Gary Johnson Brings
Libertarianism To Nation
Gary Johnson speaks at Arizona State University.
Former New Mexico Governor Dismisses Long-Shot Status, Seeks To Be Allowed To Debate Front-Runners In Upcoming Debates
Supporters of Libertarian nominee for U.S. President, Gary Johnson, show their support at Arizona State University.
By John Guzzon
Modern Times Magazine
Sept. 27, 2012 — Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson — the current libertarian party nominee for U.S. President — made a stop at Arizona State University Wednesday, drawing nearly 200 supporters of his long-shot campaign for the presidency.
The stop in Arizona was part of his 40 college and university tour during the run-up to the November election.
Johnson, who competed for the republican nomination before accepting the libertarian party’s nomination earlier this summer, dismissed the notion that despite that he is only garnering about 6 percent support nationally, a vote for him is a wasted exercise.
“How many of you have heard that a vote for Gary Johnson is a wasted vote?” Johnson queried the crowd. “Wasting your vote is voting for someone you don’t believe in. We change things in this country for voting for who you believe in. I want to ask you all to ‘waste’ your vote on me. You know what happens? I am the next president of the United States.”
Yet, he acknowledges that his task will be especially tough since he is rarely mentioned on the mainstream news networks, although he is on the ballot in 47 states. He also said he believes that by election day, he will be on the ballot in all 50 states.
“I’m excited. We are polling at 6 percent. But, do you hear my name mentioned six times for every 100 times you hear Romney or Obama’s name?” Johnson said. “The way you change this country is by engaging the electorate and that is what we are doing.”
Among the differences Johnson highlighted between his positions and those of Mitt Romney and Barack Obama are that he doesn’t want to bomb Iran, wants to end the Federal Reserve system, legalize marijuana, and end the current tax system in lieu of the FairTax — a federal retail tax.
“Crony capitalism is alive and well in this country and I think instituting the FairTax would end nearly half of the lobbying jobs in Washington D.C. Those people are there to buy loopholes and most of the legislators have their hands out for them. Let’s make this a level field for all of us,” Johnson said.
Johnson was not alone on the dais Wednesday. Notable was Barry Goldwater Jr. who, although he was not expressly endorsing Johnson, shared his dislike of corporate influence on the political process.
“I’ve heard someone say that we need to make Congressmen wear uniforms,” Goldwater said. “Just like NASCAR. That way, we would know who their corporate sponsors are.”
Johnson’s campaign is still aiming to be a part of the three presidential debates with Mitt Romney and Barack Obama and that his running mate, former California Judge Jim Gray will be included in the debate with Paul Ryan and Joe Biden. The Commission on Presidential Debates, however, ruled Sept. 21 that since Johnson was not polling at least 15 percent nationally — one of the criteria the commission requires — he would not be invited. The Commission on Presidential Debates was formalized in 1987 and is a non-profit organization run by the democratic and republican parties.
The Johnson campaign has filed a lawsuit challenging that ruling. A decision is expected before the first debate Oct. 3.
The campaign has directed those who support Johnson being added to the televised debate lineup to visit http://occupythecpd.org/
Even though Johnson faces some high hurdles in his quest for the White House, former republican activist Andrea Garcia perhaps best summed up the feeling of the crowd.
“The biggest thing we can do right now is to give the two big parties the middle finger,” Garcia said.
John Guzzon is editor of Modern Times Magazine.
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