I Was Wrong

Those of you that have followed this website for a while will know that I have been off the radar for quite some time. So before going into what I was wrong about, an explanation seems to be in place.

A lot has happened over the past two years or so: I moved from Europe to South America (where I ended up both penniless and jobless before climbing my way out of that rut), I developed an intimate, personal relationship with my Savior Jesus Christ, I met the love of my life and married her 11 months later, and we ended up moving back to the place I thought I had left for good. In the midst of all this writing articles has, shall we say, not been my priority.

In my first article since a long time, however, I want to do something unusual and rebuke my own article. Specifically this relates to a position I took publicly on this very site about four years ago, and it was something I firmly believed in. But hey, sometimes one comes to new insights and, as they say, if you never changed your mind, you never learned a thing! So here we go.

stockvault-white-house139532In this article in the run-up to the U.S. presidential elections of 2012, I made the emphatic case (or so I thought) that Gary Johnson should be the next president of the United States. I was wrong.

The reason I now feel slightly embarrassed for having written that piece, is not because of Johnson’s infamous “Aleppo moment”, or the other gaffe about which foreign leader he looks up to. Far be it from me to let those incidents, or even his running mate Bill Weld sticking up for Hillary Clinton, surprise or disappoint me anymore! (Although admittedly that last one was particularly appalling). The problem with not just this libertarian ticket but the general idea of “voting yourself free” goes much deeper than that.

As unimaginative as I find my viewpoint looking back on it four years later, the subject of my writing was and is even more unimaginative – and indeed utterly uninspiring and downright boring. Now I realize the odds of my ranting ever reaching his desk or that of anyone close to him are infinitesimal, but I feel compelled to take this stance nonetheless. Not only because my argumentation had as many holes as Swiss cheese, but also because I am frankly disgusted with the “libertarian” standpoints the Libertarian Party takes and the terrible job it does of representing the best ideas mankind has ever known. While I am not personally involved with the U.S. Libertarian Party in any way, shape, or form, as a freedom advocate I am disgusted with the way the principles and values I hold near and dear to my heart with are being bent and twisted everywhere Gary Johnson shows his face.

For starters, what kind of a signal does the slogan “fiscally conservative and socially liberal”, send? That is like saying, “Well, you know, both the Republicans and the Democrats have some really great ideas, and if you don’t know which to choose, you can always vote Libertarian!”. People like Johnson can certainly debate how and to what extent the government should rob people of the fruits of their labor through taxation, but let’s not get extreme and entertain the thought that stealing people’s belongings is the definition of theft and therefore immoral in the first place!

In my 2012 article I also write that the Libertarian candidate “wants to audit and reform the Federal Reserve”. Yawn. Why not take (economic) freedom right to its logical and rightful conclusion and take a stance against legal tender laws and central banks’ monopoly on the issuance of money? Why can’t the two parties in a transaction decide for themselves what monetary instrument they want to use to compensate one another?

I then state that Johnson “wants to legalize, tax and regulate marijuana” before claiming that he “believes in civil liberties”. Yet one who truly believes in civil liberties would not dare argue in favor of the government’s authority to tell us when, how, and where to consume a plant – let alone try to make a buck off of our voluntary choices while at the same time attempting to manipulate those choices by way of taxation.

In response to the above, some will tell me I am just a hopeless ideologue and that my utopian vision of a libertarian paradise is just as unlikely to come about by not voting than by voting. However my advocacy is only partially concerned with voting, whereas sticking to the libertarian principles of non-aggression and self-ownership is absolutely non-negotiable, period. By now it has become more than obvious that Gary Johnson is not a good example of a principled libertarian, and as such I take offense at his claiming to be so. In that respect the above only scratches the surface, but then again he is just another politician that we should not waste much time or effort thinking or talking about.


