In 1992, Ross Perot waged a hugely successful third party presidential campaign, coming in with almost 19% of the national vote (nearly 20MM votes). I sometimes wonder, why can’t we do the same thing with Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson?
Gary Johnson recently polled at 4% among likely registered voters. In 1992, many people were drawn to Ross Perot’s candidacy because of the budget deficit (under H.W. Bush; yet another Republican with a budget deficit problem). It’s been 20 years, we’re facing the same issues (but worse), and we have a candidate who’s serious about our country’s major fiscal problem.
(As an aside, I watched this clip of Gary Johnson last night. Notice the foot danging in the background. For real, Gary?)
So here’s the plan; and we could go one of two ways.
Option One: Swing States & the Johnson/Romney Conundrum
If we want to hoist a third party candidate above 5% in the general election – and by the way, this effectively isn’t a national election because the outcome will be decided by a small handful of states (below) – then we have to forgo the fear of re-electing Obama, or almost as scary, electing Romney. Here are this year’s “swing states”.
If you don’t live in a swing state, vote your conscience. My state of Wyoming (Land of the Free) is going to go 80% for Romney, so a vote for Gary Johnson will do nothing to the state’s electoral college votes but I still put another vote on the Libertarian ticket. I would suggest that instead of writing in Ron Paul, to just vote for Johnson. He’s on the ballot, and a vote for Johnson may as well be a vote for Ron Paul. I know some will disagree; however, I still believe the Libertarian Party is Ron Paul’s true political party.
Now if you do live in a swing state, your choice is a little more difficult. I hate to engage in the theory of moral relativity and suggest that one votes for Mitt Romney versus Gary Johnson so I won’t. Republican readers are probably already going to vote for Mitt Romney, whereas former Republicans and Libertarians are probably going to be much more resistant to voting for Romney.
Here’s the bottom line for those swing state voters: they could vote for Romney to wrestle those states from Obama. (Look, I’m not saying that’s what you should do, it’s just one option you have.)
Option Two: The Catalyst for Change
We really piss off the GOP for what they did to Ron Paul. It was a shame. It was a travesty. (It was a shavesty.) I’m much more inclined to go this route: vote for Gary Johnson even if you live in a swing state. Take away votes from Romney and let the GOP know that they’re losing constituents by running statist progressives posing as those who love liberty. In doing this – foregoing the fear of re-electing Obama – maybe we can hoist Johnson to 15% and maybe he’ll run again in 2016 with better success. I say we effectively take the country politically hostage and I’ll explain why.
I want Obama to win. I do. I seriously want Obama to re-elected. (Please keep reading.) His re-election will force our hands to put up mass resistance to statism, at the national level, at the state level, and at the local level. It will allow us to put the agenda up for more than just debate. I think we have to allow the federal government to try to enforce its laws. If we want to pave a way for real change, for real campaigns of Liberty then we need a catalyst. Romney isn’t that catalyst. In fact, I think a Romney victory would be detrimental for the Liberty movement. Americans on the bubble of supporting Liberty will become complacent and we’ll be in the same position, fighting the same battles in another four or eight years; meanwhile we’ll have normalized the progressive Republican presidency. A Romney presidency will be Obama light because Romney wants bigger government. If you disagree, look at his record of governance. My criticism of Romney is the same as it was of Gingrich in that they’d treat government as the enforcer of their neo-Conservatism ideology just like Obama treats the government as the enforcer of neo-liberal socialist ideology. Just now, as I’m watching 60 Minutes on CBS, Romney admitted that he didn’t want to reduce government income tax revenue and that he supports the progressive tax scale.
Tin Foil Hats
Please put on your tin foil hats, people. We have to ultimately push for autonomous regional government. (If I didn’t lose you in the previous paragraph, then please keep reading.) A growing majority of Americans will never reject socialist society and progressive governance. Never. If they want a socialist nanny state, then let them have one. The rest of us need to occupy the American Redoubt, elect a Liberty-committed government, and resign from the Union. That may be a farfetched theory now but it’s the only way to achieve the freedom our Founders intended.
The greatest gift we can pass on to the next generation is a free society. We have a moral imperative to do this. Now I ask you: is this best achieved by duking it out in Washington; or is it best accomplished by starting over? It’s a fair question and I’m interested in your fair answers. Please comment below.