By October, presidential candidates typically have locked up their base within their respective parties. This allows them to be focused on appealing to the electoral at large. In the case of Gov. Gary Johnson, it isn’t quite that simple. Despite locking up his party’s nomination in only two ballots, he has faced consistent opposition from on his home front due to being seen as not “Libertarian enough.” One of the more prominent critics has been libertarian icon, former presidential candidate, and former U.S. Representative Ron Paul.
While Paul has been seen as the face of the Liberty movement by many, there are actually a number of issues where Gov. Johnson is arguably more Libertarian than the man himself.
1. Gay Rights
One area where Gov. Johnson is more libertarian than Ron Paul is that of gay rights. Johnson supports equal protection under the law for gay Americans, including recognition of same-sex marriage. Paul has stated that he supported the Defense of Marriage Act, and chastised President Obama for opposing it. Even though he gave a so-called “libertarian” argument for his support (that no more people should be granted federal benefits under any circumstances), his stance is directly at odds with the principle of equal protection under the law.
Johnson also supports adoption rights for same-sex couples. Ron Paul on the other hand once voted for an amendment to an appropriations act which would have specifically outlawed gay adoptions in the District of Columbia. Paul also in a 2008 debate seemingly defended the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” policy, suggesting it was a “decent policy” before pivoting toward a broad discussion on individual as opposed to group rights.