An Open Letter To Libertarian Delegates: Do Not Vote For Gary Johnson

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Libertarians will be the first to tell someone, “Don’t vote for the lesser of two evils,” but when it comes to Gary Johnson, some of them will be perfectly fine getting behind the lesser of three evils.

Don’t do it.

The 2016 election is a historic and wild election that has already garnered media attention for the Libertarian Party. For distraught individuals who can’t back Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, they see an alternative. You represent the Libertarian Party. The least you could do is give them a libertarian alternative.

The Libertarian Party is meant to buck the party politics nonsense we see from Republicans and Democrats and stand for principle, and you finally have the chance. To support someone just because he has name recognition is going against principle and toward party politics. It will make you just as bad as the Republicans and Democrats.

You need to stand for something.

Johnson has come out in support of using the state to force Jewish bakers to bake Nazi cakes. Probably not a very common occurrence; however, he also believes the state should force Christian bakers to bake cakes for same-sex weddings. Regardless of your opinion on same-sex marriage or on the morality of homosexuality, as libertarians, we should not use the state to force our views on others or use coercion to make them bake cakes. This is an all-out rejection of the fundamental principle of the Libertarian Party: The non-aggression principle.

The NAP states that an individual or state ought not initiate force against another individual. But, rather, Johnson advocates in favor of initiating force against peaceful individuals to coerce them into conforming to his beliefs. This is not libertarianism. This is authoritarianism.

Johnson, at one point, also said the United States should ban burqas in public. Although finally stepping away from this position, it certainly shows a mindset that is not libertarian, and just like his coercive bakery policy, is not friendly to religious freedom.

As governor of New Mexico, he did not make the government smaller; he made it larger. He grew spending more than seven percent on average per year and the state debt rose 250 percent. This is not a fiscally responsible record. This is a fiscal disaster.

At best, Johnson is a moderate Republican with a little bit of social libertarianism mixed in, which make sense why he chose moderate Republican Bill Weld as his running-mate.

Johnson called Weld “the original libertarian,” which received boos at the Libertarian Party Convention. To be fair, though, if Johnson thinks he’s a libertarian himself, it’s easy to see how he made the mistake of calling Weld a libertarian.

Weld let spending go up, he called for gun control and he supported eminent domain. Oh, and he endorsed Barack Obama. Yes, the person who Johnson thinks is “the original libertarian” supported Obama for president. In this election, prior to running as a Libertarian, he endorsed John Kasich- not the most libertarian choice.

A lot of people throw around the idea that Libertarians are just Republicans who want to smoke pot. It’s time to show them that is not true, but we can only do that if we stand on principle and rally against Johnson.

If Johnson is the nominee, I certainly will not vote for him, and principled libertarians will not either. Keep the Libertarian Party libertarian. If you vote for Johnson, you’re no better than the Republicans and Democrats.

Tyler graduated from Penn State in 2016. He majored in print journalism and minored in political science. He is a contributor at The Liberty Conservative; he previously wrote for The Daily Collegian and has been published on The USA TODAY, The Washington Free Beacon and Lions of Liberty. He was active in Penn State's Young Americans for Liberty chapter and he will be interning in Washington D.C. with the Leadership Institute in the Fall. Tyler is a libertarian conservative and a devout Roman Catholic. Gloria in excelsis Deo!

  • Antodav

    Amen. Though Kasich was certainly more libertarian than either of the other final two choices on the Republican side.

  • Darwin Xavior

    I voted for Austin Petersen at the convention but will be supporting Gary Johnson in the general election.