I had the pleasure of sitting in for Denny Smith on WIBC May 6th. It was the day after the first 2012 Republican Presidential Debate in South Carolina. We talked about mass transit initiatives, spending, crony capitalism and of course decriminalizing marijuana.
I like the guy, maybe more than I like Ron Paul. He has shown the ability to win an election for an executive office, Governor of New Mexico, as a Republican. But I’m not convinced a Republican with Libertarian leanings can win the mid-west and the south in the primaries. Hence my question about running as an independent. I don’t believe Libertarian’s can coexist in the Republican party. It’s become a bastion of the religious right which is, ironically, inconsistent with civil liberty.
He made a compelling argument that he had won office as a Republican. However, that was a statewide office in a left leaning state, New Mexico. His record in New Mexico is excellent with Republicans and many Democrats and has certainly demonstrated the fiscal restraint to get that state back on track.
While I agree with his stance on decriminalizing marijuana both from an economic and personal liberty view, I have even more reservations that he can make any hay at all in the Republican primaries with that in his platform, right as he may be. While conservatives believe ostensibly in individual liberty they do so in the same way Democrats believe in free speech, mine is free and so is yours…as long as you agree with me. That part of the party will never listen to reason nor will they let go of the marijuana mythology that has been passed down since the 30s.
I have no delusions that Governor Johnson or Ron Paul would come close to winning the election as Independent or Libertarian candidates. But perhaps they could sway enough voters to keep them in the news through the entire 2012 election. Those of us that believe in individual liberty, personal responsibility and a small non-intrusive government need to realize that we have no home in the Republican or Democrat parties and reject the Rush Limbaugh doctrine that states voting for an independent candidate is really a vote for the Democrat. Obama may indeed win a second term if we take our votes out of the Republican bucket and throw them to an Independent. So what? Do you really think Bush was any different from Gore or Kerry. I don’t. Do you think things would be different under McCain rather than Obama? I don’t. We would have just traded which set of freedoms we would have to sacrifice to be on the “winning team”. If we are going change the world, we aren’t going to do it playing from somebody else’s tired playbook. Especially if we only like half the plays.