For Gary Johnson
A response to someone concerned about voting Libertarian.
by James Leroy Wilson
October 30, 2012
I wrote this to an evangelical Christian pastor I know very well, conflicted about re-electing Obama or voting for Libertarian Gary Johnson (knowing full well that Romney's foreign policy pronouncements are insane). He is also a traditionalist on Christian views of sexuality and fears the ramifications of gay marriage on free speech. He thought that voting for Johnson would make him a hypocrite because of his family's dependence on government. Here's my reply:
First off, preaching against homosexuality is probably the safest right existing today. Recall the Supreme Court's 8-1 Westboro decision: http://independentcountry.blogspot.com/2011/03/ironically-proud-day-to-be-american.html.
The only dissenter was a Bush appointee.
If you are concerned about it, consider a donation to the ACLU. [Update: this line isn't flippant or sarcastic; the ACLU does very good work on a variety of issues, especially free speech.]
Now to some of your concerns...
First, no Libertarian candidate I'm aware of has proposed ending Social Secuirty benefits to current recipients. Rather, they want them fully funded while providing an opt-out for younger workers.
Second, a Libertarian president would try to abolish the federal Eepartment of Education, which, I've read Gary Johnson say, gives back to the states 11 cents for every 16 cents it takes in. That's not an attack on public schools; it's an attack on inefficiency, waste, and needless mandates.
I'm not sure of all the mechanics of HARP. It's sounded to me like a loosening of regulations regarding home refinance. I have no problem with that. Gary Johnson calls for the abolition of Fannie and Freddie. Before they were invented, most houses were paid off in six years.
Being dependent on current systems, yet voting for transitions to more dynamic systems with more choices, does not make one a hypocrite.
And now here are my reasons for opposing Obama. (and Romney would likely be even worse on the first 6 points.)
1. Drone strikes - even against Americans who haven't even been indicted for anything. They also kill 49 non-terrorists for every suspected terrorist.
2. Indefinite detention - the Pinochet power to make people "disappear" and a repudiation of the Magna Carta.
3. The war on Libya - a clear violation of the Constitution and War Powers Act. Clearly an impeachable offense (and a foreign policy disaster to boot.)
4. Continuation of warrantless wiretapping and seizure of personal records. (FISA, Patriot Act)
5. Stepped up medical marijuana raids. (ending them would HELP Obama's popularity.)
6. Following the insane policy of baseless hostility toward Iran that makes war a 50/50 likelihood upon re-election (even greater probability with Romney).
7 The individual health insurance mandate - a massive invasion of privacy and the first time an individual has faced a direct tax on his very being.
8. Obama's lies about the court's Citizens United decision, which is the REAL First Amendment battleground.
Since 2001, there's been a transition to an unaccountable military "dictatorship" abroad and a police state at home. The process is accelerating.
I'm not voting for it. I think Obama would be the "lesser of two evils" but that's purely guesswork -- and both candidates stand for evils substantially greater than, say, Clinton or Dole could have imagined. And it's not like 2000, where I left the GOP mainly because of now seemingly-minor issues like his endorsement of greater federal roles in education and religious charities.
If Obama and Romney were the only two options, I would not vote. It would be a stain on my conscience. I'd literally be more prudent to by a lottery ticket (something I've never done) on Election Day.
About the Author:
James Leroy Wilson is author of Ron Paul Is A Nut (And So Am I). He blogs at Independent Country and writes for DownsizeDC.org and the Downsize DC Foundation. Opinions expressed here do not represent the views of DownsizeDC.org -- or of Ron Paul.
This column appears every Tuesday only in The Partial Observer.
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