Imagine a Christian who went out to promote Christianity without ever mentioning Jesus or God. Instead of discussing central ideas, tenants, and figures, all extremely important to understanding Christendom as a whole, he goes around asking people “aren’t you dissatisfied with other religions” and “don’t you want to live forever in paradise.”
This is exactly what Gary Johnson’s campaign is doing. The liberty movement has, as its figure head, a man who does not seem to know that the liberty movement exists. When was the last time you heard him mention famous libertarian thinkers, like Mises or Rand? When was the last time you heard him mention important principles, like the non-aggression principle? Or even just the constitution of the country he is looking to lead? And what the hell is going on with his running mate, who appears to have not even heard of the word “libertarian” until he was shoved down the throat of the base through Johnson’s weird worship of him?
This would all be forgivable if he was at least bringing in support for the party. But he is not, at least in any substantial way. He is trending downwards in the polls. He keeps making gaffs like being unable to name world leaders or name important locations in the war on terror. Sure, its understandable and everyone makes gaffs, but combine it with his admitting to having had marijuana “edibles” just a few months ago and the announcement that he will not be in the debates, and you have a candidate that screams out irrelevant with every fiber of his being.
He simultaneously scares off angry Berniecrats, with his support of the TPP and insane comments about the sun expanding to swallow the earth, angry conservatives with his anti-gun running mate, pro planned parenthood stance, and even libertarians who’s support he should have universally. One thing I will give Johnson and the party that nominated him is that its an impressive achievement to be out of touch with both your base and the general public. Saying he will get three percent of the vote is a generous forecast, and I do not blame anarcho-capitalists for not voting when they have such bad options.
Needless to say, his supporters will continue to bitch and moan about how he was excluded from the debates, while ignoring his obvious flaws and making excuses for his gaffs. And instead of doing serious libertarian outreach, they will make empty Obama-esque platitudes like “fiscally conservative, socially liberal” and “the two party system is a dinosaur, and we are the meteor”. More accurate would be “visibly stupid, federally unelectable.” The only good argument I have heard for supporting him is to get 5% of the vote and thus secure federal funding for the next election and have a better chance of putting the message out then. This too rings hallow. If they nominated Johnson and Weld and then see success, there is no reason to believe they will not keep nominating him and people like him. What’s the point of getting federal funding for the Jeb Bush/Mitt Romney ticket that will probably be put forward in 2020?
If you are going to vote for an unelectable candidate, it may as well be one with rock solid principles. The GI endorsed Darrell Castle. Other options are Jill Stein, if you are more left leaning, Darryl W. Perry, for the anarchists, and Zoltan Istvan, who is a libertarian leaning transhumanist who wants you to live forever. Ditch Johnson. Death to the system, and death to those who would pander to those in power for the sake of power.