"I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy." John Adams (1780)

Monday, October 17, 2016

Constitutionalists/Fiscal Conservatives: Dump Trump; Vote Johnson!

If you believe in limited government and strict constitutionalism, as I do, voting for statist poster child Hillary Clinton is probably a nonstarter. But you've heard the Republican Party mouth some pretty words about those principles in the past, so you might feel that voting for their candidate Donald Trump is your only option. I hope you don't and I hope you'll consider voting for the Libertarian Party candidate, Governor Gary Johnson, instead. (No, it's not wasting your vote, I'll explain why in a minute.) First, why shouldn't you vote for Trump?

Our $19+ trillion nation debt is killing us with higher costs of living, slower wage growth, reduced fiscal flexibility, interest payments eating up more and more of the federal budget, and is a ticking time bomb. Trump (like Hillary) would only make it worse. When Clinton proposed $275 billion in new federal infrastructure spending, Trump said he would double those spending hikes (outbidding his own previous proposal). A recent analysis said that Trump's tax plan would jack the national debt up another $7.2 trillion over 10 years. Fiscal conservatism?

And how does Trump view the Constitution? Last December he vowed that, if elected, he would sign an executive order mandating the death penalty for cop killers. Killing a police officer is terrible, to be sure; but that doesn't give the executive branch authority to create brand new capital crimes out of whole cloth. Many of us decried Obama's use of his “pen and phone” to try to circumvent the Constitutional legislative process. Trump would make Obama look like a piker.

Even though most of Trump's ideas involve gorilla-stomping all over the Constitution, constitutionalists are told they MUST vote for Trump because he says he'll nominate originalist judges who will defend the Constitution. It seems counter-intuitive to me that Trump would nominate judges that would thwart his own agenda at every turn. It seems more likely he will merely lead the party (and the country) further from its Constitutional moorings.

Someone who knows plenty about the federal courts and the Constitution is Alan Gura. He is the litigator who led America's gun owners to victory in two landmark Second Amendment cases before the United States Supreme Court: DC v. Heller and McDonald v. Chicago. Here is what Gura thinks about supporting Trump because of his potential Supreme Court nominees:

I have no illusions about what Hillary would do to the federal bench. Sad! But there is something deeply contradictory about the notion of electing a power-hungry strongman on the theory that he'll appoint judges that respect and enforce constitutional limits on government. Did Hugo Chavez appoint great judges? Did Putin, Mussolini, or Erdogan? Would it have mattered had they sort-of kinda suggested that they would?

As much as I care about the courts, worrying about jurisprudential doctrine is a luxury for people living under basically free and stable governments, for people who have access to food and toilet paper. And absolutely nothing in Trump's history suggests that he'd honor his proposed judge list or otherwise pick decent judges, while each of his proclamations indicates that the Supreme Court would be among the least of our concerns under his regime. True, the Trump gamble—that he'd be a figurehead who'd delegate authority to responsible people, or be resisted by the bureaucracy and media (or, laughably, by that stiffest-spined creature, the Republican Congress), while hewing to a judicial selection principle anathema to his personal brand—might pay off. Should Trump win, I'd at least delight in Hillary's loss, and fervently hope that he'd prove me wrong on every count. But I wouldn't bet my country on it.”

What about Governor Gary Johnson? He was a successful entrepreneur who became a two-term Republican governor of heavily Democrat New Mexico. During his time in office he vetoed over 750 bills, cut taxes 14 times (and never raised them), balanced the budget and left the state with a billion-dollar surplus. His VP candidate, Bill Weld, was also a two-term Republican governor in a blue state (Massachusetts). According to the Cato Institute: “Weld cut spending, balanced the budget, improved the state’s bond rating, and cut numerous taxes. Even with a Democratic legislature, Weld has a stunningly successful fiscal record.” Now as Libertarians, the Johnson/Weld Team would bring those same small government principles to DC. Johnson has said one of his first priorities would be submitting a balanced budget to Congress.

So fiscal conservatives and other advocates of limited government could certainly support Gary Johnson. But since it's nigh on impossible for a third-party candidate to win, isn't that wasting your vote? I don't think voting your conscience should ever be considered a “waste.” If you need more though, how about this: If we can help Governor Johnson get 2% of the vote here in Iowa then the Libertarian Party will become officially recognized as a “major party” by the state. That means Libertarian candidates would no longer have to waste time and resources gathering signatures in each race just to get on the ballot. If we can help Governor Johnson get 5% nationally, the party would get similar recognition from the federal government. This all would mean a more active and competitive third-party in future elections.

As we know from the private market, competition is a good thing. With a little competition from a stronger third-party maybe the two old broke down parties might have to run candidates for high office that people WANT to vote for, rather than candidates they HAVE TO vote for. But that will never happen as long as they can reliably harvest your vote no matter how God-awful their candidates are. Vote for a change: vote Gary Johnson for president.

