Gary Johnson Can and Will Win – Here’s How.

What’s the objective?   That is – what are we trying to win?

I propose the objective is to shift the path of the human race irreversibly toward freedom.  That means many things . But let’s keep it short and borrow a phrase from someone who knows about freedom – Ron Paul.   The objective is “peace, liberty and prosperity”.  That’s winning.  That’s winning no matter who is in the White House, no matter who controls Congress.  Winning is winning over hearts and minds to the idea that humans are better off when they are free – all humans – all the time.   There’s an old bumper sticker. – If the people lead, the leaders will follow.  You can’t expect electoral change until you have cultural change.   That cultural change has been building quietly for some time.  Ron Paul has been the natural  focal point for that movement and while we haven’t won the war yet – we’ve been quietly winning battles for at least 5 or 6 years.  If you haven’t been paying attention Ron Paul has been winning a lot of battles lately that haven’t been so quiet. He’s been winning because he has been saying things that people know – deep in their hearts- to be true.

Fast forward to the 2012 presidential debates.  Imagine Barack Obama in the middle, Ron Paul on one side, Gary Johnson on the other and about 60 million people in their living rooms .

What do you think is about to happen?

I don’t know about you but that’s what I am hoping (and working and donating money) for.  Don’t give me that crap about Ron Paul can’t win.  I don’t care about can’t – I care about how?   Freedom is too big to fail  – right?

Just to humor some of the nay-sayers out there let’s allow for a second the off chance that Ron Paul will not win the Republican nomination.  Let’s imagine the 2012 presidential debates  with Barack Obama, Gary Johnson and  – (wait for it) Mitt Romney?  Who do you think is the weak link in THAT debate?

If not Ron Paul who do YOU want defending freedom against Barack Obama in front of 60 million people.

I still like the Johnson, Obama, Paul scenario but the outcome is the same either way.  It’s just a matter of degree.

That debate will not be about the finer points of deep libertarian philosophy.  It won’t be about minarchism vs. anarchism.  It won’t be about whether to take matching funds.  It won’t be about whether the Fed or the Treasury will print money out of thin air.  Those debates are for the hard core that always vote Libertarian- let’s call them  “the 1/2 of 1 percent”.   The 2012 presidential debate will be about the other 99.5% of Americans.  It will be about how the rest of the American people feel – deep in in their hearts – about the men who are talking to them from that stage and how they feel about what those men are saying.  It will be about whether the American people should – deep in their hearts-  trust the Government more than they trust freedom,  that is – more than they trust themselves,  their families and their neighbors.

I’ve seen Gary Johnson debate 3 or 4 times now.  Standing opposite Barack Obama, Gary Johnson will make sense to everyone who isn’t dependent on a government check and a lot of people who are.   He will strike a chord in people’s hearts because despite what the political class want you to think ,  people really do believe in freedom and they really do know -deep in their hearts – that it’s the way forward for the human race.   It’s just that they have had it drummed into their heads since birth that they need a nanny  (well – all those other people do) or the world will fly apart.  But a free world will not fly apart – quite the opposite. Gary Johnson is just the guy to  explain to 60 million people in his calm, experienced way that as he says “good government is easy”. He knows – he did it in New Mexico as Governor for two terms.    He can do it again as President.   It will make sense to them when he says “peace is cheaper” and when he tells them that – deep in their hearts – they really ARE libertarian.

The voters are going to like Gary Johnson.    I’ve seen it already.  Regular people are telling me they like this guy.  He is changing their minds about freedom. And when the people begin to change their minds about freedom elections begin to change, laws begin to change, the way we deal with each other begins to change.  And – funny thing – once people change their minds about freedom they don’t go back.

This is how we win.

So when someone tells you Gary Johnson can’t win – tell them he is already winning.  Tell them you won’t waste your life voting for the lesser of two evils.  Tell them your life is worth more than that?  Tell them you are going to vote for the real win.  The one where freedom – and the whole human race – wins.

7 thoughts on “Gary Johnson Can and Will Win – Here’s How.”

