But is Gary Johnson, the libertarian Presidential candidate, a constitutionalist?
The Constitution is libertarian, through and through. It’s all about restraining and limiting the power of the federal government. Not all government. Just the federal government. In 1787 the thirteen states which ratified the Constitution weren’t libertarian. Most of them allowed legal slavery, which is the antithesis of libertarian.
Johnson needs to be a Presidential candidate, not an apostle of libertarian political philosophy. I just saw him on Fox’s Special Report, and while he did well, he could have done far, far better. During the entire interview, I never heard him say the word “Constitution.” It’s his best line of defense, and his best line of attack. When asked about abolishing the Department of Education, the first word out of his mouth should have been “unconstitutional.” When asked about legalized polygamy, he should have deflected the question by deferring to state sovereignty. As President, and leader of the federal government, he would have nothing to say on the subject. If some state wants to legalize polygamy, the Constitution prevents the federal government from interfering.
He’s essentially for open borders, which is an intellectually indefensible position, and political poison. It prevents him from being a serious contender. And if his version of libertarianism requires a borderless world, he’s a nut. Nation states have borders, by definition. Controlling those borders in a way that benefits the citizens of the nation state is a core function of any government.
But I digress. Gary Johnson isn’t going to be President of the United States, and the Libertarian Party is not going to replace the Republican Party. About 247 members of the House are Republican. Maybe three or four are real libertarians. There’s a reason for that. It’s a minority view in this country. I should know, since I’ve been a libertarian all my life. I know I’m in the minority, and since I wanted a career in politics I never joined the Libertarian Party.
The Libertarian Party is a place for purists and absolutists, not real politicians, who are required to compromise. My understanding of libertarianism is maximum freedom, minimum government. But it all gets down to the meaning of the word “minimum.” To me, at a minimum, a government must control its borders. Not to Gary Johnson. So I can’t take him seriously.
But I sure as hell can vote for him, and I intend to. He’s off the weed, which is a good thing. And I’m not really voting for him, though he’s much more appealing, personally and temperamentally, than the competition. I’m voting for that “L” next to his name. And as far as I’m concerned, that “L” doesn’t include open borders.
This vote is strictly strategic. I can’t choose between Trump and Clinton. I refuse to do it. I want my vote for Johnson to be counted as “none of the above.” If Trump loses, the voters who supported him will hopefully learn a lesson. Don’t get behind a guy that pisses most of the country off. If Trump wins, he’ll screw the pooch, and quite possibly destroy the Republican Party for a generation, much as Hoover did.
Like Trump, Hoover was a highly successful businessman. World class, as a matter of fact. But Coolidge, one of my heroes, didn’t like the way he was always wanting to “do something.” Coolidge, as President, tried to avoid doing things. He was a constitutionalist, the last one before Reagan.
And then Hoover got elected, and royally screwed the pooch. Do you see what I’m afraid of? And Hoover never did any bitching about Mexican judges who were born in Indiana.
The Donald is special.