Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Libertarian Candidate Gary Johnson Falls Far Short of Goal of 5% of Vote

Google is now showing that 1,139,562 votes were cast for Johnson, roughly 1% of the vote. Given that Johnson was somewhat running on the coattails of Ron Paul, this is a terrible result.

Voting really is a waste of time and worse it is counter-productive. The 1% performance gives the sense that the liberty idea is a fringe idea. It is not. Many people just think they are going to make a difference by voting for the lesser of two evils, although I don't know which one that would be when the choice is between Obama and Romney.

Rather than wasting time on elections and giving sanction to the entire scam, that time can be better spent explaining why freedom is a better option. No voting required. Every new person who gets "live and let live," makes the world that much freer.

(ht David Brown)


  1. It's ironic that someone who actively discourages people from voting would characterize the Libertarian candidate's 1% vote total as "terrible." Do you mean because it was not 0%?

    Voter turnout was much lower than 2008, so if you think not voting makes any difference you should be thrilled about the trend. Although the low turnout will get about as much attention as a 1% vote total.

    1. Along those lines, a very encouraging fact is that the most popular Google search the day before the election was "Who is running for president?" For those who oppose politics this level of general unawareness is fantastic. The next stage would be for those people to continue not caring for one more day.

      I read once that it is not uncommon for Swiss citizens to not know the names of their politicians. Can you imagine living that free from politics?

    2. "It's ironic that someone who actively discourages people from voting would characterize the Libertarian candidate's 1% vote total as "terrible." Do you mean because it was not 0%?"

      There's nothing ironic about it, unless you make an effort to misunderstand Wenzel's point.

      The 1% procent vote for libertarians proves two things:
      1) Voting is simply pointless.
      2) It gives voters credence that liberty is indeed a "fringe" idea.

      Neither of this contradicts Wenzel's appeal to stop voting.

      The 1% is terrible in the sense that among all of the people who vote, 99% not only votes for government, but for BIG government.
      Do you think 0% for the libertarians would have painted a better picture for ideals of liberty than 1% would have?

      There are still a lot of libertarians who believe in voting no matter what Wenzel says. And they make up JUST ONE PERCENT of all voters. That's why it's terrible.

    3. I agree that the result is terrible, or at least disappointing for supporters of GJ. But I believe that electoral politics can be a cheap way to resist tyranny, even if only by registering opposition. It would be more effective if more principled people would participate and vote against the statist parties and propositions. At least so long as the ballot is secret and actually counted.

      If I were opposed to voting, I sure wouldn't give a damn about election results. In the same way that I don't watch American Idol, don't care (or even know) who wins, and have no opinion about the contestants.

      For Dr. Wenzel to call the results terrible means that he cares. If he cares, it is illogical and counter-productive for him to withdraw entirely from participation and encourage others to do so.

      I agree with those who say that other ways of resisting tyranny are more effective than voting. But for most people there is nothing wrong with also using the ballot box, so long as there is at least one thing on the ballot that you have an informed opinion on and your vote is counted honestly. If you don't like anyone on the ballot, vote for nobody. But do vote against that tax increase, etc.

      If you are completely unplugged from the state and leviathan doesn't know you exist, good for you, obviously you should never register or bother to vote. I've been there, done that, for a relatively brief part of my life. Few people ever do.

  2. america chose obama, get over it.

    we the people dont want your fringe radical extremist rightwing agendas and voodoo economics that brought this country to disaster. we the people are tired of republican obstructionism, now we as a country can move forward towards hope and change.

    1. Um... Troll, go back into your cave. If you don't understand political science and political philosophy, don't embarrass yourself by writing as if you do.

    2. Those who voted for the incumbent want a free ride off the backs of the producers and now clearly out number the producers.

      Producers create wealth and sell it to anyone except the gov't.

      Free riders get money in one form or another from the gov't.

      The other bunch who voted for rominee are just ignorant.

      You cannot even tell what kind of site this is much less talk about economic policy.

      Please go away.

    3. Wait.

      ... was this a real post??


    4. OK, I get it, this is sarcasm.

    5. Hope and change? Isn't it "forward" now? I don't know, the slogans sure hide the lack of substance. The good thing is that Obama can no longer blame things on Bush anymore. I mean, look at the mess he just inherited from Barack Ob--oops.

