I’m voting for Ron Paul

It has been no secret that I was backing Gary Johnson, who comes closest to what I believe on both personal and economic liberty, for the Republican nomination. As a businessman and former two-term Governor of New Mexico, Johnson has the experience necessary to govern effectively with libertarian and free market principles.

It has been no secret that Johnson has been considering running for the Libertarian Party’s nomination. On Friday, his campaign sent out an editorial from the Santa Fe New Mexican noting this and piece from Richard Viguerie’s Conservative HQ written by my friend Andrew Davis, who works for Johnson’s campaign, making the “conservative case” for Johnson to pursue a third party bid.

Johnson is rightfully bothered with how he has been treated by the Republican establishment and the media during the course of his campaign. But now that he is considering a third party bid, I will not continue to support him in the Republican primary.

I had no illusions about Johnson when I decided to back him months ago. I knew that casting my vote for him was more about making a point, rather than determining the outcome of the race. But with Ron Paul rising and Johnson seemingly moving on — and understandably so, I’d rather cast my ballot where it can be effective and still support someone that is largely in line with what I believe.

To be clear, I have absolutely no problem with Johnson leaving the Republican field to run as a Libertarian and am I certainly not a Republican partisan — I consider myself a strongly libertarian-minded independent voter when it comes to national elections these days.

This switch also isn’t based on concern of a “wasted vote.” In fact, there is a decent chance, depending on who wins the Republican nomination, that I will vote for Johnson in the general election, assuming Libertarian Party delegates give him their support. I’ve made this decision because Johnson has essentially dropped out of the Republican field, though not “officially,” by making these public flirtations with the Libertarian Party.

And while I will vote for Ron Paul on Super Tuesday (March 6th) here in Georgia, I’m not saying I don’t have some issues with him. For example, I’m not fond of the fact that he has so willingly accepted pork dollars for his district (the defense for doing so is intellectually dishonest) and his stance on free trade agreements is disappointing (the perfect is the enemy of the good). But out of the remaining candidates — excluding Johnson, Paul is who I can most indentify with on the issues, including the economy and foreign policy.

As soon as it arrives, I’ll be putting a Ron Paul bumper sticker on the back of my Jeep and, once the Christmas is over, I’ll place a sign in my yard.

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