Newspapers, Normal People Endorse Libertarian Gary Johnson for President

November 6, 2016


The Chicago Tribune endorses Libertarian Gary Johnson for president.

Don’t let others pressure you.  You don’t have to vote for one of the two major parties’ nominees.  You won’t be the only one.

The Chicago Tribune editors make a lot of great points.  On the choice before us:

What should tens of millions of voters who yearn for answers do with two major-party candidates they disdain? Polls show an unprecedented number of people saying they wish they had another choice.

On why #NeverTrump:

The Republicans have nominated Donald Trump, a man not fit to be president of the United States. We first wrote on March 10 that we would not, could not, endorse him. And in the intervening six-plus months he has splendidly reinforced our verdict: Trump has gone out of his way to anger world leaders, giant swaths of the American public, and people of other lands who aspire to immigrate here legally. He has neither the character nor the prudent disposition for the job.

Importantly, people have a number of understandable reasons for wanting to support Trump.  We should not dismiss or dehumanize them; we should respect where they’re coming from.  But Trump is not the answer.

We appreciate the disgust for failed career politicians that Trump’s supporters invoke; many of those voters are doubly victimized — by economic forces beyond their control, and by the scorn of mocking elitists who look down their noses to see them. He has ridden to the White House gate on the backs of Americans who believe they’ve been robbed of opportunity and respect. But inaugurating a bombastic and self-aggrandizing President Donald Trump isn’t the cure.

On why Never Clinton, either:

The Democrats have nominated Hillary Clinton, who, by contrast, is undeniably capable of leading the United States. . . .

But for reasons we’ll explain — her intent to greatly increase federal spending and taxation, and serious questions about honesty and trust — we cannot endorse her.

Clinton’s vision of ever-expanding government is in such denial of our national debt crisis as to be fanciful. . . .

In the wake of a deadly attack on American personnel in Libya, she steered the American public away from the real cause — an inconvenient terror attack right before the 2012 election — after privately emailing the truth to her daughter. The head of the FBI, while delivering an indictment minus the grand jury paperwork, labeled her “extremely careless” for mishandling emails sensitive to national security. In public she stonewalled, dissembled and repeatedly lied — several were astonishing whoppers — about her private communications system (“There is no classified material,” “Everything I did was permitted,” and on and on). Her negligence in enforcing conflict-of-interest boundaries allowed her family’s foundation to exploit the U.S. Department of State as a favor factory. Even her command and control of a routine medical issue devolved into a secretive, misleading mission to hide information from Americans.


Taken together, Trump and Clinton have serious flaws that prevent us from offering our support to either of them. Still, come Nov. 8, tens of millions of Americans will make a draw that they consider beyond distasteful.

We choose not to do that. We would rather recommend a principled candidate for president — regardless of his or her prospects for victory — than suggest that voters cast ballots for such disappointing major-party candidates.

A positive case for Johnson-Weld:

Libertarians Gary Johnson of New Mexico and running mate William Weld of Massachusetts are agile, practical and, unlike the major-party candidates, experienced at managing governments. . . .

Theirs is small-L libertarianism, built on individual freedom and convinced that, at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue, official Washington is clumsy, expensive and demonstrably unable to solve this nation’s problems. They speak of reunifying an America now balkanized into identity and economic groups — and of avoiding their opponents’ bullying behavior and sanctimonious lectures. Johnson and Weld are even-keeled — provided they aren’t discussing the injustice of trapping young black children in this nation’s worst-performing schools. On that and other galling injustices, they’re animated.

Not that there’s not plenty we conservatives disagree with Johnson about

That said, Obama and Johnson are but two of the many candidates we’ve endorsed yet with whom we also can disagree. Johnson’s foreign policy stance approaches isolationism. He is too reluctant to support what we view as necessary interventions overseas. He likely wouldn’t dispatch U.S. forces in situations where Clinton would do so and where Trump … who can reliably predict?

But unless the United States tames a national debt that’s rapidly approaching $20 trillion-with-a-T, Americans face ever tighter constrictions on what this country can afford, at home or overseas. Clinton and Trump are too cowardly even to whisper about entitlement reforms that each of them knows are imperative. Johnson? He wants to raise the retirement age and apply a means test on benefits to the wealthiest.

In conclusion,

This year neither major party presents a good option. So the Chicago Tribune today endorses Libertarian Gary Johnson for president of the United States. Every American who casts a vote for him is standing for principles — and can be proud of that vote. Yes, proud of a candidate in 2016.

A number of newspapers, current and former elected officials, and other culture leaders have endorsed the Libertarian ticket for president this year, from Whole Foods’ John Mackey to Melissa Joan Hart.

4 Responses to “Newspapers, Normal People Endorse Libertarian Gary Johnson for President”

  1. Will S. Says:

    Those of us on the paleo side actually like Johnson’s anti-war isolationism, of course. I also like his cannabis decriminalization stance, because the Drug Jihad is anti-liberty and a colossal waste of resources, which only serves to increase the size and scope of government, and overinflate police budgets.

    And he’s the only candidate in recent times who has ever made the slightest hint that he may be somewhat sympathetic to men’s rights.

    Certainly, he strikes me as a principled, solid choice, no question. (I’m less fond of William Weld, due to his pro-gay-rights history, but as the running mate, that’s less of a big deal.)

    • Interesting!

      I’m still anti-legalization on balance, but I admit that the contrary position has good arguments for its side, and of course the venerable National Review has long (always?) been pro-legalization.

      I suppose my deepest disagreement with Johnson would probably be on abortion, but that’s not mainly the president’s purview anyway, and if Johnson understands that…

      • Will S. Says:

        I think NR has been pro-legalization at least since sometime in the 1990s, if memory serves; possibly earlier. I first bristled at that, but when some Canadian conservatives I respect (a now defunct magazine) also adopted the same position, I began to reconsider, and eventually changed my mind. (Though part of me doesn’t like the idea of the government getting new tax revenues from the sales, and I have heard some users make the argument that the price of the stuff would actually go up, given taxes, packaging and advertising costs, quality control costs, etc. Makes sense to me…)

        Yes, I also don’t like Johnson’s pro-abortion sympathies, but if he’d be amenable to leaving it to states to decide, that would be a smart tack which other libertarians have taken (not sure if he’s fine with that).

      • Will S. Says:

        (A tangent, but to explain an apparent non-sequitur, i.e. why I mentioned the possibility of the price of cannabis increasing with legalization: it may mean the continued existence of a black market for it, same as we have in Canada for untaxed native tobacco, smuggled off reserves by non-native folks, since it’s much cheaper than legal, taxed tobacco. It’s true that moonshine, on the other hand, hardly exists at all any more, so what the different cases of both alcohol and tobacco show, is that the extent to which, with legalization, a black market for untaxed / unregulated versions of the products will continue to exist, is dependent upon a variety of factors, such as how expensive the legal version of the product is compared to the black market version, as well as how strict the penalties for possession of the unregulated version are.

        The problem with illegal tobacco in Canada, is that some or even much of the money from illegal tobacco sales ends up in the hands of aboriginal terrorist groups. It therefore goes beyond being a mere problem of small-time organized crime, and is a terrorist problem, in fact. It is my hope, if legalization goes through, that it is done in a smart enough way such as to keep the costs low enough that there isn’t a huge black market as with tobacco in this country. I know of the existence of some native-owned dispensaries on reserves in Canada; I hope what has happened with tobacco doesn’t repeat itself with cannabis.)

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