I tweeted this message today:
As a #libertarian, I hereby vow I will vote for #Libertarian #GaryJohnson unless the #GOP nominates #RonPaul. PLEASE RT WIDELY: #JifnotP
With Gary Johnson today announcing his departure from the Republican Party presidential race and his plan to campaign for the Libertarian Party nomination, I vowed on Twitter – with the hash tag #JifnotP – that I will vote for Gary Johnson in the general election unless the Republican Party is wise enough to nominate Ron Paul as their candidate. (Several hundred thousand more like me could actually make conservative strategists rethink their general-election plans.)
I’ve voted Republican in about half of the presidential elections in my adult lifetime and Libertarian in the other half, so I’m not a fanatic who the GOP could never count on. I am the swing voter they may need to retain in a close election.
And they won’t this year, not without Ron Paul.
I didn’t want it to come to this.
•I largely put up with Bush’s wars in hopes that urgently-needed entitlement reform would also be part of the deal.
•I thought Rick Perry sounded like a plausible consensus candidate before we all saw how tongue-tied and clueless he is.
•I urged my fellow libertarians – as well as various paleoconservatives – time and again not to pick divisive fights with the neoconservatives.
•I have called myself a fusionist, written of Ron Paul on National Review’s website in measured terms, and longed for a happy Reaganesque free-market coalition that seeks compromise on the divisive foreign-policy and religious-rhetoric issues.
And I don’t view contemplating a Johnson vote now as any sort of sabotage or disloyalty. On the contrary, implausible as it may sound to some, I still see Ron Paul as the ultimate fusionist figure: hardcore libertarian, socially conservative, populist enough for disaffected moderates, and beloved by many left-leaning defenders of the anti-drug-war, antiwar, pro-civil-liberties variety.
More important, the financial crisis has changed theusual conservative calculus: econ – often relegated to the status of a mere party platform plank by conservatives as they slowly, painstakingly steer the ship of state and nudge the culture – is both more central and more urgent than it has been in decades. I don’t think anyone seriously believes that any candidate in the GOP besides Paul will even attempt the fundamental changes necessary.
Is he a bit crazy? I think they all are but that we may need his kind of crazy right now. If Mitch Daniels – or, hell, Steve Forbes – were the GOP nominee, maybe it wouldn’t have come to this. But I think we now have one magical opportunity to stop Leviathan before it drags us to economic doom, and there would be nothing conservative about letting that opportunity slip away and watching civilization implode.
Can you live with yourself if you don’t vote for him (ESPECIALLY IF YOU’RE LIVING IN IOWA ON JANUARY 3, THIS COMING TUESDAY) and have to wonder for the rest of your life, as we spiral downward economically, whether you passed up our one chance to end all this big-government nonsense almost overnight?
Gradual would have been nice, but it’s time to decide where you stand. Big government or liberty? Do you want committees to pay lip service to minor reforms in ever-ballooning programs for the next eight years or do you want to shut down nonsensical programs in our lifetimes and live as free and prosperous people again? Please take this vow and urge others to do so (you can cut and paste it into your own Twitter feed if you have one, too):