Many Johnson supporters state that we should support him because he was the one Libertarian Party [LP] candidate that had a shot at winning. A lot of libertarians did not believe in his message the way that they believed in the message of other candidates, but a lot Libertarians believe it’s important to support Johnson just to support the Party. And then I hear Gary Johnson say, “A wasted vote is voting for someone you don’t believe in” and this is what comes to mind:
This is a great sentiment. However, it doesn’t explain why many people should vote for Gary Johnson. How can they believe in someone they haven’t even Googled yet? Even though I don’t support his decision to pick Bill Weld and I thought Larry Sharpe was a much better choice (and would have demonstrated he actually believed in his party), I was willing to support him anyway. Even though I didn’t agree with him wholeheartedly, I saw some utility in his utilitarianism argument. I still thought it would be a good thing for him to get into the debates.
But do I actually believe in Gary Johnson? That I’m not sure about. I’m not even sure if Gary Johnson and Bill Weld believe in what they are saying. In some videos, it sounds like they’re just rattling off sound bites and buzzwords from a pile of cue cards supplied by Reason magazine. I’m not sure he believes in the Libertarian Party when he laughs along with Bill Maher when Maher talks about the crazies.
The video I saw by Occupy the Media reminded me how awesome it would be for Larry Sharpe to be the VP and how exciting that would be. The other voice in the video was more compelling and more exciting. I can’t help but think it would be better with the Gary Johnson parts edited out. I want to vote for the other guy talking in this video instead.
Maybe I will throw my vote away on Gary Johnson, if only to say I don’t want those other two. But before you go around telling people that throwing your vote away is voting for someone that you don’t believe, give them something to believe in. Something more than buzz words. Something more than “keep government out of your wallet and out of your bedroom.” Something more than rattling off bullet points from your resume.
Talk about the principles of personal liberty. That’s why Ron Paul was popular. He stood for something, something that people from all political stripes could get behind, liberty. What does Gary Johnson stand for? Good government is easy? That sounds cocky, naive, and detached from reality, and worse yet, detached from libertarianism.
However, I must say that my faith in humanity is restored when I hear crowds hoot and hollar when Gary Johnson pays minimal lip service to personal liberty. People are hungry for these ideas.