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Top 5 Reasons It’s Okay for Libertarians to Criticize Gary Johnson

Top 5 Reasons It’s Okay for Libertarians to Criticize Gary Johnson

by Aya Katz

In this election cycle, the Libertarian Party and its presidential candidate Gary Johnson have an unusual opportunity. This year, unlike all other years, a large plurality of voters dislike both the Republican and the Democrat running for President of the United States. In addition to the usual animosity of the GOP faithful toward the Democrats, and the usual belligerence displayed by dyed-in-the-wool Democrats toward Republicans, large portions of the population are disgusted by both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

This year, the Libertarian Party has the opportunity to win over many more voters than ever before, and a possible upset in our favor looms on the horizon. Because of this, we Libertarians have been urged not to openly criticize our candidate, Governor Gary Johnson. It would be like airing dirty laundry in public, we are told. We are urged to show the same kind of solidarity that families used to display in support of the sole breadwinner back in the “good old days.” Otherwise, we are warned, the enemy will win.

But there are some very good reasons why it is more than okay for Libertarians to criticize Gary Johnson. Here are the top five.

5. Criticism Helps Gary Johnson confront the Opposition.

In order to win, Gary Johnson has to beat both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. This means he must appeal to those voters who dislike both of the nominees. It is not enough for Gary Johnson to praise Clinton to Democrats and to praise Trump to Republicans. He cannot possibly win by talking out of both sides of his mouth along the model set forth for us by other middle-of-the-road politicians.

Trying to masquerade as a “moderate” will lose us all the support of the most crucial block of voters Gary Johnson must win over: those who have lost all respect for both Clinton and Trump. During the start of the campaign, Johnson was reluctant to criticize Hillary Clinton, even going so far as to call her an admirable public servant. But perhaps in part due to brave Libertarian Party members who called him on this, Johnson is now willing to go after both Clinton and Trump. If it were not for our criticism, maybe Johnson would not have done what was necessary to win over “Never Trump” and “Never Hillary” voters.

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