  3. That Gary Johnson continues a 32 year old juggernaut.

    The Libertarian Party nominated Ed Clark [in 1980] for President and David H. Koch for Vice President. They received almost one million votes and were on the ballot in all 50 states plus Washington DC. Koch, a co-owner of Koch Industries, pledged part of his personal fortune to the campaign.

    The Clark-Koch ticket received 921,128 votes (1.06% of the total nationwide).[10] This is the highest percentage of popular votes a Libertarian Party candidate has ever received in a presidential race to date, and remained the highest overall number of votes earned by a Libertarian candidate until the 2012 election, where Gary Johnson and James P. Gray became the first Libertarian ticket to earn more than a million votes, albeit with a lower overall vote percentage (as of writing) than Clark-Koch.,_1980

  4. Gary Johnson thinks Milton Friedman is a great Libertarian Scholar?

    Gary Johnson looses all credibility. I'm a 29 year old, part time student, studying computer networking and I'm a more qualified Libertarian candidate for President than he was.

    Gary Johnson = Your brain on Koch

    1. lol, love this comment

    2. I'm not a big Milton Friedman fan either but the fact that you can't properly spell the word lose I think disproves your claim.

  5. I wrote in Ron Paul (again, same as 2008). Johnson's just too flaky.

  6. If you think the Libertarian party should have nominated a more libertarian candidate, then become a delegate in 2016 and help nominate someone with a better grasp of the ideology. It should be relatively easy to secure the nomination of the Libertarian party, with a credible candidate; the party is small without an elitist cabal in control, and the nomination is not highly contested.

    On the other hand, if you think participating in electoral politics is waste of time, counterproductive to the cause of liberty, or somehow consenting to tyranny, why are you wasting your time opining on the candidates?

    1. "On the other hand, if you think participating in electoral politics is waste of time, counterproductive to the cause of liberty, or somehow consenting to tyranny, why are you wasting your time opining on the candidates?"

      Precisely for the reasons you yourself stated above, Mr. Clueless.

  7. You make it sound as though the reported numbers are honest... There's no way we'll ever know how many votes GJ got, Obama got, Romney got... or even Ron Paul write-ins there were. The numbers are totally baked.

    It would be better for no 3rd parties to run and everyone just stay home. In 2008, an estimated 38% eligible didn't vote (meaning the POTUS got elected by a measly 33% of the electorate - but the "majority rules"...). This time around it could be closer to 45% not voting (meaning Obummer is elected by only 29%). If the nonvoters gets to 75%, time to start talking about these united States 2.0...

    1. Vote fraud is a possibility, but relatively rare. There is real opposition in the major parties desperate to grab the levers of power. Such competition keeps the vote counting mostly honest. Plus, voters are gullible and easily influenced by interest peddling and emotional appeals. There is no need for the power-loving elite to alter vote counts as such people control both major parties and the mainstream media.

      Unfortunately, the vast majority of the non-voters are just as clueless as the voters, if not more so. They will continue to fear losing their government handouts until the system collapses for good. There's no evidence that most of the non-voters are the least bit anti-statist or free market oriented. I wish it were otherwise.

  8. Like anonymous @ 9:34pm, I voted, but only so I could write in Ron Paul.

    As for the other offices for which votes were being cast, I wrote in friends, family members (including my 14-year old son for one office).

    I voted down every judge, and voted against the two constitutional amendments here in Utah.

    I love screwing with their precious "system"....brawhahahaha.

  9. Ron Paul got over 2 million votes in the GOP primary and caucus states alone, and routinely beat Obama in head to head polling! Johnson ran a horrible campaign to only get 1 percent, mostly because he wasn't a real libertarian and tried to hop on the Paul bandwagon.

  10. Here in NH, G. Johnson got about 1%, while our other libertarian candidates got between 3-5%. I think most libertarians saw that Johnson was just another plastic banana politician.
    Like several others, I wrote in Ron Paul for president.

    1. I noticed that here in WI also. The candidate, Kexel, for US Senator got three times as many votes as Johnson. After a brief check, in AZ, the Senatorial candidate there got four times as many votes as Johnson. I think that is mostly a function of the belief that the Presidential vote is too important to waste. I belief that I don't share.

  11. I get the whole philosophy behind the 'don't vote' argument, but isn't it a bit like saying that locking your doors and barring your windows is silly because the robbers will simply find another way to break into your house? Unless you're advocating physically fighting the state, you're simply advocating abject pacifism.