Gary Johnson for President 2012

With the U.S. election season nearing its climax, the media are reporting that Romney and Obama are in a neck-and-neck race for the White House. To those who are willing to look beyond mere campaign rhetoric, though, it is clear that there is really not that much difference between the two, as an increasing number of Americans are starting to realize. A nationwide USA Today/Gallup Poll found that the electorate has a much more negative view of both candidates than in 2008; only 12 percent of respondents thought both candidates would make good presidents, compared to 25 percent four years ago.

In light of the supposed differences between the Democratic and Republican platforms this might seem odd. At second glance, though, it is not hard to see why neither candidate has succeeded in galvanizing into action the kind of crowd Ron Paul did, for instance. Obama’s support and charisma have suffered under broken campaign promises and the continuation of essentially the same policies that made George W. Bush one of the most unpopular presidents in recent history. Mitt Romney, on the other hand, never had much charisma to begin with and fails to offer a real alternative to the aforementioned policies.

The presidential debate on foreign policy was just one of many occasions where this became glaringly obvious even to the most uninformed spectator. The candidates agreed on the intervention in Libya and regime change in Syria, they agreed on crippling economic sanctions on Iran, they agreed on the use of drones, they agreed on supporting Israel, they agreed on keeping U.S. troops in Afghanistan for at least another two years; they even went as far as to use almost the exact same words during the “debate”.

Healthcare is another issue where one would be hard pressed to find any real difference between the two major candidates. Rather than simply repealing ObamaCare, as Romney said he would do last July, Romney wants to replace it with his own version of socialized healthcare as implemented during his tenure as governor of Massachusetts, dubbed RomneyCare. This would include the controversial individual mandate, subsidies for those with low incomes, an expansion of Medicaid and penalties for employers who do not offer coverage to their employees. Both ObamaCare and RomneyCare result in soaring premiums, expansion of the powers of government to intervene in the doctor-patient relationship and higher unemployment due to rising costs for employers. Here, too, the proposed policies are virtually identical.

So how about the economy? A recent FOX News poll revealed that 41 percent of Americans named rising prices as being the biggest economic problem they face. Moreover, the Federal Reserve’s announcement of more money printing in the form of QE3 – the purchase of $40 billion worth of bonds every single month for an indefinite period of time – will contribute to an even bigger spike in prices. With Democrats applauding QE3 and Republicans saying it displayed the failure of the economic policies of the Obama administration, not a word was said about its impact on already soaring prices. In addition, given Romney’s reputation as a flip-flopper, it can be quite a challenge to figure out exactly what Mitt Romney stands for when it comes to monetary policy and bailouts. At any rate, both candidates are simply ignoring the $16 trillion debt, arguably the most serious threat now facing the largest debtor nation in the history of the planet.

Fortunately for those who see through the lies and deceit of the two main contenders, there is a candidate who wants to bring the troops home. A candidate who does not want government controlled healthcare. A candidate who would balance the budget in 2013 by cutting the size of government and supporting free markets. A candidate with more executive governmental experience than Romney and Obama combined. His name? Gary Johnson, former two-term governor of New Mexico and the Libertarian candidate for president.

Gary Johnson wants to stop making enemies faster than the military can kill them by starting another war. The former governor wants to audit and reform the Federal Reserve – whose stock is owned by private stockholders and has control over the nation’s money and credit resources[1] – to regain control over economic policy. He would abolish the income tax, corporate taxes, withholding and other levies that penalize productivity in favor of the Fair Tax which is a consumption tax. He is against the overreaching federal involvement in the economy in the form of bailouts, corporate welfare, cap-and-trade, education spending and protectionism. He wants to legalize, tax and regulate marijuana and simplify legal immigration to combat illegal immigration. He believes in civil liberties and opposes the Patriot Act and National Defense Authorization Act, which enables the government to indefinitely detain American citizens without charge or due process. He would end subsidies and incentives for “green” energy that promote unfair competition and inefficiency in the energy sector.

So if you are one of many Americans out there who is sick and tired of the status quo, if you want a real alternative, vote your conscience: vote Gary Johnson!


[1] Mullins, E. (1991). Secrets of the Federal Reserve, The London Connection. Carson City: Bridger House Publishers, Inc.