The Johnson Dilemma

I’ve always been an open-minded guy. That’s how I discovered libertarianism during my very shameful, neoconservative past self. I have never been that offended or threatened over alternative viewpoints or what American society considers horrible. That strength was proven during the famous “Kony 2012” campaign.

I remember very specifically people telling me that I didn’t care about the world or how I just wanted to kill African children (yes, that happened). I also remember people within Quakerism standing up and advocating that movement. It was very contradictory to me. Here was a video which specifically calls for US intervention while not giving enough information on who they want killed or the fact that children in the opposing army will be killed as well, and there are Friends advocating the cause based on a thirty minute documentary. To me, that communicated that this society is based more on emotional logic that it is on intellectual logic. And that’s not a good thing.
This all brings me to one of the biggest dilemmas facing many libertarians right now: supporting Gary Johnson. I’ve heard many of my brethren say that Gary’s views on the drug war or the fact that he supports Kony 2012 automatically stops them in their tracks. I challenge those people to think about this: at what point is somebody libertarian enough for your vote?
This website very much represents anarcho-capitalism and its views, in some areas, contradict my own. I’m not going to hate on them, but I challenge each and every single reader on this site to seriously consider their purity within their philosophies. For me personally, I look at the views first and the leadership qualities second. That’s precisely why I can’t support Mitt. He fails so much in both of these areas. It disgusts me to see conservatives taking this guy seriously all for the reason that he can “beat Obama”.
Gary Johnson’s views on some things honestly make me feel uncomfortable. For one thing, he personally supports abortion. One of the few views that I have clinged to throughout my life is the view that abortion is murder. However, he says that he will overturn abortion of the federal level. Normally, I would not trust this statement at all. For one thing, his personal view doesn’t seem to imply that. For another thing, he’s a politician.
His record though tells a different story. I know what I’m getting when I vote for him, and that’s the number one thing that I ask of any candidate. I suppose what I’m asking my brethren is to try to look at the qualities that a candidate possesses and not just at the views themselves. There will always be some views that you will disagree with. That is a fact of life. The question then targets at the candidate’s personal record and qualities. At the end of the day, would you feel safer with Obama, Romney, or Johnson in the White House?
I’m aware of the fact that Johnson supports Kony 2012, but I honestly could live with something like that above invading Middle Eastern countries on the basis of fear of nuclear missiles. Humanitarian missions usually fail to do nothing, but Johnson strikes me as the type of guy who would learn from that mistake – a mistake which Reagan also made and regretted until he died. If anything, we should support Gary for the qualities behind the views, not the views behind the qualities.


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Skyler J. Collins (Editor)

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Founder and editor of, Skyler is a husband and unschooling father of three beautiful children. His writings include the column series “One Voluntaryist’s Perspective” and “One Improved Unit,” and blog series “Two Cents” and “Items of Note.” Skyler also wrote the books No Hitting! and Toward a Free Society, and edited the books Everything Voluntary and Unschooling Dads. You can hear Skyler chatting away on the official podcast.

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