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.
In the latest video from Learn Liberty, Professor James Otteson defends capitalism against a frequent criticism, that a free society will destroy community and turn neighbors into competitors against each other.
Otteson admits that the charge is true, but only to a point as neighbors may compete against each other, but are also reliant on each other as well because their individual success depends cooperation:
In my house, Barry Manilow is a punchline. What can I say, I’m not a fan of his stuff. I often quip about how unjust life is that we lost Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, and Jimi Hendrix, but Barry Manilow is still making music. However, comments he made to the Daily Caller have just boosted the man out of the punchline category…at least if it comes to politics.
Grammy award-winning musician Barry Manilow told The Daily Caller that he agrees with “just about everything” 2012 Republican presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul says, calling him a “solid” contender for the highest office in the land.
“I like him. I like what he says, I do. I like what he says. I think he’s solid,” said Manilow, who confirmed to TheDC in an interview at the Capitol on Thursday that he contributed to Paul’s last campaign for president.
“I agree with just about everything he says. What can I tell you?” Manilow added.
I’ve commented previously about how someone like Ron Paul actually reaches across the typical right/left boundaries. Granted, we don’t really know what Manilow’s political preferences are at the moment, but since he was in Washington to talk about increasing spending on medical research, I think it’s safe to say that Manilow isn’t a libertarian.
Nick Gillespie and Matt Welch, authors of The Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What’s Wrong with America, recently chatted with Glenn Reynolds on InstaVision to discuss their book and how decentralization and deregulation will leave us better off:
Over at Reason, John Stossel chats with Thaddeus Russell, author of A Renegade History of the United States about our collective lack of knowledge about history and the benefits of living in a free society hurts us:
What liberates oppressed people? I was taught it’s often American power. Just the threat of our military buildup defeated the Soviet Union, and our troops in the Middle East will create islands of freedom.
Unlikely, says historian Thaddeus Russell, author of A Renegade History of the United States.
“As a matter of fact,” Russell told me, “in general American military intervention has increased anti-Americanism and hardened repressive regimes. On the other hand, American popular culture—what was often called the worst of our culture in many cases—has actually done more for liberation and our national security than anything that the 82nd Airborne could do.”
I told him that I thought that the Soviet Union collapsed because the Soviets spent so much trying to keep pace with Ronald Reagan’s military buildup
On the contrary, Russell said, “it collapsed from within. … People simply walked away from the ideology of communism. And that began especially when American popular culture—jazz and rock and roll—began infiltrating those countries after World War II.”
People want choices, and you can’t indoctrinate that out of them.
Which leads me to the most destructive myth about history: the idea that if we are to prosper, government must make smart plans for us. I was taught that in college, and despite the failure of the Soviet Union, many government leaders still believe it.
The United States of America is supposed to be a beacon of freedom. As such, foreign policy debate often serves as a platform regarding the use of force, supposedly to make another nation free. Such was the thought processes many used to justify going into Iraq. The same is true of activity in Libya. However, why are we so generally uneven with our use of force?
Prior to going into Iraq, I heard a number of people say that we must remove Saddam from power, that he was a threat and therefore the loss of American lives was justified. So, understanding that this nation must defend itself, I asked why are we not looking at North Korea? After all, Kim Jung Il has nuclear weapons and isn’t exactly what one would call “mentally stable”. That’s far worse than the chemical weapons Saddam allegedly had (and, for the record, I believed they were there too). I was told that fighting North Korea would be to costly in terms of causalities. Really? So causalities is justified for one instance but not another? Interesting.
Fast forward to today. Syria and Libya are both in the midst of revolution. Libya’s started as a peaceful movement, like so many throughout the Middle East this year…including Syria. It turned violent, and the United States began flying missions in support of the new revolutionaries. Meanwhile, in Syria, the violence from the government has escalated with no mention of military intervention. It’s not like we don’t already have assets in the region.