    The political process exists, no matter how corrupt or disfunctional. For those who want to ignore politics and only focus on education, I ask, how will substantive change ever occur? Do you expect the state to wither away, like some sort of Marxist fantasy? Do you expect the armed minority to simply get tired of robbing you?

    Politics exists. To ignore it is like trying to ignore gravity or entropy. To say it doesn't matter is to delude yourself that you can live in a world of magic.

    1. Participating in the political system to achieve freedom, is like joining the mafia in order to reform it from within to become the salvation army.

      Your argument against education is much more applicable to politics. Education for true liberty has hardly ever occurred. But maybe you've forgotten how America started and what it's become THANKS to politics?
      How will substantive change ever occur with a system that corrupted the ideal in the first place, precisely because power and influence attracts those who like to wield it?

      As long as the system exists, the attraction it has will be not to those who hate it and want to subvert it, but the liars, con artists and sociopaths who love it. The system is based on making easy promises to maintain control, rigged to give freebies to envious people in an arena of group idealogical warfare; not to teach people to be self-sufficient and embrace freedom and individualism.

      The only change will occur, if it ever will, by teaching people the logical conclusions of the state, and by raising kids properly from the beginning.

    2. I think you make some interesting points. Let me plays devil's advocate a bit with them though:

      "The political process exists, no matter how corrupt or disfunctional. For those who want to ignore politics and only focus on education, I ask, how will substantive change ever occur?"

      If we only look at what govt's around the world have done to themselves economically we can see there are times by which "no action" still yields results. It's like standing by while watching a robber shoot himself in the foot.

      "Unless you're advocating physically fighting the state, you're simply advocating abject pacifism."

      I've thought about this a lot lately. I think the only sensible option when confronted with overwhelming hostile force is pacifism(if you want to live). That being said I believe libertarians need to focus on subverting gov't in ways that don't involve direct physical confrontation. I've been debating myself how to open these ideas up to those interested in doing so without becoming a target or exposing those methods to the gov't we are trying to subvert.

      I do this already personally, but we really need wider education(and participation) on this and more ideas. For example, using gov't laws against itself(I do this routinely in structuring my business dealings to minimize or eliminate taxation)-this is a big one and I spend a lot of time denying them my money in various ways, or simply making every dealing with gov't painful for the gov't as well as me. I ALWAYS opt out when flying, I get there early and move slow when at the gate.

      I recently had a delightful conversation with a tax eater in a local tax assesors office that ended with her making a scene in front of lots of other taxpayers/cattle and in her frustration ended with a tax bill on one of my company vehicles going from $330 to $

      I hear snippets of other activity from time to time, Lew Rockwell likes to talk about using cash transactions a lot lately to subvert the evil banking system, personally I think saving in gold/silver delivers the maximum hurt...but regardless you get the point.

      There's all sorts of subversive, grinding activities that can whither down the gov't without direct confrontation/force/violence involved. It really is simply withdrawing consent in a passive aggressive way but also in an educated and effective way.

      "Do you expect the armed minority to simply get tired of robbing you?" then "To say it doesn't matter is to delude yourself that you can live in a world of magic."

      I don't think most of us here say it doesn't matter, in fact, if anythying it's the opposite. We all know it matters. The "fantasy" as you put it is thinking you are going to work within a fundamentally corrupt system(politics) to effect any meaningful change.

      I'm not sure how you perceive that, but the reality is that most people in gov't are incompetent and/or not very bright. You can actively resist in a non-violent way(pacifism in that sense) and generally speaking win much of the time while their own incompetence "finishes" the job so to speak. The hope is that at some point in time in human development that we come around to moving towards statelessness as education takes hold, most likely when the "minority" becomes significant enough numerically to effect more change by resistance(not necessarily physical).

    3. Geoih, do you think you can end the State by voting? Why don't you ask Michigan how well voting did in gaining back some of their freedom.

      A piece of paper or election results won't stop the State from violating people's rights. Only when people withdraw their consent and stop enforcing their illegitimate rule will we achieve freedom.

  12. You guys really have to consider that the ”voting is futile” crowd is more influential in our community than we think. Then there's also the voter. Lastly, there was a huge drop in voter turnout in Republican circles (less than even 2008).

    Given these issues together, I imagine that only a third of the potential libertarian vote even bothered to show up.

  13. I did not bother to vote; not even worth my time though I'm close by the polling place.

    I always like to see the elligible non voter numbers. They have been 'winning' for a long time.

  14. Bring back Bob Barr