published Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

Gary Johnson for president

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    Gary Johnson, 2012 Libertarian Party presidential candidate

For more than 80 years, the Free Press editorial page has been a voice for free market economic philosophies, personal responsibility and limited, responsible government. Endorsing the presidential candidate who most thoroughly represents those values has been an important function of the Free Press editorial page for nearly as long.

For most of those election cycles, we have endorsed Republican candidates for president. The GOP candidate, even when flawed, generally provided the best platform for ensuring that the United States remained on a path of limited, constitutional government and free market economic policies.

This election, however, the Republican Party nominee has failed to demonstrate a consistent commitment to conservative principles. As a result of his failure to provide clear methods for reducing the size and scope of the federal government, unwillingness to address structural flaws with entitlement programs, reliance on government to intervene in issues best left to families and individuals, and sporadic support of the Constitution and America's founding principles, Mitt Romney is too flawed to earn the Free Press' endorsement.

Romney may be less eager to tax, spend, attack personal freedoms and disregard the constitutional limits on government than his Democratic opponent, President Barack Obama, but only slightly.

To the extent that Romney offers an alternative to Obama, the difference is in degree, not in kind.

As a result, the Free Press editorial page endorses Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson for President of the United States.

Johnson, a former two-term governor of New Mexico, has more administrative experience than Romney, who served just a single term as Massachusetts governor.

While serving as governor, Johnson slashed New Mexico's gas tax, fought to reduce the state's income tax and championed school choice. Romney, on the other hand, implemented a myriad of new fees on Massachusetts taxpayers and famously enacted a compulsory health insurance scheme which became the framework for Obamacare.

Unlike Obama, Johnson understands that government spending, unsustainable bailouts and stimulus schemes only lead to more unemployment, a higher national debt, a weakened dollar and a less stable economy.

Johnson's platform includes presenting a balanced budget to Congress every year he's in office, completely overhauling America's ridiculous federal tax structure, and fundamentally restructuring entitlement programs to allow Americans more choice in health care and a greater opportunity to retire with dignity.

The former small business owner pledges to work to overturn Obamacare and encourage health care coverage through the free market by removing the arbitrary limits that inhibit competition among health insurers and prevent customers from receiving the best available health insurance plans and rates.

Johnson also seeks to limit military intervention abroad and overturn the restrictions on liberties at home that were created as a result of the overreaction to 9/11 and America's bungled War on Terror.

The threads that bind Johnson's policy platform are the beliefs that markets work better than governments and that people are more suitable and equipped than elected officials and bureaucrats to make the decisions that impact their lives and the lives of their family. As a result, Johnson promotes entrepreneurship and privatization, allowing parents the opportunity to choose which school their children attend and minimizing the amount of hard-earned dollars the federal government takes from taxpayers.

Some may argue that voting for a minor party candidate is a waste of a vote. While Johnson won't win on Nov. 6, the more votes Johnson receives, the more the Republican and Democratic parties are forced to consider adopting his policies. Voting for Johnson is the most effective way to inject the ideas of liberty and limited government into the political mainstream.

Others claim that it is wise to vote for the lesser of two evils. The problem with that, however, is that voting for evil only leads to more evil. A vote is an affirmation that a candidate is on the right track, but Barack Obama and Mitt Romney clearly aren't when it comes to limiting government, promoting individual liberty and protecting free market economic principles. Voting for bad policies and unprincipled people will only ensure that parties will give voters more of the same bad choices in the future.

With the founding principles and the economic future of our nation at stake, Gary Johnson offers the best plan to restore the values of limited government, personal freedom and free markets that made America the greatest country in the world.

Comments do not represent the opinions of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, nor does it review every comment. Profanities, slurs and libelous remarks are prohibited. For more information you can view our Terms & Conditions and/or Ethics policy.
ToHoldNothing said...

I fully support this and am writing something similar, with obvious limitations, since it's a letter to the editor. I felt you could've covered how his stances on marijuana legalization, abortion and gay marriage are still compatible with conservative values, but you still gave a very compelling argument even without it.

October 24, 2012 at 12:55 a.m.
chrisbrooks said...

Good for you!

I think this sets a courageous precedent for others to step out, speak up and not settle for the lesser of two evils. An editorial decision like this can really begin to broaden and deepen the discussion about what principles and values are important to us, what meaningful policy differences should matter, and bring into sharp focus just how limited, superficial, and short-sighted our political discourse really has been in this country, state and city.

