By Bruce Cohen
I don’t agree with Gary Johnson on much anymore. I disagreed with his choice of VP in his 2012 campaign so much, I could not support or participate in the LP Presidential campaign, for the first time in my political life.
Since 1980, I’ve been involved in every Libertarian presidential campaign one way or another. Growing up nearly next door to David Bergland gave me unique opportunities to ask questions in High School. That translated into me having the chance to promote Harry Browne in 1996 for David.
In 2004, I worked my heart out for Gary Nolan, and when the crazy three way convention surprise put Team Nolan out in the streets, I supported Michael Badnarik when he won.
It was no token support either. I was 24/6 Badnarik, securing many max donation checks, even some at the convention itself. I held the single largest grossing and netting event for Michael in Orange County, California; over the strong objections of founder David Nolan (“You can’t charge more than $20.00!”).
So I don’t quit easily and I almost always support the Libertarian, even when my Candidate doesn’t win. Someone who chooses Judge Gray or Governor Weld however, I just cannot support.
But I agree with Gary on one thing, and it’s a big one thing. I agree we must get the Libertarian presidential candidate into the national debates and on stage with the Democrats and Republicans. This I’ve believed in and worked towards my entire adult life.
This leads us to two important follow-up questions:
First of all, who’s most likely to get the Libertarian Party into the debates? Secondly, who’d perform best should we succeed in getting our candidate in?
It’s no secret I’m in Austin Peterson fan. I’ve had my shoulder to the wheel of the Peterson Liberty train since October 2015. But let’s all try to be objective together. Austin is by far and away a better interviewee and the camera loves him. Gary seems almost frail, and certainly tired wherever he appears. Austin’s answers and statements are on point and easy to understand. Gary rambles on and is very hard to follow. It’s pretty clear Austin will be the one to give us our best shot at getting in the debates.
Further making the case for Austin is that he’s just a better debater. All we have to do is look to the three candidates’ debate performances. The Glenn Beck/BlazeTV/Penn Gillette debate in Las Vegas proves once and for all, Austin Petersen is the answer to both important questions. Gary never seemed quite comfortable on the debate stage, even with a smaller audience. He’s just not ready for prime debate time. Austin was in control, playing well to the camera, moderator and audience.
Austin’s compelling victory makes it clear Libertarians must nominate him so we can put our best foot, and best candidate, forward.