2016 Presidential Race

Trump Campaign Head: GOP Johnson Voters “Traitorous and Destructive”

Virginia Trump Spokesman Not Fond of Libertarian Voters

by Josh Guckert

On Saturday, Republican nominee Donald Trump‘s Virginia Campaign Chairman Corey Stewart made his feelings clear on Libertarians Gary Johnson and William Weld. Stewart insisted that Republican support for the ticket is “traitorous and destructive.” Said Stewart, “There is no such thing as an anti-Trump group. Anti-Trump is pro-Hillary, and that’s what groups like this really are.”

He continued:

If we lose, I’ll know where to go to place blame. If they want careers in politics afterwards, they won’t get them. They’ll be destroyed. This is treason against Trump. For whatever reason — their pride, their personal interests — they will damage America permanently by helping elect Hillary Clinton. They are immature babies who are tearing down the Republican Party.

Stewart’s critique of Johnson voters is reminiscent of another Trump spokesman. Earlier this month, former Trump Georgia State Director Seth Weathers said that any Republican who votes for Johnson “can go to Hell.”

Both these outbursts signal a sense of frustration on behalf of Republicans. They likely see the November election slowly slipping away. In the meantime, Gary Johnson has gained traction among many American voters, including disaffected Republicans.

The tactics are familiar. These Republicans are attempting to bully potential Libertarian voters into “falling in line.” For decades, the two major parties have propped up the fallacy of voting third-party as a “wasted vote.” Republicans point to Ross Perot in 1992 as costing them an election, while Democrats cite Ralph Nader in 2000.

Both instances simply ignore the reality that each party’s candidate simply failed to get the requisite number of votes to win. The two parties are not somehow entitled to the ballots of all of those “leaning” their direction. Fortunately, Johnson seems poised to have the best performance of any third-candidate in at least twenty years. Even Jill Stein could set a new record for the Green Party and eclipse Nader’s 2000 performance.

If Republicans take issue with their party members pulling the lever for Johnson rather than Trump, perhaps they ought to blame the candidate rather than the voters.

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