Gary Johnson: Ban the Burqa

Reason.com interview of Gary Johnson by Nick Gillespie (excerpt):

In a wide-ranging conversation, Johnson told me that one of his chief concerns is the rise of sharia law around the world and the way he believes it underwrites Islamic terrorism, which he says is a major global problem and a rising threat here in America.

Surprisingly for a libertarian, Johnson, who recently resigned as the CEO of Cannabis Sativa, a marijuana marketing form, said that he would sign a bill banning the wearing of burqas in America. Sharia, he insisted, was not an expression of religion but of “politics” and hence many of its practices could be banned or limited without running afoul of the Constitution.

“Under sharia law,” he argued, “women are not afforded the same rights as men.” Under a burqa, how do you know if a woman has been beaten?, he asked rhetorically. “Honor killings are allowed for under sharia law and so is deceiving non-Muslims.” Likening followers of sharia to members of the Ku Klux Klan, Johnson said that he wouldn’t censor the speech of people promoting sharia law but would mount a cultural campaign to counter its growth here. He said the Islamic terrorism proceeds directly from the same sources as the thinking behind sharia and that the United States government must make sure it is not inadvertently funding sharia overseas.

129 thoughts on “Gary Johnson: Ban the Burqa

  1. Jill Pyeatt

    I’m glad this has surfaced early so that Johnson has a chance to re-think and re-state his position. I can imagine he really means this.

    If he does–I’ll be disappointed, for sure. It might keep me from voting for him because if he’s this un-Libertarian on this topic, undoubtedly there will be more issues that surface.

  2. Caryn Ann Harlos

    If I want to wear a burqua that is noone’s business. Sheesh, the paternalism.

  3. Shivany Lane

    Nowhere in Sharia law does it dictate that a woman wear a Burqa. That is part of the more extreme Taliban. Sharia Law is similar to The older laws that Catholics and Christians practiced, like they were forbidden to permit usury, which is charging interest on leant money.
    The Jewish faith has their own laws that they practice which we do not seem to have a problem with like observing the Sabbath

    Beating a woman is physical abuse and regardless of your religion, the federal or state law where you reside would take precedence. It’s like state’s rights. I can use medical marijuana in California which technically is a federal crime but my state has the right over it’s own borders.

    Parts of Sharia law do discuss stoning of women and cutting off hands, but remember, we used to burn witches. I do hope that he does not make this part of his platform because it will just be feeding red meat to the haters and bigots.

    Our Constitution within our borders is the law of the land. if you want to go and live straight Sharia law, go to Saudi Arabia. It is really that simple.

    By the way, non-muslim men beat their wives too. Lets get real about this stuff.
    .

  4. Shivany Lane

    @Jed, I will wear one if it can be another color other than black, say a pretty magenta.

  5. georgephillies

    It’s good to see that our party has a Libertarian Islamophobic wing,

    The only rephrase that Johnson is going to get away with is “I hereby withdraw my candidacy for the Libertarian Party Presidential nomination.”

    He may change his mind under pressure, but even the rocks in my garden are not stupid enough to fall for that one.

  6. georgephillies

    And to Johnson:

    Dear Lackwit,

    I see you object to wearing burqas because they are a ‘political’ rather than a religious statement.

    It is totally obvious that you either have never heard of the First Amendment, or you found it beyond your comprehension.

    Freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, and freedom to petition for redress of grievances are all there frist and foremost to protect POLITICAL acts.

    To avoid further embarrassment, please announce that your Presidential campaign is an early April First joke.

    I am half tempted to open Phillies 2016, just so I can debate this clown.

    George Phillies

  7. Thomas L. Knapp

    Jed,

    My recollection is that someone tried to wear a burqa to the 2002 or 2004 LP convention, and got hassled by security.

    That was the same year that Reason and Liberty magazines were denied press credentials for being insufficiently respectful of the LNC.

  8. Thomas L. Knapp

    Earlier today, on some other thread, Paulie and I were debating Johnson’s appeal to the left.

    So far, since the burqa statement came out, two left-libertarians have resigned as advisers at Johnson’s “Our America Initiative.”

  9. paulie

    Earlier today, on some other thread, Paulie and I were debating Johnson’s appeal to the left.

    I appear to have been mistaken.

  10. Thomas L. Knapp

    Paulie,

    I wouldn’t say you were so much mistaken as I was (I hadn’t realized he made many appearances on e.g. MSNBC in 2012). If there’s a mistake on your part, it looks like THIS year he may be planning to explicitly target disappointed Trump supporters if Trump doesn’t win the GOP nomination (which he probably won’t).

    If that’s the case, well, on the one hand it’s not that bad of an idea for a presidential candidate — but it’s a disastrous idea for this candidate’s party.

  11. Joe Wendt

    I would love to see Phillies 2016 and a debate between him, Johnson, McAfee, etc. It would be good.

  12. paulie

    If that’s the plan, I still don’t know who I am supporting, but I do know who I am not supporting.

    The crappy thing is though, if you read the rest of the reason interview linked in this article, it’s still pretty good.

    So I don’t think that’s the plan.

    But even then this, just by itself alone, is kind of like a turd in the swimming pool.

  13. paulie

    I would love to see Phillies 2016 and a debate between him, Johnson, McAfee, etc. It would be good.

    Not saying I will support Phillies, but I’d like to see him in the debate if he is willing.

  14. Thomas L. Knapp

    I’ve supported George every time he has run for LNC chair in the past, and would love to see him AT LEAST on the LNC (although he has shown a disinclination to seek any position other than chair).

    For president, I thought he played a worthwhile part in the 2008 campaign even though he was not my preferred candidate, and a reprise of that would, IMO, be good for the party.

