The fringes on both sides of the political spectrum have created a vacuum. The Radical Middle must rise and create a new Common Ground and move our country forward. Reasonable, Sensible, Balanced. Outrage does none of us good. Let us stop screaming at each other and get to work!
Monday, September 19, 2016
Johnson-Weld, the Libertarian Alternative for Bernie Voters?
“70% of America doesn’t even know who we are, and yet we exist.” This is what Libertarian Presidential candidate Gary Johnson said on 60 Minutes regarding his candidacy.
Mostly, Johnson discusses most issues in a similar fashion, full of hyperbole and cliché. It’s not really what inspires confidence in voters that are concerned about comprehensive policy proposals and progress. Maybe, this is why disaffected voters are considering gravitating toward his campaign. It feels good. He says things that make sense and might even feel right.
Although Johnson does hold some thoughtful and possibly even better sounding, simplistic positions on a couple serious issues, many of his other policies, for me, are an absolute no go.
Many Bernie supporters highlight his support of abortion rights (which Americans have), marriage equality (which we also have), and his belief in the legalization of marijuana as top reasons for supporting him. Hillary has actually stated she would protect states that have passed laws legalizing the drug and that she would lower the schedule of marijuana.
Some of these supporters are also inspired by Johnson's stance regarding non-intervention abroad. In reality, Johnson goes much farther.
Johnson would abolish the Department of Homeland Security. He says he understands the issues involving foreign policy and the fight against terrorism, yet didn’t know one of the major cities that has been on the front lines of the war in Syria for years, Aleppo. This could be due to the fact he has no military strategists advising him.
Considering the persistent threats at home and abroad, this casual, nearly flippant attitude Johnson displays regarding ISIS and homeland security threats should be concerning to anyone, especially with the recent attacks in America and to our allies.
He has, however, stated that he does support attacking our enemies when we've been attacked. So, it is unclear where he really stands on this issue.
Further, the libertarian beliefs Johnson holds and the support he enjoys from other libertarians seem to have taken hold over much if not all of the rest of his presidential platform.
He calls for auditing the Fed . . . it's already audited. He's also called for ending the Fed. The Fed does have many critics, but Johnson has no plans for what to do, how to do it, and what the consequences would be if he were successful in eliminating the Fed.
He calls for cutting the federal budget by 43%, no plan as to how to actually achieve that, nor what the consequences for ordinary Americans would be.
He believes the stimulus failed, even though it saved the economy from entering a second Great Depression.
His core belief is that the government cannot interfere when the economy is in trouble. That would spell disaster for millions who may lose their jobs during recessions. Remember the crucial unemployment extensions people received in the Great Recession? Those extensions would not be an option in a Johnson presidency.
He also believes in balanced budgets, which is actually crucial for states, but for the federal government it simply doesn't make sense during recessions, times of crisis, or when you're making investments like infrastructure or education.
He has no actual plan for balancing the budget. From his campaign website, "No excuses. No games. A REAL balanced budget.” Except, Johsnon has no plan or real comprehensive policy to do so.
That doesn’t negate America’s real debt problems. However, during the Obama years, Obama has cut deficits by a trillion dollars since he took office. We’re actually heading toward solvency as we were during the Clinton administration.
What Johnson is actually suggesting would drive the American economy back into recession and reverse the progress and gains made over the last 7 years.
Johnson’s tax policies are ambiguous, at best. From his campaign website. ”Stop special interest loopholes. Reward responsibility. And simplify our tax code."
His jobs plan has literally nothing to it. And, this is due to his strongly held libertarian philosophy on job creation. For Johnson, the government has nothing to do with jobs or wages in his belief system.
And, where does he stand on wage growth? Increasing the minimum wage? College debt, either past, present, and future? Healthcare costs, cost of prescription drugs, and access to health insurance?
Who knows. That’s left up to your better angels, as he might say.
So, that’s why Johnson-Weld doesn’t have a massive campaign staff. In fact, they don’t have a staff. What they are counting on are disaffected voters not caring about comprehensive policies and real progressive action on their progressive agenda.
They’re counting on people being upset that their candidate isn’t in the general election, and utilizing the resulting anger and outrage stirred up by the media toward both major party candidates to potentially upend the electoral process.
I believe we all should know what we are actually voting for when we enter that voting booth and fill out our ballot. Do you really know what Johnson’s actual policies are? Compare them to Hillary Clinton’s comprehensive policies. Compare them to Trump’s Make Him Great plan.