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Gov. Gary Johnson, Libertarian, Runs for President

This is our second look at “Third Party” candidates for President of the United States. The corporate media and the major two parties don’t want you to consider them. But you’re Americans, and have the right to. Our first column was on the Green Party’s candidate, Dr. Jill Stein.

In 1999, The Economist magazine wrote about Gary Johnson with the headline “America’s Boldest Governor”. He earned the headline by having been elected a Republican governor in a primarily Democratic state, New Mexico. By cutting the state budget’s 10% annual growth, vetoing 200 bills in his first six months, earning the nickname “Governor Veto”. By getting re-elected in 1998, while wanting to decriminalize and legalize marijuana, and reform school vouchers.


Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson

Now Johnson’s a Libertarian, was then really. And he’s on his second run as the Libertarian candidate for President of the United States. He announced on Jan. 6, five days after his 63rd birthday. In his first presidential race, he and his VP cohort Judge James P. Gray of California, garnered 1.27 million votes, only .99% of the popular vote.

In announcing, Johnson said he has no illusions about winning, and cited his earlier vote total as why. He obviously knows the two major parties protect their place with money and power, with further protection by the corporate media, and with grabbing hold of any fresh issues Third Party candidates may try to bring to the political table. His almost ironic smile on his candidate’s home page photo even indicates that.

But the odds don’t seem to matter to Johnson, a triathlete who his home page calls “accomplished” through climbing “the highest peak on each of the 7 continents”. He’s back in the race, and touting his platform:

  • Cut taxes and balance the budget.
  • Allow the private sector to create jobs.
  • Term Limits for the US Congress.
  • A government that adheres to its Constitutional limits.
  • Always protect our Personal Freedom.
  • An Immigration policy that is fair and promotes jobs.
  • A government that doesn’t spy without warrants or due process.
  • He supports U.S. troops and wants a strong and smart defense that works within budget constraints.
GaryJohnsonLibertarian 2012

Johnson running in 2012.

His website introduces him as “The Game Changer” and invites you to “Be Libertarian with me.”

He chides government spending:

By the time Barack Obama leaves office, the national debt will be $20 TRILLION. That is not just obscene, it is unsustainable — and arguably the single greatest threat to our national security.
Responsibility for the years of deficit spending that have created our debt crisis rests squarely with BOTH the Republicans and the Democrats. The debt doubled under President George W. Bush — and doubled again under President Obama. During that time, both parties enjoyed control of Congress, and the deficit spending just kept piling up.

In arguing for Congressional term limits, he says:

Americans are increasingly frustrated, even angry, that — regardless of which political party is in control — nothing really changes in Washington, DC. The spending continues unchecked. The wars continue. Government keeps taking away more freedom. This disastrous allegiance to the status quo by career politicians is a direct result of the reality that those politicians are more concerned about keeping their jobs than about doing what needs to be done.

He demands personal freedom free from government interference:

Imagine the disgust of the Founding Fathers if they were to see the national government spying on citizens’ private communications, monitoring financial transactions, photographing license plates, and even demanding to know what a person is doing at a public library — all without warrants or due process of law.
Imagine their shock to learn that the government has decided it is appropriate to tell adults what they can put in their bodies — and even put them in jail for using marijuana, while allowing those same adults to consume alcohol and encouraging the medical profession to pump out addictive, deadly painkillers at will.

You can read Johnson’s views on the other major issues, including foreign policy, national defense, immigration, and Internet freedom and security here.

See his candidate’s home page here.

We wrote about the 2012 Third Party televised debate for The Clyde Fitch Report. You can read that column here.

Roger Armbrust

Roger Armbrust's articles and columns have covered labor and management, Congressional legislation, and federal court cases, including appeals to the U.S. Supreme Court. He formerly served as national news editor of Back Stage in New York City, where he also taught a professional writing course at New York University. His recent book of sonnets -- oh, touch me there: Love Sonnets -- is available from Amazon and other book sites. He is an associate curator of The Clyde Fitch Report. He is also co-founder and co-curator of reality: a world of views.

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