October 24, 2012 at 1:15 a.m.
AndrewLohr said...

Those of us who see that the murder of little babies is evil and that fornication is sin, but otherwise agree with Gov Johnson and the Free Press here, can vote for Virgil Goode of the Constitution Party; with due respect for those who decide to compromise on Gov Romney.

October 24, 2012 at 6:03 a.m.
dfclapp said...

The editor and his fans claim that he is endorsing a better solution than the Republican party, rejecting the lesser of two evils for a better answer. There is a very good reason Gary Johnson is a fringe candidate, however, and why the Free Press editor is being completely irresponsible, from my perspective (taken from his identified positions on important issues):

• Don't require insurers to provide birth control. (May 2012)

• No federal funding for stem cell research. (Jan 2012)

• No bank bailout; no farm subsidies; no stimulus. (May 2012)

• Opposed TARP, stimulus & Fannie Mae bailout. (Jul 2011)

• Lower the tax burden; eliminate corporate tax. (May 2011)

• Abolish Departments of Education and HUD. (Aug 2011)

• Voluntary partnerships reduce greenhouse gases economically. (Aug 2000)

• ObamaCare is unconstitutional; so is Bush's Medicare Rx plan. (Aug 2011)

• Cut Medicare/Medicaid by 43%, as part of $1.675 trillion cut. (May 2011)

• 43% reduction in military spending; cut foreign aid too. (Sep 2011)

• Get rid of income tax and capital-gains tax. (Feb 2012)

• Cut all support and aid to Israel. (May 2012)

• No military threat from Iraq, Afghanistan, nor Libya. (Aug 2011)

• Iran is not currently a military threat. (Aug 2011)

October 24, 2012 at 6:49 a.m.
gwbled said...

Bravo! Great choice!

October 24, 2012 at 7:24 a.m.
aae1049 said...

Send CPR team to GOP HQ, hehe.

Dfclapp, "fringe" is a term used to describe any group that disagrees or challenges the power structure in this town. In this case fringe has the ink, and you guys cannot stand it.

October 24, 2012 at 8:02 a.m.
ldurham said...

First off, congrats on being a voice for conservative principles for more than 80 years. Seeing as how Ye Olde Free Press was established only 76 years ago, that's a hell of an achievement!

By the way, the Drew Johnson 2012 "Please, Please, Look at Me" tour continues today at Miller Plaza at noon. He will be doing cartwheels, handstands and riding a unicycle as he continues his desperate attempts to get attention.

October 24, 2012 at 8:33 a.m.
MountainJoe said...

dfclapp, sounds like a laundry list of reasons to vote FOR Gary Johnson!

October 24, 2012 at 8:46 a.m.
JavaMan said...
<p> list is exactly why I'm voting for Gary Johnson.

October 24, 2012 at 9:25 a.m.
conservative said...

The Libertarian party is on the fringe simply because their positions offend both mainstream parties.

The Demoncrats will never accept the almost total elimination of government as we know it today and the Republicans although more Liberal then ever before will not go along with many of the more Liberal social positions that Libertarians have in common with Demoncrats.

October 24, 2012 at 10:30 a.m.
hotdiggity said...

So the FP supports Mr. Johnson because "This election, however, the Republican Party nominee has failed to demonstrate a consistent commitment to conservative principles."

I assume the FP realizes that the Libertarian Party (LP) supports the legalization of cannabis, separation of church and state, same-sex marriage, the legalization of prostitution, pornography, etc.

Is this the new "conservative principles"?

Kinda strange the Free Press neglected to include this part of the LP platform. It seems a disservice to the readers to neglect to note that one of the highlights of the party is personal choice without government interference. The issues listed above reflect that philosophy. The Free Press should be honest enough to address the full party platform if they choose to endorse a particular party, especially if they hint that their endorsement is based on "conservative principles".

I have no problem with the above issues. I assume the FPand the posters here that support Mr. Johnson have no problem with the platform either. Right?

October 24, 2012 at 10:39 a.m.
daytonsdarwin said...

hotdiggity wrote: "I assume the FP realizes that the Libertarian Party (LP) supports the legalization of cannabis, separation of church and state, same-sex marriage, the legalization of prostitution, pornography, etc."

