The Libertarian Party has just selected its presidential and vice-presidential candidates in Orlando. Gary Johnson was nominated as the candidate for president, while William (Bill) Weld was nominated as the candidate for vice-president.
Johnson barely missed the nomination in the first round of voting, falling just short of the needed majority. He easily beat Austin Petersen (21 percent) and John McAfee (14 percent) in the second round of voting.
It was similar with Bill Weld. He came up just short in the first round of voting, but then won a majority in the second round. Weld was Johnson’s pick for VP, so it is little surprise that the vote was similar.
I am not a huge Johnson fan, but he really does seem like a decent guy. He is no hardcore libertarian and does not understand the issues in depth as many libertarians do. Unfortunately, with Johnson going out of his way to promote Bill Weld as his running mate, he goes down a few more notches in my book.
Weld is a former governor of Massachusetts. Johnson, being a former governor of New Mexico, claims this makes a strong ticket. The problem is that Weld is a Republican hack. It would not surprise me if the “Never Trump” crowd of the Republican establishment helped Weld behind the scenes.
Weld has supported the past Republican presidential nominees including Romney, McCain and Bush. He actively campaigned for Romney.
“The past is the past”, you say? Weld endorsed John Kasich in the 2016 Republican primary.
This guy, who is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, is the Libertarian Party’s nominee for vice president.
I think I would prefer Trump.
You can’t get much more “Republican establishment” than Bill Weld. It is disappointing that the delegates ultimately chose him. It is disappointing that Gary Johnson had him as his first choice for a running mate.
Unlike some hardcore libertarians, I am not against voting in its entirety. I am not even completely against voting for the lesser of evils, as long as the lesser evil is somewhat close to where I want to be.
If Johnson had preferred an actual libertarian as a running mate, perhaps I would have considered voting for him just as a protest vote. But with this support for Weld, there is no way I can do it now.
The most important issue to me is foreign policy. It may not directly impact me in the short run, but I believe from a moral standpoint, it is the number one issue. We should advocate an end to murder and suffering from U.S. foreign policy.
This is also the one issue that the president can have the greatest impact, assuming he survives long enough to do it. The president can withdraw all of the troops from overseas and bring them home for a purely defensive stance.
As a bonus, ending all of the wars and interventions would save hundreds of billions of dollars per year. This would also help the economy, assuming it weren’t wasted elsewhere.
On the issue of foreign policy, I actually trust Donald Trump more than I do Gary Johnson and Bill Weld. Johnson says he is not an interventionist, but he still doesn’t say it with the same authority as someone like Ron Paul. Johnson sometimes sounds more like Rand Paul than Ron Paul.
I have no idea what Trump would do as president. He has been inconsistent with his message. But his inconsistency on foreign policy is better than the horrible consistency of the interventionists, which includes Hillary Clinton and all of the other previous Republican candidates who went up against Trump.
At least with Trump, there is a chance for a less interventionist foreign policy. If Johnson gets in, then Weld gets in. If Weld gets in, then the Republican establishment gets in.
It is terribly disappointing for me. I have been active locally with the party in previous times. The Libertarian Party has not had a really strong (and libertarian) candidate since at least 2004. Michael Badnarik (2004) may not have been the best candidate, but at least he stood on principle. In 1996 and 2000, there was Harry Browne, who was great.
Since 2004, it has been a disaster with Bob Barr in 2008 and now Johnson in 2012 and 2016.
Johnson is saying that he needs Weld so that they have a chance to win the election. He has absolutely no chance of that. He is playing spoiler in favor of Hillary. The Republican establishment wants Hillary Clinton because they don’t want Donald Trump.
I hate it when LP candidates say they can win. That should not be the point of running a LP presidential candidate. The point should be to educate and inform others of a libertarian message. Harry Browne used his candidacy for many interviews to spread his message. These were interviews that he would not have otherwise had. He never had any illusions of winning.
I could have easily attended the convention in Orlando this year. Unfortunately, there was nobody I was excited about. I miss Harry Browne. I miss when Ron Paul was running for president. Right now, there is nobody to convey the libertarian message from a political platform.
I will probably not be voting in the general election. If I could be nearly certain that Trump would stop the wars, then I might consider him as the lesser of evils.