READ: Swing State’s Largest Newspaper Writes Pro-Johnson Editorial

Gary Johnson Virginia editorial

by Daniel Stephens

Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson’s forward momentum has taken a turn for the better this week, receiving some much needed support from both billionaire and celebrity sources. Now, the media is also giving him a hand up. Earlier this year, Politico identified 11 “swing-states” that have the potential to go either-way and possibly determine the outcome of the presidential election in 2016. The state of Virginia is one of these “toss-ups.” On Monday, the largest newspaper in Thomas Jefferson’s home state published an editorial that, while attempting to maintain the trappings of objectivity, seems to be at least implicitly trying to give Johnson some positive exposure in the minds of their readers (older Virginians who vote). Here are a few excerpts from that piece:

Johnson — the Libertarian Party candidate for president — was twice elected governor of Democrat-heavy New Mexico as a Republican. His running mate, Bill Weld, was elected governor of the even more left-leaning Massachusetts as a Republican. But despite his belief in smaller government (“government doesn’t have the answer,” he says) and low taxes (neither he nor Weld “raised taxes one cent” during their statehouse tenures), Johnson feels he was driven out of the party for holding views deemed too inclusive on social issues. “I am a social liberal,” he says, so “I got the boot.”


Those inclusive views include support for individual liberty and personal choice, so long as you “don’t harm others,” and a passion for resolving the problem of black over-representation in the criminal-justice system, which he says has its roots in the war on drugs. He finds Donald Trump’s attacks on immigrants and Latinos “horrible” and “incendiary.” The U.S. should “make it as easy as possible to get a work visa,” he insists — dismissing the idea that immigrants are taking jobs from Americans as “simply not true.”


Stripped to its essence, Johnson’s message boils down to three simple planks: smaller government, social inclusion and skepticism about foreign adventurism. It’s a message that, he says, not only most Republicans but also most Americans actually agree with. The question is whether they agree strongly enough to leave their parties and join him.

The writer of this editorial strangely does not seem to attack Johnson (not even passive-aggressively), which suggests that the piece itself is intended to help, and not hurt, the former New Mexico governor. What do you think? Is the paper sympathetic to the possibility of a Libertarian Presidential administration? Are they just responding to what they believe their readers want? Either way, it seems like a positive development for the Libertarian Party candidate. Let us know your thoughts on Facebook or in the comments below.

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