It is inevitable. If the Republican Party loses an election – especially one against an entirely beatable candidate like Barack Obama, the blame game begins. A popular victim in this game of placing blame? The libertarian party, and this time, the supposed spoiler is Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson.
The problem? Johnson had absolutely nothing to do with this election. The spoiler in this race for the Republican party was none other than Mitt Romney.
Without exception, polls show the American people are disgusted with their government. The people find politicians untrustworthy and, in many cases, downright criminal. Americans place very little confidence in the economy and especially our political class’ ability to manage it. This election was ripe for a change at the helm.
Unfortunately for the GOP, facts stand in the way of placing the blame on Gary Johnson. In an election where nearly 105 million people voted, Johnson received just over one million. Romney and Obama both garnered over 52 million a piece. One million votes do not, under nearly any circumstance in an election of this magnitude, make or break an election. If you cannot beat Barack Obama because a third party claimed 1,012,617 votes, then you have a serious problem on your hands.
The problem was Mitt Romney. The larger problem is the entire Republican party. The issue lies in the destruction of the Republican base at the hands of GOP leaders in Congress, primarily lead by limp-wristed John “Obamacare is the law of the land” Boehner. The utter abandonment of any semblance of small government within the Republican party effectively destroyed the GOP’s chances at beating Barack Obama even in times of extreme economic uncertainty, huge debts and low poll numbers. In short, Republicans were unmotivated to vote.
Gary Johnson had nothing to do with this election. The problem lies with the Republican party, and until they begin taking personal responsibility for their own failures, this country will continue to see Democratic rule from the top spot in the land.
Popular wisdom seems to indicate that when votes are placed for a Libertarian or other third party candidate, that essentially counts as a vote for the Democratic contender. Unfortunately, not only is that logically untrue, it is mathematically untrue as well.
The only way to vote for a candidate is to – you guessed it – placing your vote for that candidate. Voting for a third party is not the same as voting for one of the “Big Two” political parties. The real argument is that a vote for a third party will not directly cancel out a vote for the “other” major political party. That is an accurate representation of the issue, but slaves to the two-party system refuse to accept it. The fundamental ignorance and collective lie being perpetrated by these empty talking heads stands as a perfect example of why our country has maintained the two-party abyss that we find our nation in. Advancing a purposeful untruth does not effect political reality. It never has.
Imagine a candidate who proposes a 43% cut in the military budget (yes, nearly half), an end to the wasteful War on Drugs program, an immediate stop to the never-ending War on Terrorism, believes in true Internet freedom and actually has a chance at winning the election in 2012, albeit remote. Who is this candidate? I’ll give you a hint: it’s not Ron Paul.
This candidate’s name is Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party and ex-Governor of New Mexico. Johnson has successfully dented Mitt Romney’s stronghold on the “other than huge government” crowd and promises to continue fighting and striving for victory. “The idea is to win,” Johnson said in an interview with the Huffington Post.
Johnson strikes me as, well, appropriately small government. The man supports an end to these costly wars overseas and might be the only major politician who does not want to bomb Iran. He supports removing the government from the business of marriage and wants the Internet to remain free of government censors. He supports repealing the Patriot Act, which he calls an “assault on privacy” and believes in a woman’s right to abort until the fetus is viable.
The real world gives Johnson next to no chance at securing victory in 2012. But then again, the real world does not make a lot of sense either. Every day, Americans break laws that they did not even know existed. Americans have become complacent and comfortable within the confines of a so-called government “safety net”. They have become content – until something jarring enough hits them hard enough to knock them out of their own little worlds. This year, it’s health care.
Johnson’s web site says 15% support in the polls gets him a podium at the debates. Let’s find out if Americans feel that sensibility in government is worth not throwing their vote away on the “big two”.