America is and always has been a land of liberty. Do you believe that? Do you believe that you can play a role in preserving our rights, our rule of law, and nation's character of decency?
I do. I am stepping forward now to do everything I can to support the Libertarian Party ticket of Gov. Gary Johnson and Gov. Bill Weld.
I support Johnson and Weld because they will defend the liberties in the Constitution, because they put principles and reason above their own whims or personal convenience, and because they campaign with civility, decency and respect. In this presidential election, they are the adults in the room.
I've just flown back home to Utah from Orlando, Florida, where I attended the Libertarian Party National Convention over the weekend. Yesterday, the party nominated Johnson for president, and Weld for vice president. Johnson was the governor of New Mexico from 1995 to 2003. Weld was governor of Massachusetts from 1991 to 1997.
I am so ecstatic about this result!
These men were Republican governors in states that were predominantly Democratic. Yet they were both elected and overwhelmingly reelected. How did they do it? By governing in a fiscally conservative and socially liberal fashion. In other words, they governed as libertarian chief executives. And the thing is -- that's what most Americans want.
But one percent of the vote isn't good enough.
In 2012, Gov. Johnson ran for president first as a Republican. But he didn't get much traction against folk libertarian hero Ron Paul, who carried the title of liberty as a long-time member of Congress. Johnson switched to the Libertarian Party. He got the party nomination, ran for president on a ticket with former California Superior Court Judge Jim Gray, and they did well by Libertarian Party standards.
Now is time for a fundamental realignment of the political parties. With two deeply unpopular candidates poised to be nominated by the Republican and Democratic Parties - Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton - the American political landscape is ready for a change.
I have been a libertarian of sorts since I was a teenager. I first learned about the Libertarian Party through the 1980 presidential campaign of Ed Clark and David Koch. That was also a good year for libertarians: Even though Clark/Koch only got one percent of the vote, President Ronald Reagan campaigned on and frequently governed from the vantage point of free markets and limited government. But I’m also a conservative by temperament, and the Libertarian Party has for so many years acted on the fringe.
It's pointless today to get caught up in a debate about whether the Republicanism of Ronald Reagan was "libertarian enough." The Reagan Revolution – as important as it was – is becoming ancient history. It was all BWWW: Before World Wide Web.
It enough for now to note two things about our current political landscape. First, the Libertarian Party has, fortunately, kept the flame of liberty burning in the fight for ballot access. That means that Johnson and Weld will be on the ballot in all 50 states. Second, Johnson and Weld each have a solid record of governance as fiscal conservatives and social liberals. That's "libertarian enough" for me, and I believe it is for most American. At the core of the libertarian philosophy is this: We put the principles of liberty and the Constitution above a personal quest for power.
I also support Johnson and Weld because they approach politics based on principles, not upon personal whim or political convenience. And they do so with respect and civility. That's why the Johnson/Weld ticket will be able to appeal to large numbers of voters in all three major political parties - Republican, Libertarian and Democratic.
Allow me to back up to the 2012. I knew about Gary Johnson's run as a Libertarian that year. But I nevertheless supported the Mitt Romney. I was deeply disappointed in his loss. In some ways, Gov. Romney still represents more of what I believe in, politically, than does Gov. Johnson. Last year, for example, I was encouraged when Romney briefly considered a third run for president.
But Romney has already played a very important role during this presidential cycle. He has raised and held high this standard: Give me Liberty, Not Donald or Hillary!
Like Romney, I found something to like in Ted Cruz, in Marco Rubio and in John Kasich. (Romney endorsed each of those men in different states.) I'm one of those Utah Republicans who was so pleased in the manner in which we here in Utah cast ballots during our state's Republican political caucus. Ted Cruz received 69 percent, John Kasich 17 percent, and Donald Trump only 14 percent. If Cruz, Rubio or Kasich had emerged as the Republican Party nominee, in all likelihood I would be supporting that ticket during this election.
But that hasn't happened. And so Republicans now face a choice of staying or leaving.
For me, the experience and integrity of Johnson and Weld are overwhelming. I do not agree with all of their political views. In future blog posts, I plan to highlight some of the positions they take with which I do not agree. Yet the substantive good visible in both Johnson and Weld vastly overpowers the petty egotism and self-centeredness displayed by Donald and Hillary.
Please consider voting for Gov. Johnson and Gov. Weld. Get to know them, their record, and how they compare with the alternatives. The campaign site is garyjohnson2016.com. Demand that Johnson and Weld be included in a debate with all three political parties: Republican, Libertarian, Democratic.
Please join me in contributing of your means, and of your talents, to the cause of liberty in this campaign by supporting Gov. Gary Johnson and Gov. Bill Weld.