Our government has become a monster. No longer does Washington adhere to a philosophy that would limit its size and scope, nor to the document penned to enslave that entity to its people. Men, like America’s founding fathers knew them to be, are inherently power-hungry. For too long the citizenry has ceded power to our government and this decades-long erosion has resulted in a behemoth that does not respect the rights of individuals. Government has its regulatory tentacles wrapped around nearly every aspect of our economy, constricting the freedom out of the market; A constant state of warfare has bred numerous human rights atrocities authored by the once bastion of liberty; The war on drugs has slain the precious dogma of a free people and with it thousands of innocent, peaceful lives; Profligate spending and endless borrowing has chained average citizens to a weight of debt that will extend deep into succeeding generations. The solution for all of this, say Republicans and Democrats, is to keep doing the same thing.
I will not.
I will be voting for the Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson tomorrow. As a two-term governor of New Mexico, Johnson stood up to the encroachment of government at every avenue, vetoing more bills than all other 49 governors combined during that same period. Unlike most politicians, Mitt Romney particularly, Gary Johnson’s limited government rhetoric matches his record. He is the only candidate that will support cutting government across the board – militarily, socially, and economically.
Despite vehemently campaigning against the war in Iraq and torture under the Bush administration, President Obama dragged the conflict out for a further four years, has extended the war in Afghanistan, involved the United States in more extraneous foreign conflicts, and piloted a treacherous drone warfare campaign that has resulted in numerous extrajudicial killings, many of whom were innocent civilians. Once part of the grassroots anti-war movement, President Obama has now become judge, jury, and executioner, wielding the pen that checks names off of his secret kill list and signs others up for indefinite detention. Those hoping for a radical reduction in foreign involvement from the Obama administration have been handed a continuation of the Bush-era policies. Mitt Romney, not to be outdone in hawkishness, has spoken out against none of these disastrous and evil policies, instead electing to follow a path of impending war with Iran. Electing either Barack Obama or Mitt Romney will only continue this state of affairs, or worse.
Foreign affairs is not the only arena in which Romney and Obama are close allies. Despite rhetoric from both about reducing the national debt, both candidates have vowed to spend more and cut less, though both have their own ways of going about it. Mitt Romney, bucking Republican’s favorite jobs meme that “government doesn’t create jobs,” has continually criticized Obama’s plan to cut military spending, claiming that it will cost thousands of government jobs. In minimal contrast, Governor Romney would spend endlessly on the military industrial complex, serving only to grow the deficit and add to the debt. Neither would actually cut from the military, despite its rampant and needless overgrowth. Nor would either the Democrat or the Republican take drastic measures to expel government intervention from the economy. The past four years have proven quite emphatically that President Obama’s core principles include government direction of the market. A Romney administration, perhaps marginally less hostile to a free market, would also resort to government interference, evidence of which lies in Romney’s signature accomplishment during his tenure of Massachusetts that became the model for the Affordable Care Act, colloquially known as “ObamaCare.” Coupled with his harsh tone toward China, it is evident that Mitt Romney does not believe in a free market nor a free people making decisions for themselves.
Thus, Gary Johnson remains as the lone candidate who opposes a tyrannical government on all grounds. Only, he will not win. Either Barack Obama or Mitt Romney will be elected the next president of the United States, but who wins is not the sole consequence of this election. A decent result from Gary Johnson, like the underdog team putting up a good fight against the reigning champion, will get people talking. It may change the course of partisan politics, or it may not, but the survival of the status quo and the continuation of the downward slope toward an ever more powerful government is certain unless we do something to stop it.
This is step one.