Barry Goldwater wasn’t running to win the Presidency in 1964. It was out of reach, and he knew it. He was running to start a political movement, a movement which came to power sixteen years later with Reagan’s election. Bernie Sanders was running for President a while back. But for some time now, he’s been running to start a political movement. Men like Goldwater and Sanders are unusually selfless. They know they won’t win the prize. They’re blazing a trail for someone else to follow.
I’m hoping Gary Johnson is running to win the Presidency, and not to be the Fremont of 1856. Fremont was the first serious candidate of the new Republican Party. “The Great Pathfinder”, as he was known, helped pave the way for Lincoln. It’s possible that the Libertarian Party may supplant the GOP. To my mind, it’s much easier just to take over the Republican Party, from the grass roots up. But party building should not be Gary Johnson’s concern. He should be in this thing to win, period. The closer he gets, the better off the Libertarian Party will be.
But if he comes to Alaska, and campaigns with the Libertarian Senate Candidate, Cean Stevens, he kills two birds with one stone. Alaska is probably his best shot at winning a state. He could endorse the Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend program, currently under sustained assault by Independent Gov. Walker. That would win Johnson votes in Alaska, trust me.
And Cean ( it’s pronounced “keen”, and means pig herder in Gaelic) Stevens has a shot at winning, and becoming the first Libertarian member of Congress. Mayor Dan Sullivan has pulled out, for unspecified reasons, so the field on the right is clear. The Democrats have got a nobody running, and Lisa Murkowski is a RINO princess, who is roundly despised by many on the political right. And Alaska is a very red state.
If Johnson’s going to do this, he needs to do it before the Alaska primary on August 16th. We want Stevens to score big in that primary. We want to convince the people at the Senate Conservatives Fund, and the Club for Growth, and Heritage, etc., that we’ve got a legitimate shot at taking down the ripest RINO target in the Senate, Murkowski. Joe Miller did it in a primary, showing it can be done.
What makes this a threefer for Johnson is the opportunity it gives him to promote the Transfer of Public Lands. Economically, the State of Alaska is being asphyxiated by the federal ownership of its lands. If the TPL were to take place, Alaska would boom as it hasn’t done since the 80’s. That’s how Johnson wins Alaska, in one stroke. If it’s given enough publicity, it will be a major boost to his chances throughout the Far West.
Before visiting Anchorage and Fairbanks, Johnson should stop in Ketchikan, where he can make his big speech on TPL. When Babbie and I arrived there in 1973, it had a thriving timber industry. It’s all gone now, shut down by the National Forest Service, which owns all the land the logs were on. An entire industry, an entire community, destroyed by the environmentalists in the federal government. Under TPL the Tongass National Forest would be transferred to the state, and the timber industry of Southeast Alaska could be reborn.
The big business now in Ketchikan is selling T-shirts to tour boat visitors. It’s a dying town, and a great place for a speech on TPL.
When Babbie and I were in the second year of law school at UCLA I saw a flyer advertising for third year law students who wanted to intern for a quarter of credit. One of them was the City Attorney’s Office in Ketchikan, so I applied, was accepted, and in June of ’73 Babbie and I flew to Ketchikan for a six month stay. At that time, Ketchikan itself didn’t have an airport, so you landed on Annette Island, about 30 miles away, and then you flew on an amphibious Beaver, which dropped you off right at the city dock.
Babbie was a real trooper, the whole time. We got to know a lawyer named Pete Ellis and his wife, and he hired Babbie to work at his law office. He was a personal injury lawyer, and he had a case where the plaintiffs were Metlakatla Indians, living on their reservation. They’re a different tribe than all the others of Southeast, Canadian imports, I believe. Pete needed statements from these people to help establish his case for damages, which could include loss of consortium. So he tells Babbie to fly down to Metlakatla and get the statements from these Indians about their losses. So off she goes, in some light plane, and goes into the village and gets the statements.
Marrying well is the best thing a man can do.