Libertarians, Listen Up: Voting for Gary Johnson Hurts Your Cause

Libertarians are a plucky bunch. You always do your own thing, regardless of its effect on the world around you. It’s one of your greatest strengths: no one can tell you what to do. Live free or die, right?

That’s why you’re voting for Gary Johnson. He stands for what you believe in. Republicans and Democrats, on the other hand, are just plain awful. Gary Johnson is the only man for you come November 6.

We all know the end of the story. Gary Johnson loses. He gets somewhere between .01% and 1.5% — if he’s lucky. Maybe he derails Romney’s campaign in some states, maybe he does the same to Obama in others. It’s even possible that he actually throws the election to one side or the other. Chaos is the spice of life.

But Gary Johnson still loses. Gary Johnson always loses. The exact margin of how much he loses by is only in question insofar as people take bets and make a drinking game out of the different possibilities. Yet at the end of the day, your vote didn’t give you what you wanted: a libertarian presidency.

There’s another option. Vote Republican. Okay, okay — you can stop laughing. But at least do me the honor of finishing this article. I always read your pieces!

What do you value? Getting government off your backs and out of your wallets. The Obama administration doesn’t exactly agree with you in either case. In fact, they only want more of your money and a bigger say in what you do and how you do it. I’m pretty sure that the growth of the unelected administrative state over the last four years and the viciousness of the Left’s anti-1% rhetoric don’t sit well with you.

Republicans hate those same things. Romney and Ryan don’t care if you’re the 1% or the 99% — it’s wrong to raise taxes on anyone. Your money is your money; the federal government already takes too damn much. And when it comes to the bureaucrats in Washington, Republicans want nothing more than to put them out of their jobs: IPAB, CFPB, and the EPA have no moral right to make our decisions for us.

You also want the ever-growing welfare state to shrink, or at least become fiscally stable. Democrats have literally no plan to accomplish that. Republicans do: Paul Ryan’s is but one of many. And despite what the Left keeps screaming, Republicans don’t want to destroy the safety net — they want to save it from itself. Eternal dependence is not humanity’s natural state.

We can even sort of agree on the social issues. The GOP’s platform ultimately calls for such issues to be decided at the state level. Abortion, gay marriage, contraceptives — these are decisions for the states to make, not some unelected bureaucrat in Washington or a majority of Supreme Court justices. Islands of good policy amidst a sea of bad ones are always a better option than a monolithic federal mandate.

I’m not making this argument out of self-interest (although as good libertarians, you would understand it and accept it if I was). I honestly believe that we can agree on a whole host of issues.

But I should be completely honest. The GOP will never take you to the libertarian utopia. Unfortunately, neither will voting libertarian. The only way to get to your ideal state is to take incremental steps. The choice is now up to you: baby steps in the right direction, or leaps and bounds in the wrong one. Third party or not, those are the only two choices you have.

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Stephen Ford

Stephen Ford is a communication director a D.C.-based government affairs firm.

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