I Voted for Gary Johnson in Texas

This last video of Gary Johnson blowing up at a reporter over a very basic tax question (that any libertarian should be able to answer easily) was awful. I watched it yesterday in horror, and having seen it, I still proudly cast my (early) vote for Gary Johnson this morning in Texas. U.S. Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson speaks during the "Politicon" convention in Pasadena

I’ve already explained at length why I cannot vote for Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. I won’t belabor those points here. Neither meet any of my very basic and very forgiving criteria.

Johnson’s weaknesses are clear. He lacks in-depth foreign policy knowledge and he is a poor communicator. He cannot think on his feet and this has led to more than one humiliating interview. Keep in mind that his major party opponents are not necessarily better at interviews than he is, they are just more politically savvy. They either don’t do open-ended interviews, preferring long stump speeches, or they arrange to receive the questions in advance to allow time for preparation and to avoid any embarrassment.

That being said, a president needs to be able to think on his feet and Gary lacks in this area. If I were running his campaign I would cut off all open-ended interviews for the remainder of the campaign.

So why vote for him?

First of all, politics is a hobby and an interest of mine, and the idea of sitting at home on election day is just depressing. But that’s not it.

Gary Johnson is right on almost all issues of limited government and he has a track record which supports that fact. He understands the role of the executive. He is honest to a fault. He has worked tirelessly for the past 5-6 years to advance the cause of liberty. For as much grief as the insatiate and rapacious libertarian base has given Gary Johnson, they would be nowhere without him.

Imagine Darryl Perry as the nominee… The party would be relegated to a by-line in High Times magazine.

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Darryl Perry – Principled, but frankly, scary

Many have argued Austin Petersen would have been a better face for the party. I respect Petersen. I follow him on Twitter and I’m proud to have him follow me. I cannot deny that he has the correct answer to almost every question from a liberty perspective. I would have voted for him and I will support him in future endeavors, but the reality remains that he would not have been taken seriously due to one glaring weakness: He has never really held a legitimate leadership role of any magnitude, and has very little work experience. His age was never the problem for me, I simply knew how he would be received.

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Austin Petersen – Principled and edgy, but green

It is easy to look back at this election and point to all of Johnson’s ridiculous and humiliating moments. It is harder to identify the invisible hand of the media at work, doing all they can to paint each candidate as they want him or her to be received. The only time Johnson made major national headlines was for major gaffes. 95% of every interview was good ideas, but all you would see in print is the still shot of Gary with a confused or goofy look on his face, and his dumbest quote of the interview.

All is fair in a free press media, so I’m not complaining, just pointing out that Gary Johnson weathered this storm as well as could be expected. I do not believe any other libertarian party candidate would have withstood the scrutiny as well.

Johnson’s two-term governor experience brought legitimacy to a ticket which is still likely to gain a record number of votes for the libertarian party this year. No one (NO ONE) calls Gary Johnson a liar. Even those who want to crush him can only resort to calling him a stupid stoner. Factually, there is no evidence of dishonesty or corruption.

I do not believe Gary Johnson is the future of the libertarian party, nor any independent liberty-minded movement or party. He is the present. He has paved the way for the future whether that involves Rand Paul, Justin Amash, Mike Lee, Austin Petersen or some newcomer like Mark Cuban.

I am proud to have voted for Gary Johnson this year. I encourage those of you on the fence to do the same. I am grateful to him for his service to the cause of liberty, and I am confident he is going to make the MOST out of the rest of his life.

live free

 

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We don’t all talk like this

The most disheartening thing to come out of the recent revelation of “The Trump Tapes” (which I suspect will be referred to as ‘Volume 1’ before long) is the roll-out of the “Men talk like this” defense.