  15. Andy

    I do not agree with banning anyone from voluntarily wearing any type of religious clothing, but having said this, there is cause for concern with radical Muslims. Look at what is happening in Europe with the huge increase in the number of rapes due to Muslim migrants. These people come from a culture that does not believe that women should have the same rights as men.

  16. Thomas L. Knapp

    Paulie,

    Maybe it’s not the plan, but that statement certainly felt like … well, chum in the water. Like maybe it could be the plan if the Trumposphere lights up with glowing endorsements of the position or something.

    I have trouble believing that it was off-the-cuff or extemporaneous. On the other hand, maybe I’m giving the guy too much credit for thinking about what he’s going to say before he says it.

  17. Trent Hill

    “Nowhere in Sharia law does it dictate that a woman wear a Burqa. ”

    Quite true. Actually this is not a traditionally Muslim practice, but a practice that dominates a particular area of the world. For a long time, head coverings were common throughout much of the middle east. Even currently, head coverings are common for Samaritans, Druze, Orthodox Jews, etc.

  18. Losty

    Paulie, I’ll Bite. Assuming you aren’t supporting any of the other announced candidates, Which of those 3 (Or NOTA) Would you support.

  19. Losty

    I would love to see Phillies 2016 and a debate between him, Johnson, McAfee, etc. It would be good.

    So, Between those 3 and NOTA (Or if there is another announced you would support… Who are you leaning heavily to to support for the Nomination

  20. Chuck Moulton

    Tom Knapp wrote:

    So far, since the burqa statement came out, two left-libertarians have resigned as advisers at Johnson’s “Our America Initiative.”

    Who?

  21. Dave

    I don’t particularly care about this one way or another, but it strikes me as unquestionably a dumb move to make. Especially since he put out earlier press releases specifically appealing to Muslim and Republicans turned off by Trump, and then goes I believe further than him in calling for a ban . I can’t really imagine he’s making anyone happy with his current stance.

    Though I am curious if this is something that really rallies delegates against Johnson or makes any difference whatsoever. I’ve been following the LP since 2004 and the nominations since 2008. Both Barr and I believe Johnson’s first run were never loved in the blogosphere but both managed to win despite not winning their detractors over. The difference here is that reading the comments I’ve seen so far, Johnson’s statement has actually turned people that were neutral or lean positive against him a little.

  22. Dave Terry

    “ban the burka, ban the burqa, ban the burqua, burka, burka ban, burqa, burqa ban, burqua, burqua ban,”

    WHO WROTE THIS FILTHY SLANDER?

    It sure as Hell, DIDN’T come from Gary Johnson

    Mr. WANG TANG SUCK ASS are you attempting to stab Gary in the back

    Jill Pyeatt

    January 6, 2016 at 19:54

    I’m glad this has surfaced early so that Johnson has a chance to re-think and re-state his position. I can imagine he really means this.

    Why would you ‘imagine’ THAT!

  23. Al Hopfmann

    An interesting question might be: How does this compare to wearing a mask (Lone Ranger style) when walking into a bank? Any thoughts?

  24. Chuck Moulton

    Disappointing, but not surprising. Add this to the growing list of reasons I won’t be voting for Gary Johnson at the LP national convention. I mean, I would if he repudiated this position, took the “Fair Tax” out of his platform and talking points, and made assurances his campaign will be transparent and fiscally responsible… realistically there is a better chance a pig will fly to hell and throw snowballs at bigfoot though.

    At this point candidates who might get my vote include Kerbel, McAfee, and Petersen… it’s still a toss up.

    Phillies has my vote over all three if he enters the race — even with his anti-science climate position — as he’s good on the issues, a solid speaker, and would build the party. Perry and Feldman disqualified themselves with their fundraising limitations. A few others disqualified themselves by being crazy.

  25. Losty

    You’re Forgetting One.
    One a friend Pushed Many years ago.

    If Nobody’s in Washington working for you, and Nobody is the only one you can trust……Remember…..

    Nobody is ALWAYS a Candidate of the LP.
    NOTA will be on all ballots…

  26. langa

    On another thread a couple of days ago, I mentioned that Johnson was probably (a distant) third on my list, behind Kerbel and Perry.

    Scratch that. I think he just joined Petersen, as the only two guys below NOTA.

  27. langa

    An interesting question might be: How does this compare to wearing a mask (Lone Ranger style) when walking into a bank? Any thoughts?

    Apples and oranges. A bank (or any other privately owned business) can set whatever dress code they want, and they can apply it to customers as well as employees.

  28. langa

    Under a burqa, how do you know if a woman has been beaten?

    This is a particularly idiotic argument. Is he also going to ban hats and sunglasses, as they can be used to cover up black eyes?

  29. Stewart Flood

    This proposed ban makes no sense and does nothing positive. Treating muslims like our enemy turns them into our enemy.

  30. Root's Teeth Are Awesome

    Sharia, he insisted, was not an expression of religion but of “politics” and hence many of its practices could be banned or limited without running afoul of the Constitution.

    Is Johnson really that much of an idiot?

    A law professor has told me that political speech is at the core of the First Amendment. The Supreme Court has ruled that the First Amendment grants the greatest protection to political speech.

    This is because the Founders, who drafted and voted for the Constitution, believed that unfettered political discourse was crucial for a well-functioning democratic republic.

    If Reason has accurately quoted Johnson, then Johnson is as ignorant about the Constitution as is Bush and Obama, Clinton and Trump.

