Sunday, November 4, 2018

'Gary Johnson’s independent libertarian views aren’t fringe'

by John Vaught LeBeaume, Santa Fe New Mexican

Taos News op-ed writer, Alma Lones (“Gary Johnson and the lure of Libertarianism,” My Turn, Sept. 27) attempts guilt-by-association and tries to to tie former Gov. Gary Johnson to some of the more radical, unforgiving stances staked out by extreme adherents of “libertarianism.” But anybody who observed his Libertarian nomination battles, let alone survived those trials-by-fire with the governor, will recognize her slapdash stab at hanging the “extremist” albatross around Gary Johnson’s neck is preposterous. Because even a simple web search will turn up plenty of invective aimed at Johnson by the self-appointed guardians of what supposedly is “real libertarianism.”
Watching the short clips from Johnson’s spot early in the 2016 election season on the TBS network’s Full Frontal with Samantha Bee vividly illustrate this “Gary Johnson is not a real libertarian” shtick. In one clip, Bee’s producers captured not only the quirky scene of the Libertarian presidential nominating convention, but also the vitriol spewed by the “Anybody but Gary” gaggle, who weren’t just quirky, but hysterical in their Stalinist suspicion of Johnson, outraged that he dares to hold his own Libertarian views, independent of what they insist is “real libertarianism.”
When I advise Libertarian candidates, I tell them that if they are genuinely interested in creating an impact in the “real world,” drop the “ism.” It’s irrelevant to the libertarian-leaning voters in the general electorate that you should be appealing to. As the late, great comedy writer Andy Breckman used to say: “Nobody knows what that means. Nobody cares.”..
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