Redlich Endorses Gary Johnson

This is an editorial by the owner of Independent Political Report. It reflects Mr. Redlich’s views only. He does not speak for the IPR community.

Johnson at podium

Libertarians of the world unite! We have nothing to lose but our freedom!

We libertarians are a fractious bunch. But it is time for us to come together and support Gary Johnson in his run for President.

This election year presents a tremendous opportunity to build the Libertarian brand. Like him or not, Johnson is getting more press and raising more money than any previous LP candidate. He is polling extremely well with national numbers approaching 10% and even getting 15% in Colorado recently. He has made some excellent campaign videos as well.

We should not delude ourselves into thinking he has a strong chance of winning the election. Personally I doubt he will get more than 2% of the popular vote. I hope I’m wrong. He may get 10% or more and has at least a very small chance of winning. Those odds will only improve if libertarians get behind Johnson.

Our tendency to snipe at candidates who don’t meet our libertarian standards is widespread. I’m certainly guilty of doing that. Johnson is not even close to my ideal libertarian. I’m over it for now.

The country is presented with two horrible candidates from the major parties. Donald Trump is an ongoing disaster for the GOP. His campaign incompetence threatens a stunningly poor result in his race, and major problems for “down ballot” candidates who will be hurt by a weak voter turnout.

On the other hand Hillary Clinton is the most incompetent and corrupt candidate I have ever seen run for any office in the US. Read Clinton Cash to get a thorough but understated analysis of her abuse of power for money.

As November approaches, more and more voters will be sickened by the two choices presented by the larger parties and their mainstream media accessories. We need to let the voters know they have other choices, including the Green Party’s Jill Stein, but especially Gary Johnson. A good result will build the brand and help libertarian candidates over the next several years.

Governor Johnson – I’m in.

Warren Redlich was the 2010 Libertarian candidate for Governor of New York and is the owner of Independent Political Report.

26 thoughts on “Redlich Endorses Gary Johnson

  1. Richard Winger

    Most of us who read IPR are very ideological and concerned about issue stances. But there are other criteria for choosing a president. The United States will function better under a Johnson presidency than either a Trump presidency or a Hillary presidency, for the simple reason that the US needs some unity. There are tens of millions of U.S. adults who loathe each of the two major party nominees. It is not desirable for the United States to elect a president who will be considered poisonous to perhaps 35% or more of the nation. We need something shocking to break out of the Dem-Rep polarization in Congress, in the US Supreme Court, and in state governments. Electing Johnson would be as revolutionary as the fall of the Berlin Wall. And Gary can do the job.

  2. George Whitfield

    Thank you Warren for a realistic and correct observation and endorsement of Gary Johnson for President. Also thank you for publishing IPR which is a valuable resource for all.

  3. ATBAFT

    ” Personally I doubt he will get more than 2% of the popular vote. I hope I’m wrong. He may get 10% or more and has at least a very small chance of winning. ”

    2% is about what I guess too. Here’s an interesting attempt at prognosticating the Libertarian vote that I found while cleaning out a box in the basement this morning. It is a note dated 8/8/1992 from David Nolan to yours truly who doubted that Andre Marrou would break Ron Paul’s vote total of 431,750 in 1988:

    “I do not share your pessimism; I think Marrou/Lord will go well over the million mark, and expect candidates for our lower offices to do even better. I’m more concerned about a ‘letdown’ in ’94 and ’96 after big gains in ’92. I’m still projecting 2004 as the year everything pivots.”

    As we now know, Marrou got 290,087 votes and was on 50 state +DC ballots. In Nolan’s possible defense, Ross Perot had just polled 20% vs. Bush and Clinton in July, but had announced he was pulling out of the race by the time Nolan penned this note. Nolan obviously expected a good portion of the Perot vote would go to Marrou.

  4. langa

    This election year presents a tremendous opportunity to build the Libertarian brand. … Personally I doubt [Johnson] will get more than 2% of the popular vote.

