On March 28, 2012, Sam Sloan, a candidate for the Presidential Nomination of the Libertarian Party, submitted the following article for publication:
The Libertarian Love Affair with Gary Johnson
by Sam Sloan
With the National Convention now approaching, more and more Libertarians are coming out in favor of making Gary Johnson our candidate for president, so much so that it seems to be a foregone
conclusion that he will be our candidate. Thus, the only question seems to be who will be his running-mate.
Gary Johnson seems to be in many ways the ideal candidate. He is seen to be extremely conservative on financial matters, which is good from the Libertarian point of view. He supports marijuana
decriminalization, which is also good. Better yet, he was twice elected to high office. He was twice elected Governor of New Mexico. Most Libertarians have never been elected to anything. Moreover, his record as Governor of New Mexico is solid. He vetoed more spending bills than any governor anywhere and he greatly reduced the rate of increase in government spending.
So, it seems that in just about every way, he is the ideal candidate. This explains the mad rush by Libertarians to endorse his candidacy.
I want to ask the question of whether we should not take a closer look at Gary Johnson and, more importantly, at ourselves.
What is our goal in running candidates for election? I believe that our goal is or should be to win elections or, failing that, to convert others to our cause.
How does running Gary Johnson as our candidate promote these two goals?
Right now it looks like Romney will be the Republican Candidate. Faced with the choice between Obama and Romney, I believe that most Libertarians would prefer Romney to be the president. In addition, Romney is electable. Obama has been a big disappointment in the eyes of many who voted for him.
We have to know that nominating Gary Johnson will hurt Romney's chances for election, because almost every vote that Gary Johnson would get would otherwise go to Romney. Also, Gary Johnson has no chance himself of being elected. He was at the bottom of the polls when he was running for the Republican nomination.
Still, if Gary Johnson can win converts to our cause, it might be a worthwhile to run him anyway.
I think we should take a look at other times we have run Republicans as Libertarian Party candidates.
Take, for example, running Bob Barr as our candidate for president in 2008.
We made Bob Barr as our candidate for one reason only: Name recognition. Bob Barr was famous primarily for two things: He led the proceedings to impeach Bill Clinton as President and he was one of the sponsors to the Defense of Marriage Act which was to deny gay and lesbian couples who had gotten married in one state from having their marriages recognized in other states.
However, both of the things for which Bob Barr was famous were anti-Libertarian. I believe that most Libertarians will agree that the President of the United States has a constitutional and human right to
get a blow job, provided that a consenting female (or male) is available to give him one.
In spite of these negatives, those Libertarians who voted to nominate Bob Barr felt that due to his name recognition he would get more votes.
The end result was that Bob Barr did not get more votes. He got about the same number of votes that non-name candidate Michael Badnarik had gotten in the 2004 election. More than that, Bob Barr did not stay with the Libertarian Party. He went right back to being a Republican after the election.
The end result was that the Libertarian Party got nothing, zero, from having Bob Barr as our candidate, plus we lost a wonderful opportunity to run a real Libertarian as our candidate. Mary Ruwart was a pure Libertarian, as pure as the driven snow. She campaigned hard for the nomination. She got into trouble for taking an extremely Libertarian position on one issue. (Some of you will remember what that issue was. I will not repeat it.) So, we sold our souls down the river by nominating an anti-Libertarian, Bob Barr, rather than a pure Libertarian, Mary Ruwart. Plus, I am sure that Mary Ruwart would have gotten more votes than Bob Barr did plus Mary Ruwart has continued to work for Libertarian causes ever since. She has never left our party.
Now I want to cite another example: Warren Redlich.
Most of you will not have heard of Warren Redlich. There is a good reason for that. He is truly a nobody. However, he was an “elected official”. When his campaign manager asked the New York Libertarian Party to ask him to become the Libertarian Party Candidate for Governor, many Libertarians were impressed by the fact that he had actually been elected to something. That qualification had not been exceptionally strong, as he had just been elected to the town council
of an unincorporated village and he had been elected as the running mate of a popular person.
We did not know that he had since become hated and indeed despised by a majority of the residents of the town that elected him and he was on the verge of being driven out of town. He actually left town and moved to Florida shortly after the election, vowing never to return.
Warren Redlich had refused to lower himself to ask the Libertarian Party to nominate him. Rather, his campaign manager asked us to beg him to become our candidate, saying that we should tell him how
greatly honored we would be to have him as our candidate.
I have before me a flyer saying that we Libertarians should ask Gary Johnson to become our candidate for President. This flyer looks exactly like one taken from the Warren Redlich Campaign.
When the word got out that Warren Redlich was asking us to ask him to become our candidate, there were several Libertarians that had come over from the Republican Party who knew Warren Redlich from there. They knew that Warren Redlich was a bad guy and they told us so. They should have been listened to, but they were not.
The result was a disaster for the New York Libertarian Party. In the first place, the nomination convention was rigged. Warren Redlich had never paid his dues to join the Libertarian Party, yet he was allowed to enter the convention hall late and was given the right to vote. It was announced before the convention that it had already been decided that he would be the candidate and other would-be candidates need not bother to come. Unknown persons were allowed to throw handfuls of votes into the hat that was passed around. Warren Redlich was never asked hard questions about his political views, and did not participate in the debates or in the meetings that were arranged for him.
Having secured the nomination without making any real effort to do so, Warren Redlich did no campaigning other than to participate in a televised debate, where even there he did not really participate in the debate but just read from the same stump speech.
More than that, the National Libertarian Party was told that Warren Redlich was a “great candidate”. They did not know that in reality Warren Redlich was nothing more than an Internet scammer who had posted a huge number of Internet websites and domain names mostly for the purpose of impersonating famous people and getting donations, fees and ad revenues from those who mistook his websites for the legitimate websites for those famous people.
Because of this scam, the National Libertarian Party donated $50,000 of your dues money toward the effort to put his name on the ballot. Thus, we party members became the latest victims of the many Warren Redlich scams.
Here is what Republican Party operative Roger Stone has to say about this:
“In the 40 years I have been in American politics, I have never met a more obnoxious or distasteful individual then Albany lawyer Warren Redlich”. http://stonezone.com/article.php?id=444
I realize that it is unfair to compare a scumbag lowlife like Warren Redlich to somebody who seems to have served with distinction like Gary Johnson.
Nevertheless, I think we should look closer at Gary Johnson. For example, right now the great political debate is going on over what to do about Iran.
Most Republicans are saying that we should nuke the mullahs right away. This should be done to protect Israel from Iran because, they say, in five years Iran may have the A-Bomb and they might drop it on Israel, so therefore we should bomb Iran now.
The contrary view, held by most Democrats, is that we should not bomb Iran right away. We should wait a little while and squeeze Iran more tightly with economic sanctions such as for example by stopping Iran from building a pipeline to Pakistan (which would benefit millions of impoverished Pakistanis). If these economic sanctions do not work, then we should bomb Iran, perhaps in a year or two. This is what the Democrats say.
However, the Libertarian view is we should not bomb Iran at all. Not this year. Not even next year. As far as defending Israel is concerned, our job is not to defend Israel. They should defend themselves. They have been getting billions of dollars from us every year and they already have every weapon of mass destruction known to man, including the A-Bomb, so they should be able to defend
Here is one of the many areas where Gary Johnson is weak. Gary Johnson seems to be vacillating between the “bomb them right away” view and the “wait a little while before bombing them” alternative.
This will become a problem for our party if we nominate Gary Johnson and this or his many other anti-Libertarian views becomes known.