  1. One thing Libertarians should recognize is that people come to their political beliefs over long periods of time – after years of commentary and interaction with friends, family and co-workers. A single election cycle is not long enough to persuade people to think differently. Instead, elections are advertisements. What advertisements do is allow people who already think like us to discover the Libertarian Party. It is a way to motivate like minded people to actually vote. So, when Obama was speaking to a filled Denver Stadium, who exactly was he persuading? Answer: No one. All those people were already Democratic Party supporters. Obama wasn’t persuading people to think differently. He was motivating like minded people to actually go cast a ballot.

    Virtually everyone who truly thinks like us will vote for Gary (and other L candidates) whether they think Gary can or can’t win. Almost everyone who says “I won’t vote for Gary because he can’t win” are simply not libertarian in their thinking. There is little point in arguing with such people; instead, I simply move on to others who are interested in discussing issues, because among that group of people are all the libertarian-thinking people who say: “I’ve been a libertarian all my life. I just didn’t know there was a political party that thought this way.” Those people will vote for Gary. They will also become long-time members of the Libertarian Party.

    So, first of all, do not be discouraged when that line arises. There are really people who are Conservative and there are really people who are Liberal in their thinking about politics. These people will vote Republican or Democrat no matter how much time you spend with them because they truly believe in the agenda being pushed by those parties. We will never persuade everyone even when the LP is a political powerhouse – regularly winning elections. Even then, we will meet people who reject its message of freedom. So, what?

    Having said all that, if a libertarian-minded person is wavering because they think Gary can’t win; If they truly think “I can’t allow Romney to win. Or I can’t allow Obama to win,” then I think it important to let them know that their vote won’t decide this election. The odds of being killed by an errant asteroid or lightning strike vastly exceeds the likelihood that your vote will decide the presidential election in November. so, why vote at all? Here’s the answer: People vote because it’s a self-actualizing event. People vote to assert their beliefs, and so any thinking person should be able to easily abandon the worry that their voting for Gary will throw the election to _________ (fill in the blank). An individual’s decision to vote for Gary will not decide the election, but it will build the Libertarian Party and it will announce that person’s belief in liberty.

    Also, in America, Presidents aren’t elected by popular vote. Presidents are elected by vote of the electoral college. I live in Washington State. Washington, like NY, is a reliable “blue state.” No matter how I cast my vote this year, Washington’s 12 electors are going to be pledged to Obama. Looked at another way, if Romney (OK – if Paul) wins Washington State, it will be part of an election landslide so huge that, again, my vote won’t matter. Same in New York. If Romney (OK, Paul) wins New York, it will be part of a landslide victory so huge, that no one’s vote will change the outcome. For this reason, too, it should be easy to quit wavering and vote for Gary. The only reason to vote at all is to make a statement about your own beliefs. Voting for someone who is part of the Democratic or Republican parties is simply endorsing the status quo and helping to build support for the policies those parties espouse.

    To change policy in America requires votes by a majority of legislators – on the federal level, it requires votes by a majority of Congress. Before Libertarians are going to change policy, we will have to get hundreds of millions of votes for hundreds of legislators. Before anyone gets millions and millions of votes, you have to get hundreds of thousands of votes, and before you get hundreds of thousands of votes, you have to get tens of thousands of votes. That takes time and hard work.

    There was a time when a crazy group met in Convention at Seneca Falls, New York proposing the nutty idea that women should be allowed to vote. Seventy-two years later, the 19th Amendment was ratified. The idea that black people and white should be allowed to drink from the same water fountain took about 150 years of work to prevail. So, politics is a long-term project.

    If people you are talking to want to craft a government that nurtures freedom, then they will have to start sometime. They can start this year by voting for Gary, or they can wait. Waiting means hoping that others will do the hard work of building a political party that advances liberty. That’s the choice – vote Libertarian this year and start building the future now, or wait for someone else to do that.

    If a person understands that their vote won’t actually decide this election, but that Gary’s getting millions and millions of votes will be a huge step forward in building a party committed to spreading liberty, then it’s easy to go cast your vote for Gary regardless of whether he can win. And, the unexpected upside is that if you do that, against all odds, he might actually win.

  2. Oh, and no, Ron Paul will not be the Republican nominee because the vast majority of Republicans are Conservatives – not libertarians (although, led by Ron Paul, there is a small group of libertarians trying to take over the R party).