Sounds like good sense to me. Congratulations Drew, on not following neo-con Republican party lines.

Richard Mourdock and Todd Akin of the neo-con religious whack-jobs in the Republican party must be stopped.

October 24, 2012 at 11:01 a.m.
LibertyBelle said...

Hotdiggity - Gary Johnson is right on his stances on these issues. REAL freedom is the ability for you to do things that other people do not like, and for others to do things that you don't like. As long as no one violates the natural rights of another, the government has no place being involved.

Someone engaging in prostitution or smoking cannabis does not infringe on your natural rights. Do not forget that whenever you attempt to use the force that is government to prevent someone from doing something that you don't like, eventually someone will tryto use that same government force on you to stop you from doing something that they don't like.

In this country it is long overdue for each of us to accept the fact that you are not my property and I am not your property. As long as neither of us violates the natural rights of others, then we should leave one another in peace.

As Patrick Henry said, "He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself."

October 24, 2012 at 11:50 a.m.
curtis07 said...

@hotdiggity: I suppose it depends on your idea of what the word "conservative" refers to. In my opinion, it refers to a conservative interpretation of the Constitution. We hold liberty to be the primary goal of the Constitution and its amendments. It refers to a small government. I believe the Libertarian party best fits the term "conservative".

October 24, 2012 at 12:41 p.m.
dao1980 said...

no.... vote for Richard Dean Anderson!

October 24, 2012 at 12:52 p.m.
hotdiggity said...

daytonsdarwin and LibertyBelle...You will get no argument from me on the issues I listed. It is the part of the Libertarian's agenda I support. I have huge problems with other parts of their platform.

October 24, 2012 at 1:13 p.m.
ktylerg said...

I am encouraged by this! Thank you for standing up for your values. I don't think many party loyal Republicans realize just how liberal Romney is. Since they are both practically the same person (Obama and Romney), this election is about sending a statement to the GOP that we won't tolerate those who are fiscal liberals. Obama and Romney agree (or have agreed at some point recently) on:

  • war/drone strikes
  • the socialization of big business (bailouts)
  • socialized healthcare
  • military spending
  • the Patriot Act
  • propping up big banks and big businesses
  • abortion
  • gun control
  • fiscal irresponsibility

I won't vote for either. Thanks again TFP for this great article!

October 24, 2012 at 1:25 p.m.
hotdiggity said...

"@hotdiggity: I suppose it depends on your idea of what the word "conservative" refers to. In my opinion, it refers to a conservative interpretation of the Constitution."

All due respect but that sounds like the Constitution Party platform. Also, unless I have been asleep the last few decades I have never seen the term "conservative" or "conservative principles" linked to supporting the legalization of cannabis, separation of church and state, same-sex marriage, the legalization of prostitution, pornography, etc. Just saying.

It seems disingenuous of the Free Press not to mention these issues of the Libertarian Party while claiming support based on "conservative principles". The core platform of the party is based on individual chose, personal freedom, and responsibility. Sad that the FP decided to ignore the social issues supported by the Libertarian Party.

Perhaps they ignored those issues because they are well aware that those issues do not fit the traditional interpretation of "conservative principles"?

October 24, 2012 at 1:44 p.m.
jadedfate said...

@hotdiggity: You obviously don't know the difference between Libertarian party and Constitution Party. The Constitution Party is against same sex marriage and other actual freedoms. Why shouldn't people be allowed to marry who they want? How does that hurt you? We are founded on the principles of freedom from all, and Freedom of religion, and that means from it as well. As far as "Traditional" conservative values...well, you obviously don't know much there either. Barry Goldwater was very much against the Religious Right taking over the Republican Party. It's from the Religious Right that you get these so called conservative principles.

Libertarians want as much personal freedom from Government as outlined by the Constitution. The legalization of Marijuana, which has nowhere near the negative effects that other legalized drugs do, alcohol for instance, should happen. We spend fortunes on combating something that is no more harmful than anything else we do allow. We believe that people are responsible for their own actions and as long as they aren't infringing on someone else's rights to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness, what business is it of yours to dictate what they should and shouldn't do.
There's nothing in the Constitution about Marriage and who can and should be allowed to get married. There is an Amendment about equal protection under the Law though.