    So how exactly does a milquetoast centrist (with a pseudo-libertarian message) getting 2% of the vote “build the Libertarian brand”? On the contrary, it damages the Libertarian brand, in two ways. First, it demonstrates that even with a perfect storm of voter discontent, the LP is still unable to achieve much. Second, and more importantly, it confuses voters about what the Libertarian brand actually represents.

    This is a puzzling endorsement, especially given that Warren has always been a staunch opponent of the Johnson/Neilson machine. Then again, he previously endorsed Bernie Sanders, so maybe, like Walter Block, Warren simply has a proclivity for making bizarre endorsements.

  5. langa

    It is not desirable for the United States to elect a president who will be considered poisonous to perhaps 35% or more of the nation.

    I completely disagree. From a libertarian perspective, I think it is much better to have a President who is hated than one who is loved. If you look at history, government has grown the least under unpopular, one-term Presidents, like Carter, Bush I, and so on.

  6. Richard Winger

    You act as though shrinking government is the only value in the universe.

    Suppose the earth were under attack from hostile beings from another planet? What would be more important, cutting government, or getting unity from all the great nations of the world to save humanity? There are other goods than just shrinking government.

    To the extent the U.S. faces severe threats to our civilization and standard of living, we will be far better off if we don’t hate each other.

  7. langa

    Based on your logic, I guess you would like to see a world government, to “unite” us against the “severe threats” from aliens and so forth.

    Personally, I’m less interested in hypothetical doomsday scenarios, and more interested in the problems we are actually facing. And those problems are almost all caused, or at least exacerbated, by having too much government. So, from a practical standpoint, yes, shrinking government is pretty much the only criteria I apply to potential candidates.

  8. Tony From Long Island

    Why am I not surprised that, in a post complaining about people complaining about the LP candidate, there are replies complaining about the LP candidate?

    I AM surprised, however, that Andy hasn’t chimed in yet.

    Despite the constant negativity on here, Gov. Johnson still has my vote.

  9. wredlich Post author

    Responding to langa:

    First of all, excellent comments, though obviously we disagree to some extent.

    So how exactly does a milquetoast centrist (with a pseudo-libertarian message) getting 2% of the vote “build the Libertarian brand”?

    You’re taking me out of context. While I think he won’t get more than 2%, a lot of other people think he will do much better.

    Second, and more importantly, it confuses voters about what the Libertarian brand actually represents.

    Hard to argue with that one. But we have had the same issue with previous LP candidates. It is my hope (perhaps a foolish one) that we will see a genuine libertarian candidate in 2020 who will benefit from the increased recognition.

    Then again, he previously endorsed Bernie Sanders

    As I explained at the time, Sanders was a more genuine anti-war candidate than Johnson, and a more credible candidate overall. If Sanders had won the primary I would still be supporting him over Johnson. But Sanders didn’t win, and we have two major party candidates who support endless war. Personally I don’t trust Johnson on military issues but he’s better than the others.

    If you look at history, government has grown the least under unpopular, one-term Presidents, like Carter, Bush I, and so on.

    I think your numbers are off. Reagan is the best example of government growth under a popular president. But spending did increase dramatically under Bush I and more so under Carter. The lowest rate of growth by the numbers I see were under Bill Clinton who was well liked.

    Despite those facts, I still like your reasoning. When government is popular it will tend to grow.

  10. T Rex

    “Despite the constant negativity on here, Gov. Johnson still has my vote.”

    Despite his huge flaws as LP candidate, I’ll be voting for Johnson, if for no other reason that it will likely be seen a vote foe legal marijuana (thus mainstreaming the position even further) and less foreign interventions.

    I wish he was better read and more articulate in his presentation, and I wish Weld did not appear with him everywhere to contradict/”correct” him when he says something that is actually libertarian.