  31. Shivany Lane

    A) A burqa is not a political statement. Women who wear burqas wear them at their husband’s request as part of their form of religious interpretation. (Not Sharia Law) -> misogynistic, yes…against the law….no
    B) Mennonite women wear long skirts and long blouses for a similar reason reason. It is cultural.
    C) Some Muslim women cover their heads completely and their faces with veils. It has to do with not allowing a man to see their skin. This was the pre-cursor to the full on Burqa. -> misogynistic, yes…against the law….no
    D) Did someone burn the Bill of rights while I was napping? Seriously? And the mask comment is just ignorant. A person in NYC coming in from the cold may have a full ski mask on. They take it off. Are they wrestled to the ground before they can remove it?

    I would just like to add that as far as I know, and i have not researched this so I could be wrong, suicide bombers wear vests under their street clothes and try to blend in as much as possible. I don’t think that any woman wearing a burqa has ever been a suicide bomber. The purpose of the burqa is so that the woman is invisible. The Taliban, and people who follow their radical version of Islam which is not Sharia Law, believe that women are non-persons. This sounds so much like America at one time. Don’t forget, it took until the 19th amendment, and a brokered deal with the devil (prohibition), for us women to even have the right to vote. There was a time in our history where we could not own property or businesses.

    The almighty Christian Bible considers women to be the property of her father, and then her husband. That’s why the father walks her down the aisle at her wedding. Do your gender history. What do you think the Dowry was and still is for? To pay the man to take the unworthy female off his hands. As my ex was very fond of saying..;.. Women are the n****r of the world.

    India is still practicing selective abortions so they can bear men children and not women. Even though the government has outlawed it, they still do it in the villages. And as the law of averages will tell us, when you tip the scale you get a larger population of men with fewer women to marry. I could go on and on…. I’m tired and sometimes I just hate that I was born with 2 X and no Y chromosome.

    You may now proceed to pick apart my statements here, I am going to take my Y chromosomes to bed.

  32. Root's Teeth Are Awesome

    The almighty Christian Bible considers women to be the property of her father, and then her husband.

    That’s in the Old Testament, aka the Hebrew Scriptures. The New Testament actually increased protections for women (Matthew 19:7-9), although not to the point of full equality.

  33. Stewart Flood

    Chuck is correct. Johnson will lose a sizeable portion of his support once delegates hear about this. I find it difficult to see how he could back out of this position.

  34. jljensen

    I can’t say I agree that a ban would be an appropriate move in a free country however, I do believe the idea that the burka is merely a matter of freedom of expression may not be completely accurate. Especially when you consider the various negative aspects of wearing it. How it strips women of a unique identity and dehumanizes them, how it can hide physical abuse, how it keeps women isolated/segregated and how it can lead to health issues. Also, most women wear it under the threat of violence.
    This leads to the predicament that defending freedom of choice may also be defending misogyny, domestic abuse and segregation. In a country where we support freedom of choice but also offer the freedom for every American to participate as equal citizens, where do we draw the line? The solutions aren’t easy but if anyone really believes that girls of their own free will, happily cover their entire bodies when they reach puberty and agree to live under a tent for the remainder of their lives, I challenge you to wear a burka for a few months or even a few weeks and see if that changes your mind.

  35. georgephillies

    00:43 Losty, he means that I am an anthropogenic global climate change (warming in most places) affirmer, this being the only scientific position.

    But he and Stewart are right about delegate effects. Also, even if the candidate backs out, convincing delegates that he meant it will be an interesting exercise in spin control.

  36. Darcy G Richardson

    George should jump into the fray. With only one — or possibly two — in the race at this point, it would be interesting to hear a genuine libertarian’s perspective in the battle for the party’s 2016 presidential nomination.

  37. Marc Allan Feldman

    @Chuck Moulton January 6, 2016 at 23:24 writes: “Perry and Feldman disqualified themselves with their fundraising limitations.”
    Chuck, you just don’t get it. Darryl Perry and I do not have “fundraising limitations.” We both accept unlimited total funds. We have principled stands on donations. Darryl does not accept fiat money, but if someone wants to give him $5000 in gold, no problem. I accept as many donations up to $5 from as many people as want to donate. Bernie Sanders has 2.5 million contributors, with almost no chance of winning the Democratic nomination. If I did as well, I would raise 12.5 million, or about 5 times what our 2012 candidate raised. There are 100 million non-voters in this country, most of whom cannot afford to donate $20 to a political campaign. But maybe they could donate $1 or $5, if they thought it would make a difference. One of my challenges is to convince these people that I want to represent them, because they can make a difference. That is what the $5 maximum is all about.
    I don’t have “fundraising limitations.” Chuck Moulton and George Phillies have vote-raising limitations.

  38. Darcy G Richardson

    …and LP donors could sleep well at night knowing their hard-earned contributions were being spent both wisely and prudently.

  39. Darcy G Richardson

    My comment at 5:43 was an addendum to my remark about George Phillies at 5:33 — not a response to Marc’s comment directly above.

  40. Darcy G Richardson

    …although I think it would also apply to Feldman and Perry, both of whom would most likely spend their campaign funds in an equally judicious manner.

  41. Robert Capozzi

    usu. the jump-the-shark episode comes near the end. For GJ16, it’s one Day One.

  42. Edward L Garrett

    This statement from Gov. Johnson has disappointed me as well as many of you. I am surprised to hear this sort of ignorance from any of our candidates. I, unlike George Phillies, would believe however that if he were to backtrack these claims, that he would mean it enough.

    There is still a good deal of time until May, & hopefully this question will come up at one of the LP debates.

  43. Fred

    Dave,

    I don’t know if it will rally enough of the delegates away to prevent him from winning, but I do know that (even though I was pretty enthusiastic about his candidacy last election) I wouldn’t vote for anyone who thought regulating my clothing choices was a valid concern of the federal government.

  44. Stewart Flood

    The problem with taking this position is that if he does back off of it, the media will use it against him, since the majority of the public does not understand why it is wrong. Stupid statement to have made. Very, very stupid.