So, the question is, do you respect the freedom and rights of others to live how they want, or should people be dictated to based off of your personal religious beliefs? If you believe the latter, then you don't believe in the principles this country was founded on. Many of our Founders were Deists and did not believe in the divinity of Jesus. Educate yourself on history and the beliefs of our founders.
We should be Free to do as we wish with whomever we wish, so long as it doesn't infringe on the Liberty of others. That's what Libertarian is. Freedom, plain and simple.

October 24, 2012 at 2:01 p.m.
MountainJoe said...

Conservatives are, or should be, people who want the Constitution to be followed. If the Constitution doesn't give the government power to do something, conservatives say government shouldn't do it.

It took a Constitutional amendment (the 18th) to give government the power to outlaw alcohol, and another amendment (the 21st) to make alcohol legal again. Can someone point me to the part of the Constitution that allows any other substance to be banned? If not, then Congress has no business banning marijuana or any other substance.

Likewise, absent authority from the Constitution on the definition of marriage, Congress has no business legislating that, either. Johnson is right on these issues and lots more.

October 24, 2012 at 2:36 p.m.
SKuta said...

Gary Johnson IS the right direction!!! LET FREEDOM RING!!! Anybody see the third-party debate? V O T E on FreeandEqual for top 2 candidates, who will debate again Oct. 30th (9-10:30 pm ET.)

October 24, 2012 at 3:01 p.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

Bravo Free Press!!! Gary Johnson is the best candidate in the field this election. I agree with all of my heart that voting for the lesser of two evils only gets more evil. We can no longer accept unprincipled leadership. We can no longer accept a government that routinely lies and deceives us. We can no longer accept government that is incapable of managing its fiscal affairs. Maybe there is some hope.

October 24, 2012 at 5:24 p.m.
Walden said...

Go ahead dummies. Vote for this guy. I hope to God he doesn't "Perot" Romney. Drew - please go somewhere else to spew your crud.

October 24, 2012 at 7:39 p.m.
daytonsdarwin said...

Walden is longing for those glory days of GW Bush. After all, what's a few wars, recession, bailouts, and government suppression of freedom when you've got neo-cons, Gawd, and military war-hawks to goosestep with?

October 24, 2012 at 8:03 p.m.
hotdiggity said...

jadedfate-Perhaps you should go back and read my post at 1:13 p.m. And while you are at it, reread my post that you blasted. My reference to the Constitution party was in response to curtis07 at 12:41 p.m. Follow the thread and you would have saved yourself a lot of typing. Here let me make it easy for you since you appear to be too lazy to follow the entire thread.

In response to my listing that Libertarians supported "the legalization of cannabis, separation of church and state, same-sex marriage, the legalization of prostitution, pornography, etc." I stated at 1:13 p.m "You will get no argument from me on the issues I listed. It is the part of the Libertarian's agenda I support. I have huge problems with other parts of their platform."

Get it?? I support those issues. Follow the thread instead of making baseless accusations. Oh, and by the way, save your breath about religion, I'm an atheist.

October 24, 2012 at 8:27 p.m.
dtsDadof6 said...

Is this a joke? I would like to know who authored this piece and who has hijacked the editorial department of the TFP. This is a very foolish endorsement as it has no connection with reality. Obama or Romney will be elected and the TFP chooses to stand on some kind of principle. Romney has promised to appoint Justices who are in favor of overturning Roe. Obama voted twice to allow infanticide in cases of botched abortions. A vote for Johnson conceivably could allow the latter to be codified. Could your principles allow you to live with that?

October 24, 2012 at 8:33 p.m.
daytonsdarwin said...

dtsdadof6 wrote: "Obama or Romney will be elected and the TFP chooses to stand on some kind of principle."

Imagine that! Drew Johnson stands on principles while dtsdadof6 thinks he can choose reproductive rights for everyone else. Another whacko-jacko that has pervaded, perverted, and claimed the republican party as Gawd's soldiers-in-arms to establish Christian theocracy in America (and Iraq, Afghanistan, and waiting for a chance in Syria and Iran).

October 24, 2012 at 9:16 p.m.
rosebud said...

Gary Johnson...Gary Johnson...nope, doesn't ring a bell. Oh there's his picture. Oh yeah, that guy? I think he's the assistant manager at Bi-Lo. OK, sure. I guess he'd make a good president. Let's see if enough of us take Drew's brilliant advice, and vote for Gary instead of Romney...that will ensure Obama's re-election. Good strategy Drew, you're smarter than anyone thought.

