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Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson | Wikimedia
Lib­er­tarian Party pres­i­dential can­didate Gary Johnson | Wiki­media

As Lib­er­tarian Party pres­i­dential nominee Gary Johnson slips in the polls, lib­er­tarians need a new option for pres­ident.

At the beginning of Sep­tember, Johnson polled about 10  percent nationally but he has slid down to 5.8 percent, according to Real­Clear­Pol­itics. Lib­er­tarians should have been willing to com­promise and support Johnson, but now that he cannot win lib­er­tarians should support the Con­sti­tution Party’s pres­i­dential nominee, Darrell Castle.

Johnson never rep­re­sented a philo­soph­i­cally con­sistent approach to lib­er­tar­i­anism. He has described lib­er­tar­i­anism as “fis­cally con­ser­v­ative and socially do whatever the hell you want to do.” This immature approach mis­in­forms the public about the foun­da­tional prin­ciple of the phi­losophy — the non-aggression axiom — and will hurt the Lib­er­tarian Party in the long run.

When former Lib­er­tarian Pres­i­dential nominee Ron Paul was asked if he would support Johnson, he replied, “Well, if he were a lib­er­tarian, a true lib­er­tarian, and pro­moted the non-aggression principle…I’d con­sider it.”

Johnson’s social policies have always been incon­sistent with lib­er­tar­i­anism. His views on abortion, reli­gious liberty, and drug legal­ization are founded more in social lib­er­alism than social lib­er­tar­i­anism. This is why he sup­ports funding for Planned Par­enthood and forcing reli­gious people to violate their con­science Johnson said, “I support women’s right to choose up until via­bility of the fetus.”

Most lib­er­tarians only advocate funding for the basic func­tions of gov­ernment: the police, courts, and mil­itary. No true lib­er­tarian pro­motes state-spon­sored murder or forced asso­ci­ation.

Johnson sup­ports the legal­ization of mar­i­juana — but only mar­i­juana. Lib­er­tarians are opposed to the crim­i­nal­ization of all non-violent activ­ities, which means they support the legal­ization of all drugs.

If Johnson could win the pres­i­dency, then he might be worth a vote, but he can’t. And if you live in New Mexico he may still be worth a vote because he has a chance to win the state.

But if lib­er­tarians simply want to protest against the two major-party can­di­dates, then they should do so in a manner con­sistent with their prin­ciples.

In an interview with Liberty Hangout in August, Castle said, “I am more lib­er­tarian than the two can­di­dates of the Lib­er­tarian Party.”

He’s right.

Castle was an original founder of the Con­sti­tution Party (called the U.S. Tax­payers Party on the Michigan ballot). He served as a Marine in the Vietnam War, and is cur­rently a lawyer in Memphis, Ten­nessee.

Although Castle is a lib­er­tarian, he says that fol­lowing the Con­sti­tution comes before a political phi­losophy. Because of this, he can unite lib­er­tarians and con­ser­v­a­tives.

Castle’s platform includes five main issues: adherence to the Con­sti­tution, with­drawal from the United Nations, abo­lition of the Federal Reserve, pro­tection of private property, and pro­tection of unborn children from con­ception.

Abo­lition of the Federal Reserve, a policy Johnson has barely dis­cussed, is of the utmost impor­tance to lib­er­tarians. A 2012 study by the Cato Institute found that the Federal Reserve “has allowed the pur­chasing power of the U.S. dollar…to fall dra­mat­i­cally.”

Paul grew his pres­i­dential cam­paign based on oppo­sition to the Federal Reserve. Johnson has failed to oppose the Federal Reserve with the same fervor, but Castle is con­tinuing the fight for lib­er­tarians.

Castle wants to dras­ti­cally reduce the role of the federal gov­ernment. From phasing out Social Security to elim­i­nating nearly every exec­utive department.

“What I propose is a com­plete turning upside down of the system,” Castle said.

In last week’s Col­legian pres­i­dential poll, 20 percent of stu­dents sup­ported Johnson and only 2 percent sup­ported Castle. If your support for Johnson is simply to protest the Demo­c­ratic and Repub­lican parties, then switch your vote to Castle who stands for lib­er­tar­i­anism and con­sti­tu­tional gov­ernment.

Mr. Pal­adino is a junior studying pol­itics and eco­nomics.