  45. Andy

    Marc Feldman, you are not a well known person like Bernie Sanders is. There is no way you’ll get 2.5 million people to donate to your campaign. People tend to not donate money to people whom they do not know who they are.

    Your intentions sound honorable, I just do not see your plan of capping donations at $5 to be realistic.

    Darryl Perry’s plan is not very realistic either. There are a lot of people out there, even among Libertarians, who do not use crypto-currencies or precious metals, and even among those who do, Perry is not a well know person, and he has not been running a very active campaign.

    I think that it would be cool if Perry could raise enough money in crypto-currencies and precious metals to run a respectable looking campaign on, but thus far he has shown no signs of being able to do this.

  46. Thomas L. Knapp

    Jed,

    I can’t say I always like Reason or agree with its authors, but I would be surprised if something like that got past the editorial process without being questioned and verified. I would bet money that Nick Gillespie didn’t just make it up.

  47. georgephillies

    We shall see what Reason’s recording shows. This was an interview in the 21st century by reporters with positive IQs. There is a recording. And, incidentally, the recording is what counts.

  48. georgephillies

    Demanding a retraction is a traditional response. “I mis-spoke” is another.

    There are a lot of sentences in there, all outrageous.

    “Johnson said that he wouldn’t censor the speech of people promoting sharia law but would mount a cultural campaign to counter its growth here. ”

    So we will have a Federal religious propaganda campaign?

    Reason,it is time to release your voice record of this event.

  49. Dave Terry

    Shivany Lane> Jan 7, 2016
    “You may now proceed to pick apart my statements here,
    I am going to take my Y chromosomes to bed.”

    Not from my corner. Everything you wrote is “spot on”!
    Have a refreshing sleep.

  50. Cody Quirk

    I’m in agreement with Shivany Lane and a few others here; it is not anti-Libertarian to ban or prohibit something that is not a sacred and harmless part of another culture/religion that instead humiliates and suppresses the freedoms and individual liberty of another.
    Even if Johnson wins and we start getting our military out of the middle east, the threat of Islamic terrorism is going to hang over our heads for some time. While I am firmly opposed to what Trump wants to do about it, nevertheless giving everyone in this country (especially foreign agents that seek to do us harm, and those committed to terrorism) complete unrestricted freedom to do whatever they want in these turbulent times is not the right solution here and would only make things worse, otherwise we minus well lay down and let every terrorist and saboteur walk all over and do what they want with us.

    Banning or merely restricting anything that not only causes psychological and even physical harm, but also restricts freedom and personal liberty -can sometimes be necessary in order to protect and maintain one’s freedoms and personal liberties.

    Otherwise, we should allow everyone the right to build and legally own their own nuclear bomb, or freely use VX as a pesticide.

  51. Marc Allan Feldman

    @Andy 10:59. My hypothesis is that people donate to a cause they believe in, if they think they can make a difference. If I am successful it will be because I have a message that resonates with people, because they think I am authentic, and because of the work of dedicated grassroots activists. You cannot buy any of that with 1 billion dollars.
    If by “realistic” you mean according to the “conventional wisdom”, I might agree with you. My campaign is based on a disruptive paradigm, a world-view that changes the dynamics of the current political infrastructure. If the conventional wisdom was correct, Jeb Bush be in first place in the Republican race with Chris Christie in second trying to catch up.
    Strange things are happening in the world these days. There are reasons for this. Check out:
    The Age of the Unthinkable: Why the New World Disorder Constantly Surprises Us And What We Can Do About It by Joshua Cooper Ramo.
    None of my campaign decisions are random.
    I believe the $5 cap on donations gives me the only realistic chance of any Libertarian candidate to win this election.
    I believe the 100 million non-voters of this country are the only constituency that has a realistic chance of bringing success to the Libertarian candidate.
    I believe my Balance and Credit plan is the only Libertarian fiscal/tax plan that has a realistic chance of being implemented and dramatically reforming our government in a libertarian direction.

  52. Thomas L. Knapp

    Cody,

    It is already against the law to grab a woman and shove her into a burqa or any other thing against her will in the United States.

    Yes, it IS anti-libertarian to pass a law telling her what she can or can’t voluntarily decide what to wear.

  53. georgephillies

    On the other hand, the article also claimed “Johnson is at least the second person to throw his hat in the ring for the Libertarian Party presidential nomination”, reminding us of Reason’s historical record of anti-Libertarian coverage, not to mention suggesting a remarkable ignorance of the topic being reported upon.

  54. georgephillies

    Feldman: You are a nice guy, but your beliefs on your campaign are absurd. Your argument is based on the technique “assume a totally crazy hypothetical…”, for which there is a computer answer “Garbage in, garbage out”.

  55. Thomas L. Knapp

    Dr. Feldman,

    You write:

    “I believe the $5 cap on donations gives me the only realistic chance of any Libertarian candidate to win this election.”

    I feel kind of like the atheist explaining to a Christian that they’re really very close — the atheist only believes in one less God than the Christian.

    There are not now, nor are there going to be, any Libertarian candidates with a realistic chance to win this election.

    That’s not to say that you shouldn’t do your damnedest to win the election and offer alternatives that make sense, of course.

  56. georgephillies

    Johnson must deny a remarkable number of statements in those paragraphs. Of course, the article could be a total fraud, up there with the Chronicles of the Elders of Zion, but I do not think that is where the smart money is.

  57. Jill Pyeatt

    Wow, I can’t believe there’s so much discussion on this. It is NOT in any way, shape, or form the government’s job to tell someone what they can and cannot wear. You are projecting that the women are all oppressed and doing so only because the man in her life tells her to.

