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Saturn on Weld: A Gun-Grabbing Neocon

From Saturn’s Repository:

Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson tapped former Massachusetts Governor William Weld as his pick for the Libertarian Party’s 2016 vice presidential nomination. Though ardent Johnson supporters laud the move as making the Libertarian Party ticket “viable,” there has been a strong backlash from those who do not believe Weld is libertarian. Analysis of Weld’s policy positions gives credence to the detractors. Delegates to the Libertarian National Convention ought to consider Weld’s history carefully when they meet to select a ticket at the Convention later this week. They may just be on the verge of making a gun-grabbing big government neocon, a standard-bearer of the party.

Weld in 2014; Photo by Patrick Whittemore.
Weld in 2014; Photo by Patrick Whittemore.

Weld’s position on the Second Amendment has received the most mention from detractors. As governor of Massachusetts in 1993, he backed what The New York Times then declared as “some of the most stringent gun control laws in the country.” His proposals included a statewide ban on assault rifles, limits on the number of handguns one can own, and lengthy waiting periods for handgun purchases. Weld’s support could be understandable given the status of Massachusetts as one of the more liberal states in the nation, but Weld started his political career supporting gun rights and won election as governor with that position. According to The Times, he seemingly changed his mind after seeing several polls suggesting it would help him politically to back gun control.

In his recent message to Libertarian delegates, Weld spun his earlier support for gun control. Saying he “was deeply concerned about gun violence” and that “governing involves tough choices,” Weld described the aforementioned gun laws as “modest restrictions.” Perhaps Weld meant that he had “deep concerns” about his chances of re-election, that “governing” is all about maintaining power, and that “modest” is a synonym for “most stringent.” Weld doubled down Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union, arguing the Second Amendment protects weapons used for hunting but not weapons without “any hunting purpose.” Thus, he promoted the all-too-common misconception that the Second Amendment concerns hunting, when, in fact, it protects We The People against totalitarian government.

Weld’s big government impulse goes beyond his views on gun control. He worked as a foot-soldier in the War on Drugs in President Ronald Reagan’s Justice Department, which he fondly recalled as late as 2005. Though he supports medicinal marijuana, he is on record opposing the legalization of drugs, including recreational use of marijuana. Moreover, he supported tough EPA regulations in 1994, backing what The New York Times described as “strict tailpipe emission standards,” and endorsed setting quotas requiring automobile companies to manufacture electric cars. Continuing his support for government-mandated quotas, in 1996, Weld was listed in The Washington Post as a prominent Republican supporting affirmative action programs.  His big government positions have not gone away with time, just three months ago, he said he’s always been in favor of a “universal mandate” for health insurance.

Nevertheless, perhaps the most obvious display of Weld’s big government record is the political endorsements he made. He endorsed President George W. Bush for re-election in 2004, despite Bush’s big government policies on civil liberties, particularly the USA PATRIOT Act and domestic surveillance programs. In 2007, he endorsed fellow big government “Rockefeller Republican” Mitt Romney for the Republican presidential nomination, choosing him over libertarian Congressman Ron Paul. In the 2008 presidential general election, he endorsed then-Senator Barack Obama, whose platform included a barrage of big government economic stimulus. In 2012, Weld again endorsed Romney, this time over the man who now wants Weld to be his running mate, Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party nominee.

Weld outdid himself for the 2016 Republican nomination when he endorsed Jeb Bush for president. Not only did he favor Bush over small government Senator Rand Paul, who, unlike his father, had a good shot at winning the nomination, Weld insiders explained to the Boston Herald that Weld “agrees with most of [Bush’s] views.” In other words, just eight months ago, on September 26, 2015, Weld agreed with most of Bush’s platform, which, at the time, included such big government, neoconservative gems as confrontation with Iran, endless intervention in the Middle East, and meddling into Cuban affairs.

Perhaps most concerning of all is Weld’s own neoconservatism. He touts himself as an “active” member of the globalist Council on Foreign Relations, and serves as co-chair of its Independent Task Force on North America, whose ultimate goal is the social and economic “integration” of the United States, Canada, and Mexico, a so-called “North American Union” similar to the EU. He has a record of supporting the interests of Mexico above those of the United States, including advocating for the use of $25 billion in U.S. taxpayer funds to “bailout” Mexico, and turning his back on the people of Massachusetts in 1997 by resigning as governor in a failed effort to help his unrealistic attempt at becoming U.S. ambassador to Mexico. Often overlooked is Weld’s enthusiastic support for President George W. Bush’s neoconservative foreign policy, which included the invasion of Iraq, during an appearance on Charlie Rose in 2004.

There it is. Weld’s public record confirms he is the gun-grabbing big government neocon Libertarians fear. Of all the actual Libertarians available, why would the Libertarian Party want Weld to represent them? Just because that is what Gary Johnson wants? Let this serve as a wake-up call to Libertarians. Perhaps Johnson is not the best candidate for the Libertarian Party. After embracing political correctness, supporting a public ban on burqas, and wishing to force Jewish bakers to bake Nazi-themed cakes, maybe Weld will be the straw that breaks the camel’s Johnson. Or maybe not. We’ll soon find out. The pertinent information is all available above for the delegates to consider.

