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Libertarians who aren’t

Matthew Vadum author image / /   33 Comments

There are small-L libertarians who believe in liberty and then there are big-L libertarians, also known as Libertarians, who believe in the Libertarian Party.

The Libertarian Party presidential ticket this year consists of two former Republicans, former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson and his veep, former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld.

These two Libertarians aren’t terribly libertarian, as Cato’s Ilya Shapiro points out.

(I was tempted to write that the two men aren’t too libertarian philosophically, but that assumes there is a philosophy called libertarianism. There isn’t really. It is more of a political alignment. Please don’t be too hard on me, David Boaz. I bruise easily.)

Both men adore Democrat standard-bearer Hillary Clinton. Weld said she was “by and large a good secretary of state,” and Johnson called her “a wonderful public servant.” Referring to the end run Clinton did around public records laws by maintaining private email servers, Johnson said “I don’t think there was criminal intent on her part.”

Johnson and Weld are Clinton shills, Breitbart’s Patrick Howley opines.

These two marginal politicians are clearly enjoying the spotlight that the pro-Clinton media are finally giving them in their effort to stop Trump. (Something tells me the folks at CNN have not secretly been reading Reason magazine all these years.)

The Johnson-Weld team seems to think that libertarianism is mostly about admitting as many immigrants to the United States as possible. This is a far cry from Ron Paul’s pro-borders libertarian movement of a few years ago. The libertarian movement has shifted to the progressive globalist Left.

While it is true that Johnson is a pro-marijuana crusader, which is a libertarian position to push, he deviates from the libertarian way of looking at things in fundamental ways.

Strangely, he calls religious freedom laws “a black hole.”

According to Johnson, religious freedom bills, like the one Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (now Donald Trump’s running mate) signed into law last year, could give a blank check to those who want  to discriminate against anybody else so long as they plead “religious liberty.”

There laws might “open up a plethora of discrimination that you never believed could exist,” Johnson said. “And it’ll start with Muslims.”

Here’s the issue. You’ve narrowly defined this. But if we allow for discrimination — if we pass a law that allows for discrimination on the basis of religion — literally, we’re gonna open up a can of worms when it come stop discrimination of all forms, starting with Muslims … who knows. You’re narrowly looking at a situation where if you broaden that, I just tell you — on the basis of religious freedom, being able to discriminate — something that is currently not allowed — discrimination will exist in places we never dreamed of.

Weld, who was a big government-loving governor of the Bay State, praises left-wingers Justice Stephen Breyer and Judge Merrick Garland, along with squishy, irritatingly sanctimonious left-leaning moderates like Sens. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Susan Collins (R-Me.).

In 1993 he endorsed a ban on “assault weapons” and other gun control measures. He was fine with the use of eminent domain in the Atlantic Yards land grab in Brooklyn.

Weld is a fan of “redistributive justice,” reasoning that in education it’s wrong for richer localities to have more money for schools than poorer localities. As governor he was proud his administration

already put in a statutory scheme of spreading the wealth around with a redistributive formula for financing education that went as far as was politically feasible: You have to get the votes in the Legislature. My Secretary of Education at the time was a woman, a native Cuban, who had been in the hills of Cuba with Fidel and Che in 1958. The joke around the statehouse was that this was the most Communist piece of legislation sponsored by a Republican administration in a long time.

That’s a real knee-slapper.

Meanwhile, the founder of Make America Awesome, an anti-Trump super PAC, is now communications director for something called Republicans for Johnson-Weld.
Liz Mair, a former RNC online communications director, called Trump a “loudmouthed dick” on CNN Wednesday, adding that he is going to continue “basically acting as if he’s on a suicide mission and aiming to take the whole rest of the party down with him.”
Many conservatives would question whether taking down the GOP is a bad thing.