From the beginning: The Supreme Court: Donald Trump’s list of jurists, who would be likely nominees to the Supreme Court during his presidency, has received vast praise among conservatives for being similar in philosophy to Justice Scalia; originalists who wouldn’t treat the Constitution as advice to be acted on through a modern prism. Trump has consistently said, whether they are from that list, or not, he would want to nominate originalist judges who would interpret the Constitution’s original meaning and not legislate from the bench. Gary Johnson, on the other hand has had very little to say on this topic other than he would defer to Bill Weld. It’s worth repeating: he would refer to his gun grabbing running mates judgement. Bill Weld has held out Judge Garland and Justice Breyer as examples of the type of jurists he would recommend for the highest bench in the country. Justice Breyer is on record confirming his conviction that the Constitution is a living document that needs to change whimsically, with the times. Judge Garland’s record would indicate he believes in the same vein, he often issues judgments that go beyond what is or isn’t Constitutional. Another person who is very fond of both of these men, and worse: Justice Ginsberg, is “lifelong friend” of Bill Weld and a “wonderful public servant,” by Johnson’s assessment: Hillary Clinton.
Regardless of any subjective opinion of Hillary Clinton, she has objectively been shown to be a dangerous, self-serving liar. If you didn’t know it before, after the last few months, you must know now. It should be clear to all, that she has no grounding principles apart from what the polls say are popular (even Barack Obama recognized this); that she used an unauthorized home brew server to intentionally remove state secrets from a secure server; that she (as well as our government, if she is elected) would be for sale via the Clinton Foundation; and that she has no respect for the Constitution, or the rule of law. This is the woman that Bill Weld and Gary Johnson refuse to criticize. They have no shortage of superior snorts and crass comments for Donald Trump but, asked point blank, neither has a single criticism of this wonderful public servant and lifelong friend. Donald Trump, political motivations notwithstanding, has aggressively pointed out how careless and corrupt Hillary Clinton has been throughout her public life. I will cede the point that Donald Trump has been very complimentary, even friendly, with the Clintons in the past but now, when it matters, he is taking a stand.To be clear: this might be completely political, but Hillary Clinton represents a unique threat to the republic and it doesn’t matter how she is stopped, as long as she’s stopped, and Gary Johnson refuses to offer even the most basic arguments against her.
Gary Johnson has not been shy about his assertion that 20% of government can be cut, at a starting point, and he’s right. I believe the government could start with 20% cuts and likely go much further, if we only funded those things specifically authorized by the Constitution. Although I agree with Johnson on this point, this isn’t how you budget. If you ask someone what they can do without, the answer will always be no; whether it’s your child and his allowance or your Congressman and his pork projects, there will never be any room for cuts. This is where pragmatism trumps principle. Yes, in principle these cuts should be made but that is not how you go about it: Donald Trump, however is on to a good solution. This is one point where Trump’s failure to unite the GOP is stingingly painful, he has recently gone on record to suggest he would be an advocate for zero base budgeting, one of the strongest pillars of Carly Fiorina’s Presidential campaign. The specific difference here is that if you ask someone to justify every dollar they spend, instead of asking them what they can cut, they’ll come up short. Although this is the lowest of hanging fruit I feel like it would be hard for the DoD to justify funding of bird watching; that is just one example of how our government wastes tax dollars on things it isn’t authorized to do and things no one wants or needs. If the government wants to waste our tax dollars we should make them affirmatively ask for and justify it every single year, not just ask them when and where we can cut.
During Gary Johnson’s campaign he has routinely come out in favor of humanitarian wars. I can’t imagine a worse use of our military than being the world police. The rest of the world already accuses us of this, and it is an indictment of our behavior, not an endorsement. Although Donald Trump has often fallen short of advocating responsible, or even ethical, use of our military, he has consistently advocated for a world wide pull back from places where we don’t have tangible interests. Donald Trump, for all his shortcomings, and there are many, understands that, if he were elected he’d be President of the United States, not President of the World; something that none of his three opponents seem to understand or appreciate.
Finally we come to our most important topic, the topic that should be an easy home run for every libertarian (big L or little L): freedom of speech and association. This is a horrifyingly jarring juxtaposition for many reasons, not least of which: Gary Johnson is the nominee to, what is supposed to be, the party of liberty. Donald Trump, a lifelong Democrat is the champion of liberty in the category against the nominee of the Libertarian party. I have said, from the beginning of his campaign and whether it is his intention or not, Donald Trump has done more for free speech in this country than anyone in the last 50 years. His “no apologies, call it like he sees it” style has empowered a generation of young people to speak out against those things that we’ve been indoctrinated to believe are unassailable. As a nation, we’ve long thought that we have certain rights that can never be taken from us, we tend to think of these as enshrined in the Constitution; particularly The Bill of Rights. These are the rights most severely under attack by leftist and “Social Justice Warriors.” Hillary Clinton said that the Second Amendment, like all of our rights, are subject to “reasonable” regulation; make no mistake, they’ll come for our guns first but our speech is next; it’s already begun on campuses across the nation. This is where Gary Johnson crosses the line to become an unforgivable charlatan. Gary Johnson does not support religious freedom laws, that grant people a limited freedom of association. If this were a law supported by the left it would be renamed freedom of speech restoration (or something equally inspiring) but the right is woefully bereft of rhetorical faculty. Gary Johnson, now infamously, told Austin Petersen, in the first ever nationally televised Libertarian debate, that he thought a Jewish baker should be required to bake a Nazi cake. After a great deal of backlash and criticism he has slightly amended this assertion to but stands steadfastly beside the belief that it is the government’s job to regulate morality and stamp out bigotry and discrimination. To be clear: no decent person supports bigotry or discrimination but, our first amendment rights aren’t for those thoughts that are pleasant, they are for those things that are unpopular, or even immoral. Donald Trump has enthusiastically endorsed religious freedom laws and even chose a running mate with a reputation for championing these causes, although he has proven a failure in his most prominent endeavor to this end.
Although this set of opinions isn’t an endorsement of Donald Trump, it is certainly an argument in his favor. My position has long been that I will support Gary Johnson as the nominee of a party that espouses the values that most closely mirror my own but, I will not endorse Gary Johnson. Gary Johnson is a fraud and, at best, a failed Republican. He is a politician running on a set of principles that he, at best doesn’t believe in and, at worst is positively aggressive towards. On the opposite side of the coin, Donald Trump is a candidate whose principles are impossible to nail down. He is a lifelong Democrat with historical positions that I find abhorrent however, he is the only person at least saying the right things about the most important challenges facing our country. In a year of unbelievably bad choices, where the Green Party has shown itself to be the only party with any principle, Donald Trump might be the best option of several bad to dangerous options.