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Old 10-27-2012, 07:50 AM
Franc Tireur Franc Tireur is offline
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Frightened Republicans Try to Close Down Election Competitors, Such as Gary Johnson

The Republican Party claims to believe in freedom. But not really. Certainly not if that means being able to vote for someone who truly believes in liberty.

Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, a Republican who cut spending while advocating legalization of marijuana, originally ran for the GOP presidential nomination. But most of the debate organizers refused to let him join the largely undistinguished candidate herd which included another unknown former governor (Jon Huntsman) and a businessman with no political experience (Herman Cain).

Johnson switched parties and won the Libertarian Party nomination (joined by former Judge Jim Gray, the vice presidential nominee). Now Republicans fear the LP might take votes away from their candidate, Mitt Romney, who talks against spending and regulation. GOP operatives were able to keep Johnson off the Michigan ballot -- after his campaign filed the relevant paperwork three minutes late. In Pennsylvania state Republican officials unsuccessfully challenged Johnson's petition campaign (as elsewhere, the major party duopoly requires its competitors to collect signatures to go before the voters).

In the summer the Republican National Committee attempted to void Nevada's law which offers a ballot option of "none of these candidates." Republicans claimed they wanted to "bring clarity" to the election, but their real purpose was obvious: given the option of saying no to both major party representatives of Big Government, some citizens would be inclined to check "none." In 1998 Sen. Harry Reid, the current majority leader, won reelection by 428 votes while more than 8000 Nevadans chose "none." As the national challengers in 2012, the Republicans hoped these voters would migrate their way. Thankfully, the federal appellate court affirmed the law.

Obviously, the Republican Party is running scared. Reince Priebus, the national GOP chairman, dismissed Johnson as a "nonfactor." But then why keep him out of intra-party debates and try to keep him off of the general election ballot? Because leading Republicans know that any citizen who really believes in limited government and individual liberty does not want to vote for either Barack Obama or Mitt Romney.

When a supporter of Rep. Ron Paul, the nation's leading political libertarian and the LP's standard-bearer in 1988, asked GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan why libertarians should vote Republican, the latter responded: "Do you want Barack Obama to be re-elected?" The obvious answer is no.

However, in the same situation Vice President Joe Biden could have responded similarly: "Do you want Mitt Romney to be elected?" And the answer equally would be no.

Both the Republican and the Democratic presidential candidates talk about liberty, freedom, fiscal responsibility, free enterprise, choice and the Constitution. But neither candidate believes in those principles. Elect either Barack Obama or Mitt Romney, and government will be bigger, spending will be higher, regulation will be more intrusive, the military will be fighting more wars, more service personnel will be dying, more money will be wasted abroad, civil liberties of more people will be violated, and more privacy of more citizens will be invaded. Overall, the free society will continue to retreat.
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