I am confident that in my past I have said things in private that I would be ashamed of if they had been recorded and released publicly. I understand the idea of “Locker Room banter”, and when I was young and single I cannot say I never engaged in it with my closest trusted friends. I am not a perfect man but I continually strive to be one, understanding I will always fall just short. My locker room banter was nothing like this though…

Ever since I have started hearing from shameless apologists like Rudy Giuliani (whom I once admired) I have felt absolutely compelled to express a vigorous defense on behalf of myself, and many men much better than myself.

All men do not talk and act like this. 

There are bold distinctions between locker room banter (so called “guy stuff”) and the horror we saw and heard in the Billy Bush video.The locker room banter I mentioned above is often young men satisfying their curiosity, asking questions about stuff because the reality is that they have no experience and hope to learn something. It is often vague and based partially in fantasy (i.e. regarding celebrities), and when it is more specific it is usually framed in the clear implication that any sexual contact or activity would be with a willing partner.

What Donald Trump discussed in that video, is using a position of power to take advantage of women, whether married or not, with or without consent. This was in his heart in 2005 when he was 60 years old and had recently entered into a new marriage. But Trump issued a statement (which came only after someone convinced him this was serious) in which he said “Anyone who knows me knows these words don’t reflect who I am”. When did the change occur?

I can look anyone directly in the eye with my hand on a bible and tell you that I have never uttered words like this, and never will. More importantly, I have never acted like this. One of the reasons this was so disturbing to so many is because we know that Trump has had every opportunity to act this way. He is well known, rich and powerful enough, that we know he is actually capable of pulling this stuff off. He said he did! This is horrifying because we BELIEVE him when he says what he has done.

Trump surrogates are out in force today defending Trump and suggesting the issue was with his words. The words are not the problem. This is not something you can brush aside with complaints about ‘political correctness’ or ‘biased media’. The issue is that Trump exposed himself not just as a lousy political candidate (even men who share his morals work harder to maintain a squeaky clean public facade), but as a really bad man.

To further illustrate the shocking role reversal between the parties right now, a democratic commentator this morning on “This Week” with George Stephanopolous had to address the desperate argument of some apologists including Rudy Giuliani that “Christians are supposed to forgive sinners”. This is, of course true.

Only, the pitiful forgiveness argument ignores how forgiveness actually works. Forgiveness in the Christian sense is given to those who repent. As the commentator explained:

First, you have to express authentic, genuine regret. Second, you have to repair the damage of what you have done through your actions with the individuals that you damaged. Too, you have to reform your behavior so that there’s proof of it and, fourth, you have to accept responsibility and take responsibility for your actions and be held accountable for those.

Trump could barely eek out his “apology” which stressed how LONG AGO this was, and addressed only the comments, not the conduct, before turning the tables and essentially arguing that “Bill is worse! Bill is worse!”.

Does this sound like taking accountability?

I spend my life focused on how to keep my family together, healthy and happy. I have learned that it is impossible for me to do it on my own. The best way I have found to keep myself on track as a man is to surrender myself to God and to aim for the example set by Jesus.

To my sons: Physical attraction is normal and you should never be ashamed of it. It’s even OK to talk about with friends in a respectful way. You should date women, enjoy their company, and adore them.

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It is not cool, normal or moral to use a position of influence or power to enable physical contact with a person who is not a willing participant. Marriage is very important and very fragile. There will be constant challenges and temptation which do not end even after many years of marriage. The strongest men are faithful to their wives. To covet a married woman, or interfere with her marriage is disgusting and deplorable. It ruins lives.

The words we use reveal what’s in our heart.

Luckily I don’t need to withdraw my support for Donald Trump because I have never supported him. Nothing I have ever seen of Trump leads me to believe he is anything other than a Commodus, entitled and defective in character, never having picked up any morals because there is nothing to be gained by them.

I didn’t need a new video to figure this out.

I just wanted to clear the record and refute the dangerous idea that “we all talk like this.” I personally know way too many men who have put forth extraordinary effort to be good men and good husbands for us all to be cheapened by Trump’s latest excuse.