknowledge that we might have to deal with the WWII paradigm, where almost 410,000 Americans died fighting against Hitler.  That’s something that will never fly today but I think it’s what we need to accept if we’re serious about actually solving problems.

Welfare & Poverty

I think we need to put severe caps on welfare and major requirements for anyone who gets any kind of government check. I think being on government assistance ought to be significantly painful, such that you’d do almost anything to get off of it and back to work.  I think people ought to be required to get an education, ought to be forced to stop having more children, ought to be required to keep their kids getting good grades, etc.  Welfare ought to be the absolute last resort and the requirements are such that you are forced to get off welfare and standing on your own two feet sooner rather than later.

So looking back, I’ve got 13 in the green and 11 in the red.  Keep in mind that a lot of them are very close, I’ve given him a pass in a lot of areas, just because I barely agree with half of his points.  A lot of the things in the red are very serious, fundamental disagreements.  I could never, in good conscience, support someone who favors drug legalization.  Further, so many of these things are complete fantasy, there is no way in hell that most of them could happen following the 2016 election.  Because it can’t happen, the vast majority of this platform is just nonsense, it’s like promising to put a Ferrari in every garage and a billion dollars in every bank account.  These are simply, by and large, not achievable goals and if there’s one thing I value more than responsibility, that’s reality.  The Libertarian party lacks that almost entirely.

Sorry Gary, you’ve got a couple of good ideas and a whole lot of overactive imagination.  You don’t get my support with this platform.

 

12 thoughts on “Why I Wouldn’t Vote for Gary Johnson

  1. I thought "Maybe there's some good points…" and then I read "I believe all drug dealers should be executed." Aside from how crazy and totalitarian that statement is, I am genuinely curious why you think the prohibition of drugs is going to start working all of the sudden when it really has done so much more harm than good since the War on Drugs started. He also absolutely does not want to open the borders "with no restrictions", that is just a flat out lie. He favors implementing a work visa program and performing background checks on anyone entering the country, as well as other restrictions. Notably, he supports "one strike and you're out" system for immigrants here on a work visa. And lastly, he opposes net neutrality. I don't know what the hell made you agree with him on technology if you support it totally. I get that this is your blog/website or whatever, and I don't have to read it, but reading this article you sounded like one of those people who has their beliefs and won't even think about being swayed. I really don't see how you can 100%, absolutely with no exception, oppose the legalization of marijuana. There are so, so many documented cases of it being medically and socially beneficial, to ignore all of those is nothing short of willful ignorance.

  2. You know, you followed this up with an insulting response because your comment wasn't immediately posted. All first-time comments, pretty much on any blog anywhere, are held for moderation. That you're unaware of that says something about your ignorance.

    Now on to this comment. We've never had a war on drugs. We've had a media campaign on drugs. We talk about it a lot. We tell kids not do do drugs. We don't actually fight a war against them. In a war, enemy combatants, in this case drug dealers, die. The point of a war is not to reach a stalemate, it is to win. You do not win by slapping your enemy's hand, you do so by ending their ability to wage war against you. We have not done that. We are not fighting a war. We are just talking about fighting a war and thinking that the talking accomplishes the same thing. It does not.

    If you have any opposition to how I was matched up with him, go take it up with the website that I linked to. I have no control over that.

    1. you're hopelessly biased and i doubt nothing said by anyone who disagrees with you would change what you believe; that's too bad considering the numerous logical fallacies and errors in conclusions in your blogs/comments. good luck with that willful ignorance….

      1. Let me know when you actually have any evidence to support your claim. Making baseless accusations with nothing to back you up is just your opinion. You are welcome to having your opinions, of course, but they mean nothing unless you can prove them to be valid.

  3. Getting one's political/economic/social education from Ayn Ran's books is like getting your sex education from the book "Holy Sex!: A Catholic Guide to Toe-Curling, Mind-Blowing, Infallible Loving".
    I don't believe in censorship but would keep both of these titles away from impressionable youth. 🙂

  4. Cephus, I think it'd be highly beneficial for you to catch up on contemporary literature regarding drug addiction. A statement such as, "just because people might want to use drugs doesn't mean we ought to validate it," is a rather naive one. Drug addiction isn't a national problem because millions of Americans are morally corrupt, but because it is a pervasive, highly-nuanced disease that is affecting the population on a massive scale. If you expect to have a reputable blog, it would probably be a good idea to not oversimplify.

    1. It isn't a disease, it's a choice. You don't catch an addiction. If you never used drugs, you could not possibly ever get addicted to them. The same goes for alcohol or tobacco. These are choices. They may become addictions after that choice, but they still remain choices.

      Welcome to reality.

  5. That's a relatively common stance people have had on addiction for a while now. As more research is conducted, medical literature published, and more people challenge their own prejudices/reflect on their social conditioning, this antiquated bias regarding addicts and addiction is undermined. Rightfully so, I believe. I'm curious now, though. Do you believe the drug itself causes addiction? Would you consider genetic dispositions and/or social and environmental factors to play a role in addiction? What effect do you think a drug like heroin would have on the brain, if any at all?

    What would be your solution to the opioid/opiate epidemic this country currently faces? And, in your opinion, why have ~2.5 million Americans made this "choice to become addicted?"

    Hope to hear your feedback.

    1. It is a combination of the drug and the genetic predisposition toward addiction. However, that changes nothing that I said, people who never, ever, ever try drugs cannot become addicted to them, period. You can never be an alcoholic if you simply don't drink alcohol. People have made a choice to use these substances. They have no control over their genes but they certainly have control over their actions and their decisions in life.

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