If you had said two years ago that Hillary Clinton would struggle to get the Democratic nomination to an avowed socialist, an avowed Clinton supporter and birther billionaire would be the Republican nominee, and a candidate that had previously peaked at less than two percent of popular vote in 2012 would be seen as a credible long shot to take states in the general election, everyone would have looked at you as though you were insane, yet here we are on Sept. 9 with all of these events coming to pass. It is clear that perhaps the old paradigms are wrong, and as a result new possibilities need to be explored, enter Governor Gary Johnson and the Libertarian Party.
Who are the Libertarians: Libertarians are conventionally seen a political group based on the teachings of major 20th century economists, traditional political philosophers and believe that fundamentally the government should be as limited as possible, while still providing the basic framework required for society.
On an economic standpoint this means they argue for the replacement of income tax with consumption based taxes, a general decrease in regulations to allow business to run as they see fit and are strictly against anything that could be interpreted as corporate welfare such as big oil subsidies, or special exemptions given by the government to prop up wealthy business which then use this money to buy more favors from politicians.
On social welfare, this year our candidate believes in rather than Medicare, Medicaid, Food Stamps, etc., instead delegating all of the funding in these programs back down to the state’s to determine best practices with a strong preference for welfare being replaced with flat checks rather than subsidy programs. As an example, the libertarian would much prefer that instead of giving individuals $500 for food, $300 in rent subsidies and $200 in free health-care, that the individual is instead given a flat $1000 to do with as they choose, teaching personal responsibility while at the same time invariably driving prices down on all of the above services allowing for not only the $1000 to go further but also removing the many tiers of administration which make the $1000 in grants cost the government nearly half of what they give out as a result of inefficiency.
On all individual rights, libertarians take a strict textualism approach. For example the First Amendment protects any and all speech, while the Second Amendment makes any attempt to restrain an individual from acquiring any armament available to the National Guard or lower illegal.
Furthermore, we believe that individuals may only be restrained from an activity when there is clear and concrete evidence that their action directly harms another human being. This covers not only murder, theft and rape, but also discriminatory practices designed to prevent individuals from participating in the economy at a systematic level would also be outlawed (the baker must sell any cake offered for sale to any individual, but must not be forced to make special orders).
Johnson and running mate Bill Weld’s Libertarian record of results speak for themselves on the economy and infrastructure/ education
The Libertarian ticket this year features two governors with perhaps the best records across all issues for all Americans, on fiscal issues. As an example of fiscal success, Johnson was able to take a crumbling state and revamp their schools and infrastructure while cutting taxes and creating a surplus. Furthermore, Johnson’s succeeded in reducing unemployment not by creating unsustainable government jobs, but by freeing the American innovator from the chains of regulation. According to Johnson, “I didn’t create a single job here. Government doesn’t create jobs. The private sector does, but I think I mightily contributed… in bringing about a more level playing field.”
Furthermore, Weld has his own history of job creation. When Weld took office in Massachusetts, the entire state was in decay, but Weld was able to again balance the budget while never raising taxes, and took unemployment from the highest amongst industrialized states to the lowest. Furthermore, with Weld at the helm, Massachusetts created perhaps the best public schooling system in the country.
Compare this with Donald Trump’s history of bankruptcies and Hillary Clinton’s support for what ultimately destroys jobs the unequal crony capitalist playing field paid for by the big banks to work against the interests of the average American. While Trump wishes to create a wall to block those seeking a better life from entering the country, Clinton seeks to create economic walls to perpetuate the advantages of the haves over the have nots.
Consistent service on social issues rather than convenient flops with the wind.
As an example, while Democrats Bill and Hillary Clinton, and Republican Newt Gingrich actively campaigned against the rights of the LGBT community through bills such as Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, the Libertarian Party has always affirmed its belief that marriage is a sacred personal issue which government should never attempt to regulate or control. For example, during Weld’s time as governor he funneled millions of dollars into outreach and assistance for homosexual communities, and also was one of if not the first governor in the nation to convince his people to allow for equal bereavement, medical proxy, and inheritance/survivorship equality and in 2013 campaigned to help overturn Prop 8 and helped establish the current argument the Supreme Court would ultimately agree upon that the equalprotection clause protects gay marriage.
Not to be outdone, while Bush and Clinton doubled down on the war on drugs, Johnson was attempting to end the cycle of incarceration for non-violent offenders by ending the disastrous war on drugs, which has disproportionately affected minority communities. Johnson was one of if not the first major politician to fight for full marijuana legalization and decriminalization.
In short the Libertarian ticket at the very least this year deserves your attention, more than 26 percent of all American’s have joined the libertarians in Utah, and upwards of 16 percent in the central region of the United States, given his record and best of both words philosophy, will you?
David Owen is the news editor for The Dakota Student. He can be reached at [email protected]