    Also, Johnson is correct that the president is “not king or dictator,” but he should stop using that answer as a crutch every time he’s asked a hard question. It sounds like he is saying “my positions are unlikely to ever be implemented, so there’s no reason to worry about them.”

  11. Joseph Buchman

    Warren,

    I gather this endorsement means, despite some of Roger Stone’s former very close associates being paid by the campaign (again) (or at least one of them – his former personal assistant, I believe); that you have concluded that the Johnson campaign is Stone-Free?

    (As far as I know, it is; and as far as I was aware (a limited extent) although Roger Stone was hanging around, and although he was credited occasionally as Gary Johnson’s campaign manager for 2012, he was not in charge of anything, and seemed to keep seeking, or trying to create a position).

    ” will see a genuine libertarian candidate in 2020″

    I’d happily volunteer for the Redlich for President 2020 campaign, just so you know.

  12. Jon Doh

    I don’t know what “purist” Libertarians want in a candidate. Somebody who will dismantle all of the government and have us running around like cave dwellers where the person with the biggest club rules the clan? Libertarian candidates have never garnered more than 1% of the vote since the party’s inception 45 years ago because they are so far out of the mainstream where the other 99% of the country is. Yet, now you have a candidate who is getting daily attention on the major news outlets and getting Libertarian ideas out to the public in a way that has never been possible before – and yet the “purists” are unhappy that he’s not nutty enough.

    Regardless of ideological purity, there is a bigger reason to vote for this ticket. Honesty, integrity and competence, all traits lacking in the other two candidates. As for the Johnson-Weld ticket, I’m in.

  13. Tony From Long Island

    The purists will never be satisfied. They could have the perfect candidate and then receive 0.5% of the vote.

    Each party has it’s extremists, but the ones in the LP are very vocal malcontents.

    When a party nominates someone on their fringe, they LOSE (as Trump would say “BIGLY”). See – Goldwater, McGovern, William Jennings Bryan . .

  14. JamesT

    Us “purists” just want a someone who isn’t a neo-con as VP? is that really too much to ask? I’m not sure what issues Weld is libertarian on? He’s pro-war, pro-patriot act, pro drug war except on weed, pro fed, anti-ron paul, anti-gun, in his LP convention interview mentioned supporting the gov’t having banks report to them for cash deposits. Like what issues is he libertarian on? Name one?

    At least Johnson is antiwar, patriot act and some other things. I can see why people support Johnson. But Weld is inexcusable. he is not libertarian on a single issue. Not one.

  15. Deran

    I’m a open source socialist, I have a Marxist analysis of economics. I am going to vote for Johnson/Weld. I support LP positions on social and cultural liberties. I think libertarian capitalist economics is nonsensical. But, I think Johnson/Weld has the best chance of making a serious break through towards political independence.

    Also, I have to admit, I won’t vote for Stein/Baraka for two main reasons. A) I don’t think the Greens will even break a million votes, B) I don’t want to encourage the notion that the neo-Kenyesianism/progessivist capitalism is any sort of appealing alternative to neoliberal economics.

    Numerous socialists I know have seen an infomercial put out by the LP, Johnson/Weld or some pro-Johnson/Weld superpac (I’ve not seen it) and they are increasingly convinced that voting for Johnson/Weld will do more for political independence then voting for Stein/Baraka.

  16. dL

    “I don’t know what “purist” Libertarians want in a candidate. Somebody who will dismantle all of the government and have us running around like cave dwellers where the person with the biggest club rules the clan?”

    Libertarian purist==libertarian, as opposed to, say, pragmaticrat know nothings whose abandonment of critical thinking has atrophied the cerebrum to such an extent they now have to resort to copying/pasting from salon.com.

    ?+C, ?+V “This is your brain on respectability politics.”

  17. dL

    “I think libertarian capitalist economics is nonsensical.”

