|LEFTISTS LOVE LIBERTARIANS
Leftists like Salon.com love libertarian Gary Johnson so much that they titled their interview with him:
The most interesting Republican you’ve never heard of. Here is a summary of that interview:
Johnson Favors Prostitution
Gary Johnson, a former governor of New Mexico and a likely candidate for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, is talking about hookers.
“It’s never been a consideration that I would enlist the services of a prostitute, myself personally,” he says. “But if I were to do that, where would I want to enlist that service? Well, it would probably be in Nevada, where it’s legal, because it would be safe.”
Johnson Favors Legalization of Marijuana. Supports Abortion. Opposes the Wars. God? What God?
But Johnson doesn’t even blink. It’s not like this is the only topic on which he risks offending the GOP’s base. He also favors legalizing pot, supports abortion rights, and opposes the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Oh, and he doesn’t go to church. “I don’t think you’ll ever hear me invoking God in anything I do,” he tells me.
Johnson Fell for Obama
Ask Johnson what he thinks of Barack Obama, for instance, and rather than the stream of vitriol that might issue semi-automatically from the lips of some party colleagues, he answers: “You can’t help but like him.”
Obama, he says, “touched” him with his rhetoric during the 2008 campaign, though he adds that the president has proven disappointing and disingenuous since then.
Johnson Doesn’t listen to Beck and Rush. Agrees with Tea Partiers in fiscal matters, but sees a lot of fringe?
Johnson seems ill at ease with the belligerent icons of modern-day conservatism. What does he think of the idol of the Tea Partiers, Glenn Beck?
“I have not watched Glenn Beck. I don’t watch him.”
Does he listen to Rush Limbaugh?
“I don’t. Not that I haven’t [ever]. But I don’t tune in to Rush.” [snip]
He went to a Tea Party event in South Carolina a couple of weeks ago, he says, and was impressed when one attendee gave him a handout that claimed to identify the movement’s top 10 priorities.
“Basically, one through 10, it had to do with the economy and spending and taxes. And I thought, ‘This is who I am! This is what I care about!'”
Then he adds: “There was a lot of fringe there.” [emphasis added]
Johnson Against Arizona Immigration Law (SB1070)
On other issues, Johnson doesn’t bother to hide his disdain for his party’s hard-liners. Take the incendiary new immigration law passed in Arizona, for instance:
“I just don’t think it’s going to work,” he says. “I think it’ s going to lead to racial profiling. I don’t how you determine one individual from another — is it color of skin? — as to whether one is an American citizen or the other is an illegal immigrant.”
Johnson favors an expansive guest worker program and is uncomfortable with the idea of mass deportations. What about the idea of increasing security by means of a border wall?
“I have never been supportive of the wall,” he replied. “A 10-foot wall [just] requires an 11-foot ladder.”
Johnson Has Little in Common with Republicans
All of this raises an obvious question: What is Johnson doing in the Republican Party?
He argues that the GOP is a broader coalition than is commonly portrayed. On the marijuana issue, he contends that there are “as many very conservative Republicans” in favor of legalization as there are “what you might call left-wing Democrats” opposed.
“I haven’ t found the Republican Party to be exclusive as much as inclusive,” he adds.
Still, he concedes that the libertarian strain of Republicanism he embodies is somewhat marginalized in today’s GOP. “On the other hand,” he is quick to claim, “the rising wing, the heartbeat, really, of the Republican Party right now is this rising libertarian element — the campaign for liberty.”
By this, he means the movement centered around Ron Paul.
Like libertarian Ron Paul, Johnson blames America first
On foreign policy, Johnson’ s views are straight out of Paul’ s rhetorical armory. He asserts that “our security is not being threatened” in either Iraq or Afghanistan. In fact, he argues, America’s “actions have actually had a reverse impact on our security. We have made enemies out of tens of millions of individuals that maybe we wouldn’ t have made otherwise.”
Johnson Sounds Conservative Only in Fiscal Matters
It is the drain on the nation’ s finances caused by the two wars that seems to horrify him more than anything else. His fierce fiscal conservatism represents the main — or perhaps only — sliver of common ground Johnson shares with the mainstream of his party.
He laments that the nation is “bankrupt” and adds that the current level of national borrowing is “catastrophic.” He blames both parties for this sorry state of affairs.
Johnson’ s prescription is plain: “slashing spending,” especially with regard to “the Big Four: Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and Defense.” [snip]
As governor of New Mexico, Johnson vetoed some 750 bills, a total that he has said surpasses the aggregate vetoes of all the nation’ s other governors during that period. He became known as “Governor No,” a label he seems to wear with some pride. Ron Paul is, of course, known in some quarters as “Dr No.”
Leftists Can’t Wait for the Implosion of the Republican Party
Salon.com ends the interview with Johnson, with this happy note from their leftist perspective:
…one thing is guaranteed: If Gary Johnson runs for president, he’ s sure to freshen up the national conversation. And those debates with Mitt Romney should be fun to watch.