Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Gary Johnson: The GOP Is a Dying Party

Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson has a piece at Politico which is an interesting read since Johnson was once a Republican - Republican who became sickened by what he saw overtaking the GOP.  In the piece he makes the case that the GOP is dying and that is one of his motivations to run on the Libertarian ticket.  In many was, Johnson remains what Republicans used to be before the cancer of the Christofascists and white supremacists took hold of the GOP.  Here are highlights:
As a former Republican, I’m shocked that the party of Abraham Lincoln is nominating a man with a vision of America that doesn’t even resemble that of the party I once knew. And his vice presidential pick, Mike Pence, who as governor of Indiana has left a record of division in his state, only makes matters worse. Despite the calls at the GOP convention in Cleveland for national unity, Donald Trump sees our country as a land of exclusion. He wants Americans to act as powerless serfs bullied by someone who says he will protect them. Throughout world history, that has been the calling card of Big Government autocrats.
I was the Republican governor of a very Democratic state. I succeeded because I brought a brand of fiscal conservativism, together with respect for people with different lifestyles. Government must live within its means, and we have to respect one another’s freedoms. Government should not incite culture wars that divide a state’s citizens as has Trump’s new running mate.
In Indiana, Governor Pence unwisely pushed a law that pitted religious freedom against the rights of gays and lesbians, and then backtracked on religious freedom. A better approach is to rely on the Constitution’s protections for free exercise of religion and for equal protection. This is a decisive moment in the history of party politics in America. . . . The Republican Party is on its way to becoming like the Whigs. The Whigs died, then a new party came forward with an inspiring and positive vision for America.
We in the Libertarian Party hope to do the same. We start out from a fundamental premise: As Americans, we believe in freedom. Every individual has dignity and is worthy of civility and respect. The core of our character is one of generous and enlightened self-interest: Every man and woman has the right to choose what to do with their time, their talents and their lives.
I have a record of balancing budget and of vetoing wasteful spending. I worked to bring competition to our state’s educational system. Trump, on the other hand, hasn’t succeeded in business. He made himself rich by climbing over the backs of others. Creditors have been hurt as he walked away from debts. Is that the kind of moral example that he would bring to the U.S. government—finding ways to duck obligations? That’s not an academic question. He has pledged to tear up agreements and even concoct some scheme by which America could walk away from its debt—just as he did in his business dealings. America doesn’t do that.
As a governor of a border state, I understand that our nation needs to control our border. However, of the roughly 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S., a minute percentage present any real threat to our safety and security. The vast majority are here seeking opportunities and better lives, and they wouldn’t be “illegal” if we had a functional system that made “legal” immigration a viable option for those excluded by arbitrary quotas and bureaucratic paralysis.
 Immigration is one more example of the promise that is in America. How our government reacts to those who want to work hard and become a part of our nation is a test of character.  Trump fails that test. Americans must have another choice.

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