To really understand the potential of the Johnson/Weld ticket, I had to watch the Lego movie again. *spoiler alert: important plot event of the Lego movie is discussed.
A pivotal scene in the Lego movie was the realization that the double decker couch was so inconspicuous that Lord businesses minions completely overlooked it. While the double decker couch was not any of the master builder’s idea of craftmanship or creativity, the fact that it was such a horrible idea was actually its strength in this case.
Likewise, many libertarians cringe at the thought of a Johnson/Weld ticket. They really are not enthused in the least. However, perhaps they need to think outside of the box like Metalbeard and consider how what makes Johnson and Weld the worst possible proponents of liberty may actually be a strength. The fact that mainstream media does not take them seriously may be strength as well. Here are two Republican governors that have been reelected in blue states. They champion issues that most Americans agree with that major parties have refused to touch. Sure they are lackluster and bland, but they fit the mold of what most people would say they would want in a President. Gary Johnson is a reasonable, level-headed, middle-of-the-road kind of guy. He bases most of his arguments on efficiency. He seems very willing to compromise. Nominating Johnson and Weld is akin to the master builders coming together under Emmet’s leadership and following the instructions. Sure, none of them want to do it. They all want to do their own thing. But maybe this is the only way to storm Lord Business’s office and be successful.
Even though I cringe when I hear Johnson say “Well, libertarians are socially liberal and fiscal conservative” on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, I have renewed faith in humanity when I hear the crowd cheer in thunderous support when Johnson begins to talk about personal liberty. While Ron Paul is right that Johnson really needs to work on being a better advocate for personal liberty, even Johnson’s poor attempt at it is enough to get Colbert fans excited. The spirit of liberty is alive and well.
Personally, I came to the ideas of liberty through both arguing with conservatives and doing my own research. Yes, I initially dismissed Bob Barr as just someone who sounded Republican, but when I researched the LP myself, I did find I agreed with much of the platform. Even though Bob Barr was a horrible advocate for liberty, his appearance on the Colbert Report did help me discover libertarianism. Although, I probably would not have even considered it without discussing politics with conservatives at work. Sure, I can imagine how much more successful someone like like Dr. Ruwart would be. But that misses the point, liberty is a personal journey. I do not think it matters so much who first introduces it to you. What matters is you keep learning.
Sure, after reading Dr. Ruwart’s book Healing Our World, I can imagine how much better her arguments would be received on a show like The Colbert Report. But the important thing is I read the book myself. I did my own research. To grow the movement, libertarians need to encourage people to do their own research and to learn more about liberty. Gary Johnson is promoting research with the “Google Gary Johnson” campaign slogan. While searches have not reached the 2004 levels, it does appear to be working according to Google trends.