    Art Olivier has been making a movie in Iran. You might wish to ask him about how the people in that country are, and how “oppressed” the women are not.

    The ignorance other people have regarding other cultures continue to astound me. Read, learn and think, folks.

  58. Joshua

    Don’t forget that by this logic all Pentecostal Women, Catholic Nuns, Mennonites, and Amish are oppressed too. We should pass lass dictating what they wear too. That way they can be truly free.

  59. Cody Quirk

    “Yes, it IS anti-libertarian to pass a law telling her what she can or can’t voluntarily decide what to wear.”

    In that case, then we should allow people to legally wear suicide vests in public, or wear clothing that has live venomous snakes or animals tied to or surgically attached to it.
    As ridiculous as the latter sounds, it can be done.
    And it is surprisingly easy to conceal weapons/explosives in, or even turn the interior of a burqa into a suicide vest.

    Granted, you can’t stop someone from wearing a burqa on private property by the owner(s) consent, especially in a religious house of worship. Yet on public, or government property that is a different matter.

    “What about the special underwear Mormons wear? Shouldn’t we ban that, too?”

    Apples and Oranges; unlike the Burqa, Mormon underwear doesn’t restrict the use of your limbs, especially your arms, in public. It is also worn underneath and doesn’t block your face or interfere with your vision. That underwear is also quite comfortable enough to wear in hot, tropical climates for most LDS too.

    Plus again, the burqa is only a part of the extreme fundamentalist aspect of Islamic culture and not the religion itself, so you’re not at all infringing on legitimate religious rights.

  60. Thomas L. Knapp

    Cody,

    I understand that you don’t claim to be a libertarian, so I understand where you’re coming from here. I just disagree.

    The problem with all of your positions is that they start from the premise of “we” “allowing” things. Or, in other words, from the opposite of the libertarian premise.

    We can argue all day long about whether or not banning burqas is a good idea. I don’t think it is, but that’s an argument we can have.

    On the subject of whether or not banning burqas is compatible with libertarianism, there’s no argument to be had. It isn’t. You don’t have to like that fact. It will remain a fact whether you like it or not.

  61. Andy

    Marc, given that you are not a well known person, and given that you do not have access to lots of money to spread your message, I doubt that many people will ever hear your message.

  62. Cody Quirk

    Plus, there’s also certain work environments and public environments where excising one’s “right” to wear a burqa is unsafe or near impossible, especially in say a sanitary ‘clean’ room, or a factory with moving/turning machinery, or even at certain attractions of a water park.

    I support dangerous freedom only to a certain extent. I don’t think anything at all wrong with placing some restrictions on one’s right to put yourself at risk of serious injury or death in open public or public property as long as the U.S. constitution permits or allows for such restrictions.

  63. Marc Allan Feldman

    georgephillies January 7, 2016 at 12:07 writes:
    “Feldman: You are a nice guy”
    I try to be. It is not always my natural inclination.

    “your beliefs on your campaign are absurd. ”
    By “absurd” I will take it that you mean unreasonable and illogical, and not merely unlikely.

    Many things in life are not easily directly measurable. A large enough sample size is not available and confounding factors cannot be excluded. We are all biased on the basis of our personal experience.

    I was an informed and engaged non-voter until I was 50 years old. I know what it took for me to become a Libertarian voter. I was primarily motivated by the rejection of all Democratic and Republican candidates on the basis of their participation in a corrupt and oppressive system, that exacerbated instead of working to solve the problems of our country. At least the Libertarian party had the potential to offer a better option. The philosophical basis of the Libertarian party appeared to be inconsistent with the oppressive power dynamics of the old parties. This did not necessarily make Libertarian candidates better, but there was a chance. That is when I got to know the party and the candidates, and I became both a supporter, a voter, and a candidate. The Libertarian message resonated with me, it did not take a TV commercial or a door hanger or a political quiz.

    The 100 million non-voters of this country already, to a greater or lesser extent, reject both the Democratic and Republican Parties. It would not take a philosophical conversion to motivate them to give the Libertarian party a try, if they are convinced that we are different, we are authentic, we want to represent their interests, and that they have the power to make a positive difference. Certainly they have no concern about voting for “the lesser of two evils.”

    These are the reasons for my “absurd” political beliefs.
    The $5 cap on donations sends the message to the 100 million non-voters:
    1. I am different. (would you object to this?)
    2. I am authentic (at least I am not campaigning to get big money donations)
    3. I want to represent the interests of the mass of disenfranchised people (since by donating $5, they can be among my largest donors)
    4. They have the power to make a difference (because they can be the ones primarily funding my campaign.

    My political beliefs are based on my personal experiences (including having 30,000 patients from all segments of society), my training in philosophy (BA, Phi Beta Kappa), medicine, and health policy and management (MHS, Delta Omega), and my studies in libertarian thought and politics, sociology, disruptive and incremental innovation, and lean management.

    So, you might say that my campaign is highly unlikely to be successful, but it is far from absurd.
    There are reasons and logic to every facet of my campaign.

    You certainly have the right to ignore, misunderstand, or disagree. However I would say that to describe any conscientious Libertarian Presidential candidate’s beliefs as “garbage” is damaging to the party as well as your own reputation.

  64. Cody Quirk

    “I understand that you don’t claim to be a libertarian.”

    Says the man that left the LP and started another political party that later failed in the political arena and had to disband so he later came back into the LP.

    I am a registered Libertarian in the state of Nevada and not a goddamned anarchist, both ideologies are NOT and should not be the same! I don’t believe in an unrealistic and unachievable utopia where society can live in peace and harmony without ANY law or restrictions whatsoever.
    Our own human nature and natural flaws can never allow for such a society to continuously florish and prosper, and to think otherwise makes you as delusional as those early communist and marxist individuals of the late 19th and early 20th centuries that believed and tried to achieve a world-wide marxist utopia.