October 24, 2012 at 9:40 p.m.
daytonsdarwin said...

Ah, the voice of rosebud, another shill of the neo-cons, corporatists, and military interventionists that worry about tiny embryos while supporting the bombing of living civilians the world over.

October 24, 2012 at 10:02 p.m.
fairmon said...

Unlike Obama, Johnson understands that government spending, unsustainable bailouts and stimulus schemes only lead to more unemployment, a higher national debt, a weakened dollar and a less stable economy.

hotdiggity said...

I assume the FP realizes that the Libertarian Party (LP) supports the legalization of cannabis, separation of church and state, same-sex marriage, the legalization of prostitution, pornography, etc.

I don't interpret not intervening or having a law against something as supporting it. There is nothing to stop the state from passing legislation on those issues withtout the federal government dictating what the states should do unless there is a violation of the constitution. Those moral issues could be regulated and taxed at the local and state level.

October 25, 2012 at 12:21 a.m.
Autarch said...

Since the election is not going to be decided by one vote, voting for "the lesser of evils" is a wasted vote -- it won't change policy. What WILL change policy is Democratic and Republican Party leadership realizing they're losing votes to Libertarians.

Mark Read Pickens

October 25, 2012 at 5:57 a.m.
majesticben said...

Although it's obvious that Gary Johnson won't win the Presidential election (this time), it is important to note that voting for him will help the Libertarian Party reach the threshold set by the Federal Election Campaign Act that would enable the party's nominee to a grant of around $90M for the 2016 election.

All that's needed is for Gary Johnson to get at least 5% of the popular vote this year, and then the Libertarians would be well on their way to having the financial means to compete near the same level as the Republican and Democrat nominees, each of whom have spent around $700M each this election.

Helping introduce a third major party into America's political system is FAR from a wasted vote.

October 25, 2012 at 8:47 a.m.
SemperFi said...

WTF? All I can say about this endorsement is, it certainly helps Obama get re-elected -- so I guess this is a by-proxy endorsement of Obama. "What Thick Fool" came up with this one?

October 25, 2012 at 12:30 p.m.
timbo said...

Walden.....Why don't you go somewhere else and "spew" your crud too? Crud is in the eye of the beholder. I guess he needs to be a good little conservative and shut up and write the Republicans a check. All you want is our money and vote, not our opinion.

First of all, Drew Johnson is 1000 times better than Lee "I never saw a power structure person I didn't like" Anderson. He was a fake conservative who never supported local conservatives in local elections. Good Riddance.

Also, Romney is Obama-lite. I have little doubt that he will work with the other side and we will end up with a hefty tax increase. I like Romney's business background but philosophically he is pretty far left as far as Republicans go.

It is sad that the Republican nominee's best attribute is that he is at least not Obama.

If we don't vote for third party candidates at some point we will be stuck with the sorry two parties.

Even saying all this and understanding where Drew is coming from, I despise Obama so much that I am still not sure how I will go.

October 25, 2012 at 2:49 p.m.
dannyboy said...

Horay for you article on Gary Johnson, although you stole my thunder. In the absence of any articles or letters on Gary Johnson I sent a letter to the editor on Sunday Oct. 21 just to present a voice for him in this area and perhaps break the ice. Folks at the TFP, did you ever break the ice.

I am sure you know this but Gary Johnson is a Republican who has been slighted by his party. He was drafted as the Libertarian candidate and is presented on the ballot as an Independent.

The TFP is a far better publication for venturing out into the hostile environment that surrounds "other" candidates for elected office. Thank you for your vision and courage,

October 25, 2012 at 7:21 p.m.

dtsDadof6, tell me, why do you think you can misrepresent Obama's votes?

He voted against laws he didn't feel were necessary, but his votes were not in support of infanticide, despite your representations of such.

Why do you think such false witness won't be challenged?

October 27, 2012 at 12:02 p.m.
harrybrowne said...

"Since the election is not going to be decided by one vote, voting for "the lesser of evils" is a wasted vote -- it won't change policy"

Yeah, I remember when Jesse Ventura ran for governor in Minnesota. So many people wasted their votes on him that he ended up getting elected.

November 6, 2012 at 1:30 a.m.
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