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Who is Gary Johnson and Why Would He Run For President?

I read a poll yesterday that claimed that well over half the people in this country could not name a single Republican Presidential candidate. While most of the people who read this blog are not among them, I still have doubts about whether even half of you know who Gary Johnson is.

A few days ago I wrote about the Presidential aspirations of a self promoting slickster with a super bad comb-over who has garnered some early poll support without ever having been asked any important questions about what he believes on the important topics of the day. It was a semi-serious piece about a semi-serious candidate.

The main thing that made it enjoyable to write was it gave me a chance to point out that he has a cat sitting on his head. Times are tough and amusement costs are up so it had a good "chuckle to expense" ratio.

But now it's time to turn our attention to a much more serious but less well known candidate who announced his campaign this morning and launched his website. Gary Johnson is known fairly well in libertarian circles but even though a huge number of Americans are actual libertarians, they do not self identify as such and don't keep abreast of the happenings in those circles.

Essentially they are just regular Americans who think it's better if we have a smaller government, lower taxes, less crazy regulations and fewer bailouts of crony capitalists. They generally think we should help our neighbors ourselves and otherwise just mind our own business. They think we should live within our means, personally and governmentally. In other words, they belong to the Tea Party even though they never joined. Like me, most of them were members for decades before it was even invented.

One of the most well read posts on this site was one written back in August of 2010 and was titled Maybe Gary Johnson For a Change? It went mini-viral when Gary mentioned it on his Face Book page. It was a short introduction to the former Governor of New Mexico (1994-2003) who was making noises about a run for the top executive job in the country and testing the waters by traveling the country making appearances at speaking engagements and on TV news programs.

So today is the big day for him to announce his run, and a good day for other people to learn something about him. I'll do my part by giving you the links and you do your part by educating yourself and your friends about him so you can better compare his positions and track record to the more well known candidates to come.

You don't have to endorse him. It's too early for either of us to do that. Too many things will be happening in the coming months as more people enter or exit the race and hopefully each of them receive a better vetting than our current President received by the so called press in this country.

Barack Obama was a little known, just elected junior Senator and former community organizer who jumped into the political scene on the strength of an ability to read a teleprompter and look cool to uninformed screaming college girls and other people of still  undeveloped intellectual curiosity. He got elected because people "hoped" he wasn't George W. Bush. (It turned out he actually was.)

Who ever heard of Billy Bob Clinton a year before he ran for President? Who ever heard of a peanut farmer named Carter a year before he was elected and ruined the country? So in my mind, name recognition isn't all it's cracked up to be. (For those who want to delve deeper into these issues, this site has info on political science classes: )

It's better if we don't get Trumped this time out. That's why I'm asking;  Who is Gary Johnson and Why Would He Run For President?


BP said...

The only thing I don't like about this guy is the fact that he is in favor, if I am not mistaken based on an earlier blog of yours, of legalizing drugs. I know this is the simple answer that would solve a lot of problems associated with the drug problem, but I still think there my be some terrible unforeseen backlash doing so. And once that jeannie is of out the bottle it is hard to get him back in. . . . . . . .

Grant Davies said...

Actually, as I understand it he is only in favor of decriminalizing pot.

I understand that people may be a tad squeamish about that topic but I think it's time that someone told us the truth about their positions rather than telling us what they think we want to hear.

I'd be happy to debate the topic, but that would be a completely different essay and there is plenty of time for that another time.

I'm quite sure that there are things about him and his positions that I do not agree with, but that is also true of every other candidate I have ever heard of.

I only ask that we decide if we want to get rid of the circus altogether or simply hire new clowns to be in it.

Thanks for the comments.

Grant Davies said...

One other point concerning Gov. Johnson's positions on drugs and other issues; the link to this information is provided in the post. We needn't speculate on his positions when they are readily available.

Alexis said...

From his website: Governor Johnson believes it is insane to arrest roughly 800,000 people a year for choosing to use a natural substance that is, by any reasonable objective standard, less harmful than alcohol, a drug that is advertised at every major sporting event.

Johnson knew when he was governor that decriminalizing marijuana would place him in a bad light among many, which is why he didn't run for president after his term as governor ended.

The best way to think about the issue is to look at prohibition and how much crime that brought about. Then consider that marijuana isn't any where near as harmful as alcohol, and that marijuana-related arrests account for 40% of the the million-plus people incarcerated for drug-related offenses last year alone.

Grant Davies said...

You are preaching to the choir.