    I came out of a political party where narrow-minded dogmatism and anti-compromise, anti-logical zealotry dominated and restrained that party’s outreach and even how it operated, and I’ll be damned if the secular anarchist versions of the same anti-practical, anti-compromise, overly dogmatic forces do the same to the Libertarian Party. So yes, I support the goals of the Reform Caucus and even Andy Craig’s organization, and it looks like the time is coming soon where I will be getting more involved with the LP.

    I am a proud Paleolibertarian, and it’s obvious that the Paleolibertarian voice in the LP needs to be amplified.

  65. Andy

    I would agree that banning people from voluntarily wearing burqas is not libertarian, however, forcing people to comply with Sharia Law is not libertarian either.

    My Libertarian Zone concept would have religious freedom, but it would also ban anyone from trying to establish a theocracy, just as involuntary socialism/communism would be banned, or more accurately stated, these would be contract violations, the result of which could be banishment from the Libertarian Zone, or even death if the contract offenders refuse to leave. The contract enforcement could be carried out by any Libertarian Zone member.

    So say a group of Muslims signed the Libertarian Zone contract. The contract would clearly state that they have no right to impose their religion on others, and that women and gays have equal rights as everyone else. Now let’s say once in the Zone, these Muslims throw rocks at women in bikinis, and/or let’s say they beat up some gays, just for being gay. These would be contract violations, and now a bounty goes up on the heads of these Muslims. You can’t call the police or immigration officials, because they would not exist in the Libertarian Zone. What would happen is that a randomly selected Libertarian Zone jury could find these Muslims guilty of contract violation, and announce that they are now banished from the Zone, and that some of their property will be confiscated to pay restitution to their victims. The Muslims can either pay and move out of the Zone voluntarily, or since there would be bounties put on their heads, they’d have to face the bounty hunters, which could be anyone, as in anyone would be eligible to collect the bounty.

    Remember, the Libertarian Zone has no taxes and no police, and no government officials. The Libertarian Zone would be made up of self-governing people who agree to live by the terms outlined in the Libertarian Zone contract. Don’t like the terms of the contract? Then don’t move there.

    I doubt that Muslim extremists would be a problem in the Libertarian Zone, because they probably would not want to move there anyway, and if they did, they’d be bound by the Libertarian Zone contract, and there’d be serious consequences if they violated it.

  66. Thomas L. Knapp

    Cody,

    When I said that I understand you don’t claim to be a libertarian, I wasn’t being nasty or facetious. So far as I knew, you were a member of the IAP or some such conservative party. Sorry about that. I don’t guess I have any obligation to keep up on your personal political journey, but I shouldn’t have assumed that I had in fact kept good track of it.

    No, I did not leave the LP when I formed the BTP, which I intended to be (and pushed a resolution to make) an internal LP caucus. I did leave the LP some years later for four years, but that had nothing whatsoever to do with the BTP.

    But of course you have no more responsibility for keeping track of my biography than I do for keeping track of yours, so no biggie.

    I’d welcome you to the LP, but based on your statements above that welcome would be false. But I do hold out hope that now that you’re here, you will at some point discover libertarianism and adopt it in place of the utopian fantasy you currently claim as your political philosophy.

  67. georgephillies

    ” “reminding us of Reason’s historical record of anti-Libertarian coverage”

    Awful early in the day to be hitting the mescaline, isn’t it?”

    Apparently you have forgotten or did not read Reason in the earlier noughts. Their anti-libertarian cartoons, presenting Libertarians as folks like the ones holed up in the Malheur wilderness except not right in the head, were quite vicious.

  68. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Tom,

    ==On the subject of whether or not banning burqas is compatible with libertarianism, there’s no argument to be had. It isn’t. You don’t have to like that fact. It will remain a fact whether you like it or not.==

    THAT

  69. georgephillies

    Cody “Plus again, the burqa is only a part of the extreme fundamentalist aspect of Islamic culture and not the religion itself, so you’re not at all infringing on legitimate religious rights”

    You are claiming that extreme fundamentalism can be banned, as not a religious freedom right? I suppose there are people who would happily agree that banning Mormonism, fundamentalist Christianity, and people who claim to have met Jesus would be a good idea.

    However, those people are not Libertarian.

  70. Thomas L. Knapp

    Reason is pretty much a 24/7 operation. If they had received a demand for a retraction, there probably would have BEEN either a retraction or a “we stand by the story” post by now. Not seeing anything like that, either appended to the story or elsewhere on the Reason site.

  71. georgephillies

    Are there signs as to what would be subject to Johnson’s 28% sales tax? Food? Clothing? Megayachts? college tuition? Prescription drugs? Purchases of stocks and mutual funds?

  72. Shivany Lane

    In answer to the person somewhere further up who mentioned that wearing a burqa would not be allowed in say a clean room.

    Those two are mutually exclusive.

    A burqa is intended to make a woman appear invisible. That means she does not work outside of the home. When she is in her home, she may not wear the burqa, I am not an Islamic scholar so i do not know for certain. I do know that she has not been educated beyond say 6th grade and her job in life is to take care of her husband and bear children, kind of like in the 50’s. in America

    There was a time in this country when women who were pregnant were not supposed to be seen as pregnant, now they let it all hang out. Times change.

    Should we ban Jewish men from wearing their Yarmulkes? Or christian women from wearing a cross? This is a slippery slope that I would not want to go down

  73. Andy

    George, the Fair Tax actually comes out to 33% (they deceptively market it as being 23%, but it is really 33%) and I believe it would tax all sales of goods and services.

