2016 Presidential Race Opinions

Libertarian Republicans Must Look to Gary Johnson

Gary Johnson

Johnson Isn’t Perfect, but Trump and Clinton are Even Worse

By: Elias J. Atienza

Libertarian Republicans and liberty-minded Republicans need to look to Gary Johnson when voting for the presidency. Johnson may not be the ideal choice, as he is iffy on religious freedom, but he’s a proven governor who is fiscally responsible, socially tolerant, and the best choice for the presidency.

We know that this election isn’t the greatest. What started out with great choices quickly turned into a clown show, with Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton becoming their parties’ respective presidential nominees. With great candidates like Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, and even Jim Webb in the race, the two parties chose differently. It’s heartbreaking but it was not unexpected.

Yes, Libertarian Republicans do need to have some reservations. Johnson is proudly pro-choice and uses it to connect to Bernie Sanders supporters. But as RedState’s Brandon Morse pointed out, that isn’t the whole story. He advocates cutting public funding for abortion and overturning Roe v. Wade, making abortion a state issue. In addition to this, Johnson believes that late-term abortions should be banned and the governor did so when he was Governor of New Mexico.

Morse writes:

I’ll state once again that Johnson is considered a “pro-choice” candidate, but from the perspective of an abortion advocate, his views on abortion – and the funding of it – would be considered a bit darker than the other two candidates. If pro-lifers want to really start chipping away at the massive industry that has developed around killing babies, then Johnson seems the way to go.

So while he might be “pro-choice,” he isn’t as radical as Hillary Clinton on the issue nor as wishy-washy as Donald Trump.

Related: Military Intervention: Why Gary Johnson is the Best on Foreign Policy

Religious freedom? After all, he called it a “blackhole” and has blasted it before. But he has clarified his stance in an opinion piece written in Deseret News. He advocated copying Utah’s religious freedom law instead of Indiana’s.

Johnson writes:

The Utah compromise barred discrimination against lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgendered individuals in employment and housing. In addition, the Utah law requires the office of every county clerk to be available to solemnize same-sex unions. At the same time, the law provides reasonable protections for the freedoms of speech and association of bona fide religious organizations — and made the religious and LGBT protections inseverable.

Should we not advocate for non-discrimination of both the religious and the non-religious? The government should never discriminate, but private individuals and organizations should. Johnson wants to strike a balance between religious freedom and non-discrimination, an admirable goal.

Yes, Johnson has reservations liberty-minded Republicans should be wary of. But on his record as governor, he cannot be beaten. With his platform on military intervention, cutting government spending, protecting the Constitution, and rolling back economic regulation, Johnson is the right choice.

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