Saturday, January 7, 2017

Gillespie: Gary Johnson the best thing in 2016

Thank You, Gary Johnson, for Being the Best Thing in 2016! - Hit & Run : - Nick Gillespie:

January 3, 2017 - "Before we completely flush 2016 down the memory hole, let us pause to remember Gary Johnson, the former two-term governor of New Mexico who generated a record number of votes as the Libertarian Party's candidate for president. If there was anything good that happened in 2016 ... it was @govgaryjohnson's ramshackle campaign to bring a very different way of thinking and talking about national politics to America.

"In the end, of course, there was a lot of disappointment. He didn't crack 15 percent in polls ... he supported the inalienable rights of gay Nazis to force homophobic Jewish bakers to make German chocolate cakes ... he spaced out while talking to recidivist plagiarist Mike Barnicle on Morning Joe and ... and so much more. Yeah, yeah, I get it....

"To all of it, I say, politely: Go screw yourselves, all of you.

"I choose instead to focus on what I think were two major themes that Johnson introduced into national politics that will have a very long shelf-life....

"First, he was the first politician in forever who had the temerity to say what we all know to be true: That most Americans are socially liberal (or tolerant) and fiscally conservative (i.e. responsible). Libertarian purists will denounce such a formulation as lazy or incorrect or insufficiently Misesian or Hayekian or Randian, but the way that Gary put it is exactly right in political terms. Most Americans have no problem with immigrants.... The same is true about marriage equality, pot legalization, and abortion rights.... Growing majorities are OK with living in a more-cosmopolitan, more-globalized America where you're free to travel, work, and mix with whatever people, food, and music you want.... 54 percent of us agree that 'government is doing too much'.... Gallup data shows that libertarian is the single-largest ideological bloc at 27 percent.... That was the essential message of the Johnson campaign and if it got drowned out somewhat by various gaffes and world events, it isn't going away any time soon.

"Second, and more controversially, I think, Gary Johnson incarnates what we will come to expect from politicians and presidents. Hillary Clinton was imperious and hyper-credentialed to a fault, Donald Trump was simply a bullying blowhard, and Jill Stein an unconvincing b—s— artist.... Johnson presented himself as experienced and competent ... but also relentlessly human. He didn't pretend to know everything ... or to be all things to all people.... Rather, at his best, Gary came off as a motivated and capable everyman, the sort of person you would trust to do right by you, own his mistakes, and move forward in the best faith possible.

"For all his faults, Johnson articulated the broadly felt desire for government that does less and costs less and personified a down-to-earth politician. In doing so, he prototyped what the politics and politicians of the future will be like."

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