  74. Andy

    Correction: The Fair Tax plan does call for used good not being subject to the tax, which would likely lead to more people buying used items.

  75. Robert Capozzi

    Has anyone seen anyone anywhere justifying GJ’s position on banning burqas? I would like to at least hear a counter before I write this election off.

  76. paulie

    That’s not me endorsing Kerbel, but I haven’t ruled it out. I agree with him on this and I like what his campaign has been putting out recently, both in tone and graphics, which look very professional (Caryn, is that your work?)

  77. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob,

    The only justifications I’ve seen or heard for it have been a couple of people on this thread, and a caller to Free Talk Live last night whose logic ran to “because MOOOOOOOOOSLIMS.”

    Apparently it’s not just Reason he’s said this to — Politico claims he said basically the same thing to them:

    Johnson’s views can be hard to pigeonhole. He told POLITICO that he would support a ban on burqas because he believes they are forced under sharia law, not a symbol of religious freedom.

    “We need to understand the difference between freedom of religion — which is absolutely guaranteed and I would fervently defend,” Johnson said. “Sharia law is politics, it’s not religion. If you say that a woman is voluntarily going to be of lesser value than a man, which is in sharia law, can we allow that?”

    In the meantime, a lefty at The Guardian labels him a “Pro-Pot Trump.” Money quote:

    If Donald Trump comes down hard on pot smokers, maybe Johnson has a chance to pick up another million votes in 2016; otherwise, he’ll just run the brand further into the ground. Gary Johnson can’t reverse the perception of Libertarians as nativist anti-government wing-nuts who like smoking pot with a campaign launch that begins by tripping and face-planting over the first line of the Bill of Rights.

    I’ve previously asserted that Johnson damages the Libertarian brand, and some people have vigorously disagreed with me on that. I get the feeling some of them are starting to change their minds.

  78. Dave

    The only argument I can see is if you view the burqa as inherently oppressive and abusive and think that most women wearing it do so unwillingly. If you subscribe to that notion, banning it might actually be seen as “pro women” and an increase in liberty for them. I’ve seen certain strains of liberals and feminists argue this. I’d not be surprised if Johnson’s coming at the issue from the same progressive viewpoint of arguing that a ban is empowering. But it’s difficult for me to envision a libertarian justification for it.

    Not sure how much it will hurt him though. I’ve checked GJ’s Facebook a few times. Not the most unbiased source, but it has over 300k likes so I figured it would be of fairly high activity. I have seen literally no commentator remarking on this story. Most people seem supportive with various Republicans/Democrats bemoaning that he’s running since he’s taking away votes from Bernie/Trump. Of course, difficult to know how many of those folks who are voicing support for GJ are libertarians and more importantly delegates.

  79. Robert Capozzi

    Banning burqas definitely does damage not only the L brand, but all common sense and, importantly, the cause of lessarchy. Near as I can tell.

    But, as ever, maybe I missed something. I really am radically open minded on all things. This move, however, by GJ feels like self sabotage of the first order. It makes MNR’s fetuses are parasites seem sane.

    Is GJ going to call for the right to private nukes next?! Banning burqas is on some levels loopier.

    Being concerned about Sharia Law…I get that.

    I wonder what Andy Craig thinks…..

  80. georgephillies

    Andy, Thanks for the back material. Johnson’s new tax is apparently slightly different from his old “fair” tax, in that the number is different (also higher or lower, your guess is as good as mine.)

  81. Thomas L. Knapp

    Per Michael Coleman of the Albuquerque, New Mexico Journal, who cites a phone interview:

    Interestingly, the longtime opponent of interventionist foreign policy and proponent of personal freedoms said he would support banning burqas that cover Islamic women’s entire faces. Johnson said Islamic Sharia law doesn’t condemn violence against women, and burqas allow women to hide facial injuries.

    “We need to separate Sharia law, which is politics, and Islam, which is religion,” Johnson said.

    It’s looking less and less to me like he was misquoted by Reason.

  82. Stewart Flood

    One other thing to point out about the “fair” tax is that it does NOT tax services. It eliminates the payroll tax, so if you were to tax services under this plan it would impose a 33% tax on the self-employed, since someone who works for a company does not have his or her wages taxed under this system.

    I’m not saying that I agree with it, just pointing out something that historically has been part of the “fair” tax mantra. If Johnson’s version adds services then to meet the same revenue level for the feds it could be cut in at least half — or more — since in many industries the cost of employees is a significant part of doing business.

    And there are a LOT of self-employed people out there. They’d be unfairly overtaxed if services were included.

  83. Andy

    Yeah, I just looked up the Fair Tax plan on Wikipedia, and it says that the Fair Tax would be imposed on services, as well as on the sale of new goods.

  84. mikesteraz

    Wow …. on what planet can it conceivably be said that interfering with women’s agency over their clothing choices would make them more free? Libertarian misogyny strikes again!!

  85. georgephillies

    “Look at the fair tax and use that as a starting point” for reforms, he said, suggesting that a sales tax of about 28 percent could work as a replacement for current revenues.

    However, if the fair tax is only a starting point, all of the above remarks could be true.

    A sales tax is a regressive tax on the poor. It does not land on savings used to increase future earnings. Of course, if you are a socialist who wants to manipulate the economy, you choose a government policy that encourages savings.

    The reference to out of control spending is also at best out of date, at least with reference to Federal spending, which has been fairly flat since Obama took office (while at the same time tax take has been rising, leading to a rapidly shrinking Federal budget deficit).

  86. Dave

    ” I will moderate for on-topic and civil discourse, except as discussing the candidate.”

    Shouldn’t civility be afforded to Johnson as well? Surely you can all discuss what a horrible Libertarian he is doctrinally without tossing insults his way.

