Friday, February 17, 2012

Left & Right for Gary Johnson?

I'd like to think so. Libertarians always like to think they have something in common with both Left and Right wingers. I'm always looking for ways to convey that.

This piece on why conservatives should support Gary Johnson for President was posted on Johnson's Facebook page a while back. I asked in commenting on it if anybody could come up with a similar piece with reasons liberals should support Johnson. I got no suggestions.

I wasn't really surprised as most liberals generally lean more authoritarian than most conservatives. I'm not saying that's always the case, just generally. Less government and more individual liberty isn't exactly the liberal's rallying cry. Still, there should be some common areas of agreement.

I received this commentary through the Johnson 2012 e-mail list the other day. Why Gary Johnson Should Terrify The Democrats does a pretty good job of laying out some common ground between Gary Johnson and The Left.

I don't know that I'd go so far to say either Left or Right should be afraid of Gary Johnson. Despite all the rhetoric about people being fed up with the two major political parties, incumbents and politics as usual, they'll still likely vote the same way they always have.

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At 10:41 AM, Anonymous John Balzer said...

The ground swell of Gary Johnson support has just begun. When I read articles about hardened Republicans pulling up stakes and switching to the Libertarian Party I know there is a volcanic eruption in progress. Gary Johnson is about to bring this election to a fevered pitch.

At 12:50 PM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

We'll see. I'm a Johnson supporter but, having been involved with the Libertarian Party for 20 years, I remain skeptical about any overwhelming successes if only because of the hype I've heard over the years. I hope you're right.

At 2:56 PM, Blogger Emie said...

I'm a lifelong liberal, having often used terms like "anarchist" "social democrat" "anarcho-syndacalist" and "socialist libertarian" etc to describe my worldview. I've voted exclusively Dem in national elections and have voted a mixture of D, Green, and I-Green in local/state elections. I'm also currently planning to vote Gary Johnson in 2012.

I've long worked alongside Libertarians and always been perplexed that they associated liberalism with big government and authoritarianism as the author of this post does, because to me, a 20-something growing up in America's middle-class wage/salary labor force, R's and conservatives have always seemed far more invasive in their desire to control me because I'm not out there trying to make a lot of investments and run businesses. To the workers of America, R's are far more invasive than D's, whose invasions seem on the surface mostly limited to intervening to help save people from destitution. Through advocacy I've seen the way unnecessary over-regulation can strangle businesses and deprive consumers of options, but I remain ultimately more concerned about issues like gay rights, amelioration of historical racial injustice and disadvantage, and women's lib. Gary Johnson wins me over because he's truly about freedom without falling into the trap of so many Libertarians of taking his stand on the right of rich people to be assholes. Of course we all have the right to be an asshole, but those of us whose hearts are in solidarity with our fellow man find it hard to get behind someone who rallies behind the right to be an exploitive asshole none the less. GJ rallies us behind our right to be better, more free, more accepting individuals. That's a message I can get behind.

At 3:17 PM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

Ernie wrote, "always been perplexed that they associated liberalism with big government and authoritarianism as the author of this post does..".

Check out the main commentator on my most recent post about the dog grooming licensing proposal, Ernie. The fellow sees absolutely nothing wrong with the idea and seems to want even more of it. If I were a betting man, I'd bet good money that guy is- if not a Democrat- then at least a self identified left wing authoritarian.

Perhaps you're confusing the old Classic Liberal from back in the 60s and 70s with the current ones? The old live and let live hippies from back in the day might well be considered libertarian in many aspects. The current left wingers are more closely aligned with authoritarians.

After all, where does most of the vitriol directed at groups like the Tea Party come from? The Left. They really hate people waving signs about less government and liberty. You read it all the time in the blogs.

At 7:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course Libertarians have "something in common" with rightwingerts because Libertarians are rightwingers. And the leftwingers they have something in common with are the left fringe tinfoil hat wearers who detect conspiracies in every daisy field and fear evey stranger is coming to get them.


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