    Ron Paul loses Republican Party primaries not because Republicans don’t understand him or because he is unable to explain how his policies work. He loses because Republicans do understand what he’s saying and they overwhelmingly reject his thinking.

    There are at least three big strategies being pursued to advance the Liberty Movement: There is the Ron Paul strategy of trying to co-opt the Rs. There is the LP strategy of trying to organize libertarian-thinking people into a political party sufficiently large so that it can challenge the Conservatives (who congregate in the R party) and Liberals (who congregate in the D party). Third, there is the group of libertarians who have abandoned direct electoral politics and are working to make the CATO Institute as powerful as the NRA or the Sierra Club.

    While all of these could possibly be successful strategies, I think Ron Paul’s strategy is the least likely to succeed because it is based on the idea that the Conservatives can be displaced and relegated to a minority within the R party. That seems highly doubtful.

    But, until there are more libertarians in the R party than conservatives, the libertarians working within the R party will simply have traded losses in the general election (the fate of LP members) for losses in the primary elections and nominating conventions.

  3. Hi Gary

    You miss my point. I’m not predicting anything about Ron Paul’s chances. While I absolutely want him to win, his chances make no difference in my actions. I will work for his success regardless. Too many of us withhold our volunteer and financial support because we think it’s a lost cause. Nothing you do to support freedom is ever a lost cause. The death of tyranny will be a death by a thousand – million cuts.

    “They got the guns but we got the numbers” Jim Morrison


  4. John,

    Thanks for your very thoughtful and well written comments. I won’t spend time agreeing with the many excellent points you raise ( it’s no fun arguing with someone you agree with). My issue with your comments ( If I have one at all ) is that I can’t easily find a strategy or plan or recommendation for success in it. Note my statement – I don’t care about can’t – I care about how. Let’s allow for the sake of argument the proposition that Gary can’t win the election. He can by the way – but I’ll accept that it’s a lowish probability – this year.

    Well then WHAT CAN BE ACHIEVED? How do we use what’s in front of us to move the ball down the field? Gary Johnson has proven he can be very successful in electoral politics. He’s proven he can be a very successful and popular governor. He’s proven his heart is with the LP (he’s been a member longer than I have). He’s proven he is a master communicator.

    To those who are reluctant to jump in with both feet – what on earth are you waiting for? I don’t think Thomas Jefferson is planning on running this year and if he did he might have some negatives on that slave thing. Benjamin Franklin is probably too old and too much of a womanizer. The birthers will have a problem with Ludwig von Mises. Ron Paul? If only he would run LP.

    Gary Johnson may not be radical enough for some of us – including me – but he’s exactly what we need to communicate to the other 99.5%.

    So to all those holier than thou out there – look at the facts on the ground – and show me a better way.


  5. Lots can be achieved. Every vote for Johnson moves the ball a lot because most everyone who gives up on the old parties and votes L, continues to do so for a lifetime, and in big and small ways, they work to build future success.

    If you send an email, to me – I will tell you some of the strategies we are trying in Washington to magnify Gary’s impact. But, for obvious reasons, I think that probably isn’t wise to discuss in a public post.

    Oh, and by the way, I would not support Jefferson or Franklin over Gary Johnson. Those folk were quite brilliant for their time. Their genius, however, was in bringing forth the idea that political power rested with the people, who properly choose their own leaders. That was a quantum leap forward from thousands of years of thinking that the King was appointed by God, to rule. (Proof, of course, was that God allowed the King to rule.) So, that was quite radical.

    But, they did not oppose taxation – just taxation without representation. In short, they wanted a seat at the table of power.

    I would take Gary Johnson over that.

  6. Cisse Spragins

    Great article – Ron hit the nail on the head. I’ve had the same experience with “regular” people when it comes Gary Johnson, particularly business people – we have a great opportunity. Something else that is good about Johnson is that his style is very different than Ron Paul’s, even though the message is the same, so he should appeal to different people. He is calm and rational, libertarianism doesn’t sound “scary” when he talks about it. The more messengers for liberty, the better. Lee Wrights is definitely the better Libertarian (and I love him dearly), but Johnson is the better candidate for the vast majority.

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