Former N.M. Gov. Gary Johnson is a decent human being. He is philosophically sound, pleasant and sincere. A genuinely likable guy. Which is why he hasn’t a snowball’s chance in hell to win the Republican presidential nomination in 2012.
The chances of Johnson even being a contender for the nomination of the Republican Party is zero. And if he got it, the chances of his being elected are less than zero – c’mon, this is the same electorate that put in Obama.
CUT TO: an opium den dream sequence. Johnson is actually elected through some Olympian intervention, but the sober fact is, real change would be impossible. The NSA, the CIA, the FBI, the DOD, and the rest of them are now an empire within an empire. If Johnson ever tried to make serious changes I suspect he’d get a very serious talking-to, much more scary than a small-town mayor might get from the mob. The situation is beyond redemption in my view.
But wait, what about the Tea Party?
There’s the Tea Party. The Libertarian Party. Independents. An anti-government sentiment on broil, even a few genuinely free-market Republicans out there – all constituencies that might vote for Gary Johnson. There are a lot of disillusioned people out there, a good number of whom might vote for an honest man, even if they don’t agree with him about everything.
Okay, maybe he has a chance? Naw.
To start with, about half the population is on the dole – 45 million are on food stamps alone. Worse yet are all the corporate welfare recipients and high-finance fat cats in bed with the government. There are just too many people whose rice bowls would be broken for Johnson to get elected. Organized labor would never stand for him, and much of corporate America would actually be on their side.
Furthermore, there’s no constituency that would really be for him. The Libertarian Party is a completely ineffectual non-entity, and unworthy of support, as it proved by nominating the Congressman Bob Barr for its last candidate. The Tea Party has no central philosophy. Enough said.
Can Johnson shift the debate at least?
Sure, he might change the nature of the debate a bit, and that would be a good thing. It would offer him an ideological pulpit for educating the populace beyond the two-party duopoly, which might be a noble reason for Gary to give it a go.
But none of that debate will change the way the vast majority of either the electorate or the politicians think or vote. The fact is that politicians all know they won’t get re-elected if they force America to bite the rusty bullet it must if America is to begin a real recovery.
In other words, what needs to be done is a large-scale firing of government employees, the abolition of most agencies, reinstitution of a sound currency, a default on many or most government obligations, radical cuts in spending, and the disbanding of the military-industrial complex. Yeah, right. Anybody who did those things would be branded a traitor, or worse.
So the government will continue kicking the can down the road. A controlled demolition of today’s totally corrupt system is the best thing that could happen. Instead we’ll get an uncontrolled collapse later.
The unavoidable train wreck
There is no way to avert the train wreck now. The infinite demand for government services from the 50 percent of the population who pay about 4 percent of the total tax revenues of the United States guarantees it – that’s the point of no return. Not to mention the abject failure of the government education system. Things won’t get better until the present system implodes.
In that regard, I’m glad Johnson is running because his campaign will almost certainly underscore Ron Paul’s principles, which he has been out on the road singing for over 20 years. Both Johnson and Paul speak on principle, and on things that matter. The fact that neither can win is actually a good thing. I pity the poor fool who’s in office as we come out of the eye of the hurricane we’re in now. Whoever is in office will be blamed, even though the collapse will be the consequence of decades of mismanagement.
But getting the ideas out into TV-land is a good thing. Come the crunch, the more people who’ve heard of Johnson’s and Paul’s free-market ideas, the better the odds of things looking up after the crash.
I said there’s no way Johnson will win or prevent the impending economic collapse America is slipping into – but I didn’t say his campaign wouldn’t do any good.
I wish him the greatest success.
Molitor is a regular columnist for this site. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.