Here is my comment on an editorial that shows the Wall Street Journal for what it is.
“Johnson saying he would have signed the Civil rights Act of 1964 deserves boos from libertarians (and anyone else who understands the basis for our prosperity). And the leftist Journal’s decrying of that shows its support for the collective’s rights over those of individuals. Here lies the root of all government largesse The Journal whines about in its editorials. Like my dad said, conservatives love big government as much as liberals, they just think they can do it better.”
The Journal deleted my post so I amended it thusly:
“My comment was removed where I pointed out that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was a precedent used to justify further intrusions on private property. Real libertarians were justified in booing Johnson on this point. The Journal has posted endless editorials criticizing government intervention on business yet accepts the Civil Rights Act? I certainly don’t favor what some did based on skin color in those days but ultimately those decisions would be bad for business and taken care of themselves. The right to control our own property as opposed to control by the collective is pivotal to our prosperity. Unfortunately, the election will change little as long as the electorate favors government control of individual rights.”
Here is the editorial:
The Libertarian Alternative
An option for the many Never Trump, Never Clinton voters.
Best of the Web Columnist James Taranto on the Libertarian Party’s presidential candidate. Photo credit: Reuters.
May 30, 2016 5:28 p.m. ET
Third-party presidential candidates are usually gadflies who have little impact, and that includes the nominees of the Libertarian Party over the years. But if there’s going to be an exception, this might be the year given how flawed and widely disliked Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are.
The Libertarians seem willing to try as they nominated a pair of former Republican Governors as their standard-bearers at a typically raucous convention in Orlando on the weekend. Gary Johnson, Governor of New Mexico from 1995-2003, will be the party’s presidential nominee for the second time in a row. He’s hoping to improve on his less than 1% of the vote in 2012 with the help of running mate William Weld, the Massachusetts Governor from 1991-1997.
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The 63-year-old Mr. Johnson wanted Mr. Weld as a show of seriousness to voters. “We’re at a threshold here, a real threshold to grow this party,” Mr. Johnson told the delegates. Mr. Weld won with a mere 50.6% of the vote. Some delegates suspected Mr. Weld of apostasy for having been a Republican—and, worse, having served in government.
Mr. Johnson is famous for supporting drug legalization, and he has run a marijuana company—though he says he won’t get high on either pot or power in the White House. But Mr. Johnson earned boos from the delegates for saying he would have signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Someone should tell these folks that Jim Crow was an example of state and local government tyranny that required federal intervention to break.
The challenge for Johnson-Weld will be reaching the 15% threshold in national polls that would get them on stage for the candidate debates. No third party has cracked that level since Ross Perot in 1992, and he went on to win 19% but no states. Mr. Johnson has hit 10% in a couple of surveys, but he’ll need to raise millions of dollars to get his message out. He also isn’t the most charismatic candidate, even by libertarian standards.
Then again, the mooted third-party campaign from within the GOP hasn’t materialized, which means Johnson-Weld might be the only option for the sizable group of Never Trump-Never Clinton voters. The conventional wisdom is that Mr. Johnson would take disgruntled Republican votes away from Mr. Trump.
It’s also possible he could deny Mrs. Clinton some of the restive GOP votes she needs in states like Pennsylvania or Maine where Mr. Trump cuts into union Democratic ranks. The libertarians could be a safe space for Republicans put off by Mr. Trump but who can’t abide Mrs. Clinton’s ever-leftward lurch.
The Libertarians will offer a policy alternative to both candidates on free trade, and perhaps on taxes if Mr. Trump doesn’t clarify his position on taxing the rich. They’ll also contrast with the Republican on immigration. Mr. Johnson could help himself by reassuring voters that he isn’t one of those libertarians who thinks the only defenses we need are anti-missile batteries and the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
Mr. Johnson isn’t likely to win a state, but he can still play a useful role by reminding the major party candidates that they aren’t the only choices. Mr. Trump seems to think he can say whatever he wants because millions of voters are repelled by Mrs. Clinton. The Libertarians give these voters an honorable alternative if Mr. Trump makes himself unacceptable.