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.”
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.