Monday, September 10, 2012

Gary Johnson on Good Government

It seems a bit odd to me that a man running for president on the Libertarian Party ticket titles his book, Seven Principles of Good Government. Isn't libertarianism focused on shrinking government, as in down to zero or near zero?

I haven't read the book yet, but this comment from an Amazon review is nothing but unsettling:
 Then there's the War on Drugs; Q. What have we got for all the billions spent? A. Overburdened courts, overcrowded prisons, and deteriorating violent crime deriving from the illicit drugs trade. It's time for a new approach. End the war on drugs, decriminalize marijuana, and find ways to deal with addiction as a health issue, not a crime (Gov Johnson briefly cites the success of such programs in Europe).
Why exactly is a Libertarian candidate talking only about legalizing marijuana and not all drugs? And what is this about drug use as a health issue that is successfully handled in Europe? Why should the government be involved at all in any drug or health issues?  

Then the publisher's blurb tells us:
 He made headlines during his tenure as governor for supporting school vouchers...
How is a voucher system not resulting in the government picking the types of education that should be supported? Why not free markets in education, with no role for government?

Gary Johnson seems like a nice guy, but he appears to be a government technocrat type. He doesn't see the evil of government. He doesn't see that all government is about creating power centers from where government elitists rule over us. He, naively, simply wants to change the power centers.

When I see the title to Johnson's book, I see "Seven Principles to Keep Evil Bastards Ruling Over Us". The answer is not good government, the answer is liberty, which is the opposite of good, bad or ugly government.


  1. You're asking why Gary Johnson doesn't adopt "sure loser" campaign themes. Johnson proposes to legalize marijuana and end the war on ALL drugs. You could argue endlessly about the effects of cocaine use, but Gary Johnson does not have endless dollars and endless time to devote to that issue.

    Likewise on education. Many people would like the idea of getting a voucher to send their kids to a private school, but ending all tax support for education would meet with near-total opposition from the public. That issue alone would destroy a candidate.

    Of course, Johnson's not going to win, but he does want to have as much of an impact as he can. Even Ron Paul simply argued that many of the programs he opposed should simply be turned back to the states, and he had transition plans for many other programs. At no point did he argue for abolishing social security, for example. He only proposed to make it voluntary. And he argued that drug regulation should be left to the states.

  2. 3rd party and fringe politics are like a giant lever. the farther away from the mainstream you go, the longer the lever and the more leverage the fulcrum. So why the hell would you use anything but the full force on the lever?

    Gary Johnson wont win, but if he gets the entire libertarian vote of 5% it will have a much greater swing effect than if he dilutes the platform and gains say, 7%. The majority of people willing to compromise on principle for practicality wont vote 3rd party anyway. The idea is to make the bigger party pander to you.

  3. Honestly I don't even know why we talk about politics and government policies. There is no way, in the current state of affairs, that anything will ever change for the better. When has it ever?

  4. If he was quoted correctly, Johnson has now come out in favor of abolishing the Federal Reserve.
    If true, this is a significant change in his position on the Fed. No change at his official website.

  5. "Isn't libertarianism focused on shrinking government, as in down to zero or near zero?"
    ..."The answer is not good government, the answer is liberty, which is the opposite of good, bad or ugly government." wenzel equating liberty with ANARCHY?

  6. Are you voting for Gary Johnson?

  7. Who cares what Gary Johnson thinks? He has zero shot at winning. Really he is just a useful tool -- a tool to be used to tell the inside political cronies that we are opting out of their two-choice system. I plan on writing in Ron Paul but any non-Romney/Obama vote will due.

    Oh, an by the way, you really need to load the full post into your RSS feed.