Thursday, August 4, 2016

Libertarian Presidential Ticket Has Another Disappointing Primetime Town Hall

Libertarian political views can be called many things, some deserved and others not so much--bold, heartless, inspiring, naive, peaceful, unconventional, etc. "Boring" usually doesn't make the list.

And yet, somehow at the latest Libertarian Town Hall, with Gary Johnson and Bill Weld at the helm, that was precisely the outcome.

True to form, Weld was coherent, but frequently wrong. Meanwhile, Johnson stumbled through slightly better positions, but was often wrong as well.

Last night, they were campaigning not primarily on the merits of libertarian ideas. Rather, they were campaigning on the alleged virtues of compromise and bipartisanship, and how their personal governing experience could bring those about.

While there were no major gaffes, they expressed many decidedly non-libertarian views.

How to solve the problem of domestic terrorism? They want to expand the FBI. Oh, and things like the Orlando Shooting wouldn't have happened if we didn't have so much due process left in this country (not a direct quote, but the necessary implication of their remarks).

What about terrorists overseas? Weld's okay with drone assassinations, and they were both okay with violating Pakistan's sovereignty to assassinate Osama bin Laden and with invading Afghanistan. Not mentioned--the fact that the Taliban were willing to extradite Osama bin Laden for prosecution, which could have obviated both decisions.

I confess it was around that time that I unplugged with the predicted level of disappointment.

Back in 2007, Ron Paul managed to capture everyone's attention and inspire a movement with a few brief minutes on a Republican debate stage. Johnson and Weld just had a second hour on cable news in Primetime to lay out the libertarian case, and I doubt very much whether anyone will remember it, fondly or otherwise, a few days hence.

Read Brian Doherty at Reason for the rest of the highlights from the town hall, if you can call them that.

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