From Libertarian National Committee Vice Chair Arvin Vohra:
“To all Sanders supporters,
“So many of you supported Senator Sanders because of his opposition to the War on Drugs. You know that ending the War on Drugs will make America safer by eliminating prohibition-related violence and allowing drug businesses to settle their disputes in court. You also consider the drug war entirely hypocritical, given the drug-use histories of Presidents Obama, Bush, and Clinton.
“Sadly, Sec. Clinton has chosen one of the largest drug-war supporters in the Democratic Party as her running mate. Tim Kaine has a history of expanding the War on Drugs, including expanding the role of state police in the War on Drugs. He has repeatedly opposed legalizing marijuana or ending the Drug War.
“If she had wanted to respond to the desires of Democratic voters, she might have chosen Sen. Sanders as her running mate.
“With Kaine, Sec. Clinton has shown that she values the status quo over political responsiveness. Choosing such a major supporter of the War on Drugs as her running mate shows she is completely oblivious to the changes the vast majority of Democratic voters want to see.
“Almost every Sanders supporter, and most Democratic voters, want to see an end to the War on Drugs.
“After all, ending the War on Drugs will eliminate the black-market profits associated with drugs, defunding violent cartels. It will allow drug businesses to settle disputes using the safeguards found in the rest of the free market, instead of resorting to violence. Drug buyers who felt shortchanged could simply call their credit-card companies or write bad reviews on Yelp, instead of shooting people.
“Police could focus on real crime, like robbery, rape, assault, and murder, instead of victimless drug ‘crimes.’ For example, the hundreds of thousands of rape kits sitting in evidence lockers could finally be analyzed, since resources would no longer be wasted on the drug war.
“Families would be reunited as nonviolent drug users were set free. Other families would save hundreds of dollars a year on their taxes, and could use that for better education, charity, food, and even entertainment.
“The good news for the Democrats who want to see an end to the War on Drugs: you have another option. Gary Johnson, former governor of New Mexico, has opposed the Drug War since the 1990s. So has his running mate, Bill Weld, the former governor of Massachusetts.
“Before you vote, please take a look at Gary Johnson’s positions and track record. And if you support him, please endorse him and vote for him.
“Libertarian National Committee”
There is also what Arvin points out, that unlike Jill Stein, Gary Johnson and Bill Weld each have a track record of speaking out on the Drug War as established politicians in office. While they clearly could and should have said and done more, they do have some credibility on the issue for having gone further than their elected peers. Advocating for real reform as a candidate is good, but demonstrating a willingness to speak out for it while actually holding office is rarer.
RTAA – Perhaps the main argument for people who think all of Bernie Sanders’ policies are great to vote for Gary Johnson over Jill Stein would be uniting in solidarity behind the alternative candidate who’s got the most chance of winning. Not a great argument in my opinion, but maybe persuasive as a middle-ground option to those who can’t stomach voting Democrat but aren’t ready to completely abandon practical considerations to strictly vote their conscience with no regard for the outcome.
Of course, there are probably some Sanders supporters who didn’t think his economic proposals were all that great, but just couldn’t stand the corrupt, hawkish, establishment Clinton, or are single-issue voters for peace, for ending the Drug War, for reining in government surveillance, etc. Those Sanders backers might find Gary Johnson not only a more practical, but an equal or even more conscientious choice than the Green Party nominee.
Bill Dodge: Stein will not be on the ballot in all states, while Johnson will, so many people won’t have the option to choose Stein,
Stein expects to be on the ballot in 47 states. According to Politico.com: That’s not bluster. Ballot Access News publisher Richard Winger told Politico Magazine in an email he expects Stein to reach 47 as well. If so, Stein would break the ballot access record for the Green Party, topping the Ralph Nader 2000 effort by four states.
So that’s almost up there with Johnson.
“why wouldn’t a Bernie supporter prefer to lose with someone they support on all issues), as opposed to only some issues?”
-Because not all Sanders supporters were with him for the social programs. Many were on board simply because it was opposition to the mainstream. Many were there just for, say, gay marriage and legal pot. Or ending the wars, government surveillance, etc. For them, the social programs were a non-issue. These are the people who would find themselves in good company at a Gary Johnson event. Also there is the fact that Stein will not be on the ballot in all states, while Johnson will, so many people won’t have the option to choose Stein, in which case, for many of them, they can pick the next-closest candidate – Johnson.
Does the LP have a talking point as to why a Bernie supporter should support Gary Johnson over Jill Stein?
Johnson might make a bigger splash than Stein, but it’ll still be a small splash compared to Trump or Clinton. Neither Johnson or Stein will come anywhere close to winning.
Because they’re both fated to lose, why wouldn’t a Bernie supporter prefer to lose with someone they support on all issues (i.e., Stein), as opposed to only some issues (i.e., Johnson)?
Contemplate facebook page and ads. You do not have to reach everyone. You just have to reach enough people to get the word out.
Was this sent out to some data base of Sanders supporters or what? I’m always curious how various proclamations, etc. are dispersed to the target audience and if they are effective in actually reaching the targets.
Excellent outreach by Arvin Vohra.
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