Dustin Townsend is a guy I consider a friend. We’re both officers in the Libertarian Party of Georgia, and Dustin works just as hard as I do to promote our cause. That said, as another friend of mine, Jason Pye, knows all too well, I do disagree with my friends occasionally, and typically it results in a public conversation.
This one is no exception.
Dustin just put up a post on his blog titled “Rant: Fellow Libertarians Not Supporting Ron Paul?!“, which I encourage you to take a second to go read.
As pretty much everyone should know, I myself am a strong supporter of Gary Johnson. Honestly, outside of Johnson I will more than likely wind up voting for the LP candidate simply because they are not the Democrat or Republican, if for no other reason. (I’ll wait until the results of next year’s Nominating Convention in Las Vegas – which I hope to attend – before I commit to voting for the LP candidate because they are a good candidate.)
As many people also know, Ron Paul was one of my primary driving factors in becoming a Libertarian in 2008. I had already been disillusioned with the GOP, but I saw Ron Paul as a breath of (desperately needed) fresh air. When I saw how the GOP treated him, and when I saw my former Congressman Bob Barr get the LP nomination, I became an official member of the Libertarian Party within days of the 2008 election.
So I really like Ron Paul. I really, really do. If nothing else, I owe him a debt of gratitude for helping finally direct me to my political home.
With that said, there is a FAR superior liberty-oriented GOP candidate this year in former Governor of New Mexico, Gary Johnson.
and thus, the segue into my response to Dustin, which originally appeared as a comment on his blog (so if you followed the link, you’ve already seen it):
The problem with Ron Paul is simple: he doesn’t walk his talk. YES, he is by FAR better than any Republican running OTHER than Gary Johnson. But when compared to Johnson, Paul fails MISERABLY.
Ron Paul TALKS about limiting Federal spending – and then ranks near the top of the pile in amount received via earmarks.
Ron Paul TALKS about free trade – and then wants to arbitrarily limit the movement of labor, which is the foundation of trade.
Ron Paul TALKS about being free to make our own medical decisions – and then says States have the right to limit them.
If he were the only liberty-oriented candidate running, as he was in 2008, I would be behind him under the “80% friend is not 100% enemy” rule. Unfortunately for him, he is NOT the only liberty-oriented candidate running for President this year, and the other one is VASTLY superior in terms of WALKING his TALK.
Governor Johnson TALKS about limited Government – and as Governor, VETOED more bills than *EVERY OTHER GOVERNOR OF HIS ERA COMBINED*.
Governor Johnson TALKS about free trade – and as a 2 term Governor of a Border State with a 55% Hispanic population, he has learned first hand the benefits of WALKING that talk.
Governor Johnson TALKS about being able to make our own decisions in life – and then WALKS that talk by being the only Presidential candidate to admit that marijuana is less dangerous than alcohol.
If this were 2008, Ron Paul would have my support. Unfortunately, it is 2012 and there is a FAR superior candidate – Gary Johnson.