Unlike so many Libertarian Party candidates, Gary Johnson has actually held power. The Everest-climbing, pot-smoking, mellow former New Mexico governor has a record of executive action that can be critiqued.
In 2012 Johnson was the lone Republican presidential candidate who was pro-gay-marriage and pro-choice before switching over to the Libertarian Party and grabbing more than 1.2 million votes in the general election. Now, however, in the most bizarre election in recent memory, Johnson is the highest polling third-party candidate. Everybody feels certain he has spoiler potential. For some on the right, he is a political home for the unwanted and lost. But he is also too far to the left for many on the right, and too far right for many on the left. Such is the libertarian’s burden.
Gary Johnson’s history speaks to someone who’s in the middle in one way and rather trailblazing in the other. He’s not for everyone, but he does offer a marked alternative to third party candidate Jill Stein from the Green Party and all the weird business happening with the major parties right now.
WHERE THE LIBERTARIAN PARTY CANDIDATE STANDS
DRUGS & CRIMINAL JUSTICE
Said in 2000 that he wants to legalize marijuana and that “perhaps the biggest problem that this country has” is the war on drugs. Today he wants harm reduction and legalization for the harder stuff. Blames much violence and crime, domestically and in Mexico, on the drug war.
Preaches more caution in foreign intervention than most people in DC but is not a dove. Dislikes the Iran deal. Wanted to intervene in the Congo in 2012. Is OK with Gitmo but against torture and indefinite detainment.
Keen on good food labeling because he has celiac disease, and this includes labeling GMOs. Kind of a health nut.
Said in a 2012 Reddit AMA that the EPA is “good government.” Likes coal and dislikes cap-and-trade. Wants America to get at least some of its own damn oil. Thinks a good economy leads to a shiny clean environment.
So opposed to mass surveillance of Americans that he’d eliminate the whole National Security Agency (NSA) if president. Promised to “defang the DEA” in 2012. Doesn’t think Edward Snowden should go to prison.
Believes the whole Donald Trump deporting 11 million people and building a big wall thing is “crazy.” Argues that immigrants benefit America, not harm it.
Very pro-choice for someone who used to be a Republican governor, though his campaign materials stress that he “never advocated abortion or taxpayer funding of it.” Would slim down Planned Parenthood’s funding but no more than he’d slim down anything else.
Was for gay marriage back in 2011, even before he committed to the Libertarian Party. Before that he was down with civil unions. He’s against bakeries and other places that refuse to serve gay customers.
Thinks religion needs to stay the hell away from government. Said he would sign a bill banning burqas. Less than a week later realized that was stupid and changed his mind. Some might argue Johnson’s stance on gay wedding cakes violates free speech.