  87. Dave

    He definitely walked it back. Time will tell if he’s done enough. I’m inclined to think this was smarter than him going full speed ahead on the issue. Smartest of all would have been not to bring it up in the first place.

    It will probably hurt him, but I’m inclined to think so long as there’s no further record on this, the folks who already distrust Johnson will have that reinforced, while those who have a more positive or ambivalent view will give him the benefit of the doubt. He has given his opponents ample ammo to attack him on this though, and if he does not have a good response for this sort of thing in the future that could end up doing more damage and plaguing him the whole campaign.

  88. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Paulie,

    I agree with you that the Kerbel campaign has stepped it up massively in terms of messaging and the high quality imaging. It has blown me away actually. I wish I could take credit but no, I am not part of his campaign team, though I do offer my input and advice, which sometimes is good and they take it. I was asked to be part of his campaign team but declined, not because I wouldn’t want to do it, but because my prior commitments and promises require so much time for me to fulfill I didn’t feel I could commit and felt my obligation was to honour my prior promises. So I volunteer any extra time and effort I have. I have helped with some of the wording in recent messaging and the #stopbanningstuff hashtag. I am proud to be remotely associated with the tone and professionalism of his campaign. This is what we need in a candidate. (getting off my soapbox)

  89. Thomas L. Knapp

    He characterizes it as a knee-jerk response to Reason.

    If it was knee-jerk, and a response, how come he said THE SAME THINGS to Politico and the Albuquerque Journal?

    It doesn’t sound like it was either “knee-jerk” or a “response.” It sounds like it was something he had on his mind, had picked a position on, and specifically wanted to tout.

    Does anyone really believe that all three of those outlets independently decided to ask him “by the way, Gary, how would you feel about outlawing burqas?” on the same day?

    He was dog-whistling to the Trump fans, and apparently didn’t think libertarians would blanch about it. Both of which are additional layers of “what the fuck, Gary?” piled on top of the statement itself.

  90. Jill Pyeatt

    I think Johnson meant what he said, then has reacted to the outrage. In my opinion, he didn’t back pedal enough, but at least he reacted. I personally think this will go away, unless he continues to say blatantly unLibertarian things.

    One of the things that worries me most about a Trump presidency is that he can’t admit he was wrong, even when he clearly was (such as his statement about dancing Arabs). I can just see him picking a fight with Putin or the North Korea guy and never backing down. At least Gary was willing to re-think his position and speak out about it.

    Every time I hear someone say “Sharia law” or “ISIS”, it’s like fingernails on a chalkboard. Everyone needs to put things into proper perspective. We have many risks, but I don’t think either one are a top threat to our country.

  91. georgephillies

    “…knee-jerk response…” it’s only a knee-jerk response in that direction if you are a bigot.

    The Libertarian knee-jerk response was Hell, no! Absolutely not! I’ll veto the thing so hard the ground shakes.

  92. Robert Capozzi

    Well, that’s a relief. I agree with JP. I wish pols others were as quick to admit to mistakes as GJ is here.

    This one was a doozy, and frankly just kinda weird. I can understand pandering up to a point, but I don’t know who this even pandered to. I mean, I know a lot of voters are worried about “radical Islamic terrorism,” so Trump’s pander of stopping them from immigrating, I get, even though I oppose it.

    Worrying about burqas on the streets of Peoria? I’ve seen the rare instance of burqas, but at least for me, it’s quite rare. I just don’t know where this one is coming from.

    And I agree with GP…this is not a “knee jerk” reaction. Introducing an issue into the thought stream that doesn’t fly is a trial balloon, maybe.

  93. georgephillies

    Unfortunately, that unique event. Capozzi and Phillies agreeing may be lost.

    “…knee-jerk response…” it’s only a knee-jerk response in that direction if you are a bigot.

    The Libertarian knee-jerk response was Hell, no! Absolutely not! I’ll veto the thing so hard the ground shakes.”

    might better have been phrased:

    The fact that Johnson’s knee-jerk response was to say
    (1) that he would sign off on banning the burqa,
    (2) that that one of his chief concerns is the rise of sharia law around the world and the way he believes it underwrites Islamic terrorism, which he says is a major global problem and a rising threat here in America, and
    (3) Sharia, he insisted, was not an expression of religion but of “politics” and hence many of its practices could be banned or limited without running afoul of the Constitution.

    [Note that he retracted (1) but not (2) or (3).]

    shows that in his heart Johnson is another Republican right wing bigot who does not support the Bill of Rights.

  94. langa

    Jill said:

    Wow, I can’t believe there’s so much discussion on this. It is NOT in any way, shape, or form the government’s job to tell someone what they can and cannot wear. You are projecting that the women are all oppressed and doing so only because the man in her life tells her to.

    TK said:

    On the subject of whether or not banning burqas is compatible with libertarianism, there’s no argument to be had. It isn’t. You don’t have to like that fact. It will remain a fact whether you like it or not.

    Phillies said:

    The Libertarian knee-jerk response was Hell, no! Absolutely not! I’ll veto the thing so hard the ground shakes.

    All 3 of these comments are 100% on the money.

  95. langa

    Two other points:

    First, I’m definitely not buying that this was some spur-of-the-moment thing. If you’ve been paying attention, Johnson has been on this weird crusade against “sharia law” for the last couple of months, though I never thought he would take it this far.

    Second, the idea that this junk could somehow be justified on libertarian grounds as a way of “empowering” women is preposterous. That brand of condescending paternalism is basically the complete opposite of libertarianism.

  96. georgephillies

    Langa, For those of us with other things we might be doing, so we have not been paying attention to jJohnson, do you happen to have any links on Johnson and Sharia Law? That’s a very important point you are making. It merits amplification.

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