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About Post Author

wredlich

Warren Redlich is CEO of SpinJ Corporation, which became owner of IPR in November 2012. He was the 2010 Libertarian candidate for Governor of New York, and has run for office as a Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, Green, and Liberal.

14 Comments

  1. Anthony Anthony May 26, 2016

    Gun grabbing neocon? lulz.

    tl;dr

  2. Dave Terry Dave Terry May 26, 2016

    Saturn said; “Though ardent Johnson supporters laud the move as making the Libertarian Party ticket “viable,” there has been a strong backlash from those who do not believe Weld is libertarian.

    NOT SO! Some of us “ardent Johnson supporters” who were not that familiar with Gov. Weld reacted VERY strongly against his candidacy when we learned of his negative political record. Whereas, SOME of the criticism came from those who were trying to paid Johnson with the same brush.

  3. Jill Pyeatt Jill Pyeatt May 26, 2016

    Excellent research, William.

    I think it’s possible that the delegates will select someone different than Weld, if Gary is the nominee. There are many excellent vp candidates to choose from,

  4. Andy Andy May 26, 2016

    “Jill Pyeatt
    May 26, 2016 at 11:07
    Excellent research, William.

    I think it’s possible that the delegates will select someone different than Weld, if Gary is the nominee. There are many excellent vp candidates to choose from.”

    I wonder if Gary Johnson saying that he wants Weld to be his VP running mate will cause any Johnson supporters to drop him.

  5. William Saturn William Saturn May 26, 2016

    There’s even more.

    I watched the videos Andy posted on another thread.

    During his endorsement of Kasich, Weld said, concerning health care, “I’ve always been in favor of the universal mandate.”

    In the video, Weld also said he favored gay marriage, which was also his pre-2005 position, but in 2005, he said he opposed gay marriage beyond Massachusetts. http://spectator.org/48129_understanding-bill-weld/

  6. NewFederalist NewFederalist May 26, 2016

    I have voted for the Libertarian national ticket every year since 1976. The only exception was 1984 when I could NOT vote for David Bergland since he was NOT on the ballot in the state I lived in at the time and the state party was so shocked that the ballot drive failed that nobody thought to put the ticket forth as a write-in. I would have chosen Baldwin/Castle over Barr/Root in 2008 but the CP failed to make the ballot in my state of residence at that time. Bill Weld is the deal breaker for me. If the LP nominates him I vote Castle/Bradley. I admire Jill Stein but economic issues are more important to me.

  7. Root's Teeth Are Awesome Root's Teeth Are Awesome May 26, 2016

    If Bernie Sanders doesn’t get the Dem nomination (as seems likely), then perhaps the LP should nominate Sanders for president? Sanders would be very “viable,” and would certainly get more votes than Johnson.

    How about Sanders/Cruz? Or Sanders/Palin?

    C’mon, doesn’t anyone want the LP to be a serious political party, one that wins elections?

  8. William Saturn William Saturn May 27, 2016

    Somebody in Orlando should print this out and give a copy to all the delegates.

  9. paulie paulie May 28, 2016

    Somebody in Orlando should print this out and give a copy to all the delegates.

    Susan Hogarth of the Radical Caucus has my printer and box of paper in her room. I will ask her permission to give her contact info if anyone has printing requests. I believe Mr. Andrew Jacobs in the PA delegation is willing to distribute negative materials regarding Gov. Weld, as may be others. Mr. Jacobs is looking for design help with flyers along those lines if anyone would like to send him some designs. I’ll leave it up to him whether he wants to post his contact info here as well. If we get stuff to print we’ll see if Ms. Hogarth will agree to the printing, or explore other printing options on-site.

  10. paulie paulie May 28, 2016

    If Bernie Sanders doesn’t get the Dem nomination (as seems likely), then perhaps the LP should nominate Sanders for president? Sanders would be very “viable,” and would certainly get more votes than Johnson.

    How about Sanders/Cruz? Or Sanders/Palin?

    The wisdom of nominating non-libertarians as LP candidates aside, I believe it is against our bylaws to nominate candidates who are not LP members and/or have not accepted the nomination. In some states it is also illegal/impossible to place a candidate on the ballot without that candidate’s signature and request to be so placed, regardless of who nominates them.

  11. paulie paulie May 28, 2016

    I wonder if Gary Johnson saying that he wants Weld to be his VP running mate will cause any Johnson supporters to drop him.

    Yes, I have spoken to previous Johnson supporters who will no longer support Johnson thanks to the Weld choice. I have also spoken to Johnson supporters who will still vote for Johnson but will not vote for Weld regardless of Johnson’s endorsement.

  12. paulie paulie May 28, 2016

    Susan Hogarth of the Radical Caucus

    And NC

  13. Lee Welter Lee Welter June 25, 2016

    Though victim disarmament is evil, the Johnson/Weld ticket offers a FAR LESSER EVIL than the alternative candidates.

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