    Interestingly, anti-IP is a majority position within libertarianism. I think being anti-IP is a long way toward being anti-capitalist, particularly in the 21st century political economy. TeamGov of course is not anti-IP. They are very much pro-capitalist. Actually, with their support of things like TPP, they are pro-mercantilist.

  18. Stuart Simms

    JamesT
    Weld is okay on gay rights/marriage equality.

    Deran
    In my Congressional District in Maryland there is a Green and no Libertarian. I don’t know anything about the candidate other than he’s not an R or D but it doesn’t matter as long ago I took the decision to vote Libertarian first, any other 3rd party next. I only wish we had None of the Above for those times when I have no minor party to vote for.

  19. Deran

    Stuart Simms. I agree. I’ve voted for the far right Constitution Party because they were a non R or D. Heck, to misuse an old phrase; I’d vote for a yellow dog as long as their not a Democrat or Republican!

  20. Warren Redlich

    “despite some of Roger Stone’s former very close associates being paid by the campaign (again) (or at least one of them – his former personal assistant, I believe)”

    I was unaware of that and find it troubling.

    But the harsh truth is the the Trump and Hillary people are just as bad, possibly worse.

  21. T Rex

    Deran,

    The more libertarian one’s philosophy is, the more “anti-capitalist” (in some sense) it becomes. Interestingly enough, many of the 19th century radical libertarians did not even support “capitalism,” viewing it entirely as a state construct.

    http://www.infoshop.org/AnarchistFAQSectionG1

    You are correct that Keynesianism (i.e., layering additional tax hikes and regulations on the current system) will not achieve anything. And more importantly–to me, anyway–it’s just plain boring 😀

  22. langa

    It is my hope (perhaps a foolish one) that we will see a genuine libertarian candidate in 2020 who will benefit from the increased recognition.

    I hope you are right about that, but I’m not optimistic, especially in the (unlikely) event Johnson/Weld get 5% and qualify for government funding for 2020. I fear that will bring a horde of political vultures to pick at the LP’s corpse.

    Personally I don’t trust Johnson on military issues but he’s better than the others.

    Well, he’s better than Clinton and Trump. I don’t think he’s any better than Castle, and not nearly as good as Stein, if foreign policy is the only criteria.

    The lowest rate of growth by the numbers I see were under Bill Clinton who was well liked.

    Fair point. I have always chalked up the slow growth of government under Clinton to the so-called “Republican Revolution” and the “partisan bickering” to which it led. Many people deplore gridlock, but I’ve always been quite fond of it.

  23. langa

    …I don’t want to encourage the notion that the neo-Kenyesianism/progessivist capitalism is any sort of appealing alternative to neoliberal economics.

    This is very similar to the reason why I (and many other libertarians) can’t bring ourselves to support the Johnson/Weld ticket. We don’t want to encourage the notion that moderate “Rockefeller Republicanism” is any sort of adequate substitute for genuine libertarianism. Thus, we are attacked as uncompromising and obsessed with ideological purity. I imagine many Stein supporters would level the same charges at you.

  24. robert capozzi

    L: I fear that will bring a horde of political vultures to pick at the LP’s corpse.

    me: Relative success and progress can indeed be frightening, especially for the doctrinaire zealot. A flood of lessarchists into the LP could eventually lead to deletion of the Holiest of Holy Incantations “challenge the cult of the omnipotent state” and even a quiet erasure of all things NAP and the Dallas Accord.

    Some Catholics still believe that the world was set on a downward spiral by Vatican II. No more Latin Mass and no requirement to eat fish on Friday!

    L: I have always chalked up the slow growth of government under Clinton to the so-called “Republican Revolution” and the “partisan bickering” to which it led. Many people deplore gridlock, but I’ve always been quite fond of it.

    me: Gridlock is less damaging to liberty than one party rule, true. The peace dividend and the end (kind of) of the Cold War helped a lot, too. I do like the case J/W make that — if elected — they wouldl be in a unique position to broker positive change.

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