Friday, July 29, 2016

My Pitch For Gary Johnson

I sent this in to my hometown newspaper. It's a bit of an introduction to Gary Johnson and Bill Weld for independent voters who aren't already devoted Trumpists or Clintonistas.

The two-party duopoly has conditioned us Americans to “hold our nose and vote.” However, the candidates that the two entrenched parties have now given us for president may require that we hold both our nose AND our stomach simultaneously, making it difficult to vote at all. They are essentially a crooked politician and a con man. “The Weekly Standard” writer Stephen Hayes calls it a choice between “a congenital liar who jeopardized national security in service of her own ambition” and “an unstable conspiracy theorist.” No wonder Americans of all political stripes are fed up.

Thankfully there is another choice: Libertarian Party candidate Governor Gary Johnson. His running mate is Governor Bill Weld. The Johnson/Weld team describe themselves as “fiscally conservative” and “socially tolerant.” “We want the government out of your pocketbook and out of your bedroom,” Weld summed up on CNN's Libertarian town hall. The “Wall Street Journal” calls the Johnson/Weld ticket an “honorable alternative” to the Trump/Clinton sleaze-fest.

Gary Johnson served two successful terms as governor of New Mexico, vetoing more bills than all other governors combined, lowering taxes and leaving his state with a balanced budget. Weld served two terms as governor of Massachusetts, being reelected by the largest margin in state history.

Can a third-party candidate win the presidency? The two establishment parties have certainly made it difficult, but as the old song goes, “the times they are a-changin'!” Even if Johnson doesn't win remember this: Every vote for Trump or Clinton is a pat on the back of the Republican or Democrat Party saying, “Keep up the good work you're doing in Washington.” Do they deserve that? Each vote for Gary Johnson is a warning shot fired across the bow of the political establishment, telling them to get their act together.

If you want another choice in this year's election, check out Governor Gary Johnson and Governor Bill Weld and their stance on the issues at JohnsonWeld.com.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Forbes Article: "Economic Forecast For A Libertarian President"

I'm amazed at the amount of mainstream press that Libertarian presidential candidates Governors Gary Johnson and William Weld are garnering. Here's a great recent example from Forbes which tries to predict the economic impact of a Gary Johnson administration: "Economic Forecast For A Libertarian President."

A few highlights:
  • You can read the whole article here."In the long run, the economy will be better off with market-oriented reforms. [...] But getting from here to there depends on how the public perceives the new president."
  • "Foreign military activity would certainly be reduced by a Libertarian president, making those defense cuts easier. But Congressional loyalty to military bases and defense contractors in their districts and states will prevent cuts from going too deep."
  • "A President Gary Johnson would veto quite often. He used this power 200 times in his first six months as governor of New Mexico, earning the nickname 'Governor Veto.'"
  • "Federal spending would fall under a Libertarian administration, but the president must spend appropriated money whether he wants to or not[.]"
You can read the whole article here.

Post Topics

10 Questions with... abortion ACLU alcohol Alzheimer's Ames Straw Poll armed self defense assault weapons ban Audit the Fed Austin Petersen Barack Obama Ben Lange Beth Cody Between Two Rivers Bill Weld Bob Barr Bob Cashner books Bruce Braley Bruce Hunter Candidates Carl Olsen Cedar Rapids Gazette charity Chet Culver Christopher Peters Clel Baudler communism Confederate Flag Constitution Constitutional Convention Corey D. Roberts Crime Cristina Kinsella Dan Muhlbauer debt Declaration of Independence Democrat Party disasters Donald Trump drones drugs economy education elections Eric Cooper events Facebook Fast and Furious First Amendment food freedom foreign policy free markets freedom Gary Johnson gay marriage Glenn Beck gold gun control Gun Owners of America guns health care history Honey Creek Resort Iowa Iowa Caucus Iowa City Iowa Firearms Coalition Iowa First District Iowa Freedom Report Iowa Gun Owners Iowa Right To Life Jake Porter Joe Bolkom John Boehner John McAfee John McCain Judge Napolitano Keith Laube Lake Delhi law Lee Heib Lee Hein liberals Libertarian Party libertarianism marijuana Me media medical marijuana memes Memory Walk Michele Bachmann military Mom Nate Newsome Nick Taiber NRA NSA Obamacare police policy politics President Obama primaries privacy property rights Rand Paul religion Republican Party resistance Rick Santorum right to carry Rob Petsche Rod Blum Roger Fritz Ron Paul Rush Limbaugh Ryan Flood Sandy Hook Massacre Sarah Palin Second Amendment smoking Social Security spending Star Wars State Defense Forces Steve King Steven Lukan taxes Tea Party Movement Tenth Amendment terrorism Terry Branstad Tom Harkin traffic cams TSA TV/Movies war Wayne Jerman weapons Will Johnson Yuri N. Maltsev Zach Wahls