Sept. 1, 2016 By Jack Jodell.
We are closing in on Labor Day, the holiday set up to honor the workers of this country who actually produce the goods and services we buy and use. Although the presidential campaigns have realistically been in full swing for many months now, the official start of them has always been on Labor Day. So, until Nov. 8, fully expect to be completely bombarded with political ads and spin on all candidates up for election or re-election this fall. Regrettably, we have seen a massive increase in this nonsense in recent years. We will also see more, now that the Extreme Court‘s horrifically bad pro-corporate Citizens United decision has made it virtually impossible to restrict campaign donations from billionaires and their corporations!
The great intellectual thinker Noam Chomsky summed it up best when he said, “In the US, there is basically one party – the business party. It has two factions, called Democrats and Republicans, which are somewhat different but carry out variations on the same policies.” Others have referred to them as “Tweedledum and tweedledee,” and an increasing number of voters are becoming tired of these so-called “two major political parties” which seemingly offer little or no realistic choice in each election. Many of these disaffected voters have begun to label themselves “Independents.” Some have even been misled into voting for lesser, third party candidates who lack the organization or resources to mount a truly successful campaign, and are therefore wasting their vote on a candidate who stands no chance at all of winning an election. One such candidate in this category is the Green Party’s Dr. Jill Stein. The other is the Libertarian Party’s former NM governor Gary Johnson. It is he and his party that I will focus this post upon; I may cover Ms. Stein later.
As governor of New Mexico, Gary Johnson was originally a Republican who was elected in the Republican-friendly year of 1994. He is a fiscal conservative who also happens to be socially liberal. He, like libertarians do, believes in limited government and military restraint. While serving as New Mexico’s governor, he cut taxes fourteen times. He has been an advocate of the Fair Tax, something which would do away with all federal income, corporate, and capital gains taxes. These would be replaced with a 23% consumption tax on luxury and non-essential goods and would effectively be a regressive rebate to taxpayers based on income level, as the wealthiest would benefit far more than anyone else. Like many Tea Party Republicans, he wants to slash government spending, including that for Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare (a whopping 43% on the last two). He has advocated cutting our military’s personnel as well as cutting expenditures on military bases, intelligence, and nuclear weapons. He has pledged to not support Israel should it attack Iran and would not automatically go along with her should she begin a war with Iran or anyone else. He also advocates the legalization of marijuana and supports same-sex marriage. On the surface, some of these proposals may sound sensible and fair, but they are most definitely NOT!
Like some of the Libertarian platform, a certain amount of what he advocates seems common sensical, at least at first glance. Yet Johnson and many other Libertarians also support our adoption of the Trans Pacific Partnership, which would dangerously surrender much of our economic independence to a foreign-run corporate board, and which I have been campaigning strongly AGAINST since I first learned of it. For it would destroy much needed safety regulations for workers; would negate what little leverage remains for them to negotiate for better wages and working conditions; and would nullify all anti-pollution legislation as being too costly. I am also greatly disturbed at the Libertarian opposition to any form of gun control whatsoever. Johnson himself has stated, “I’m a firm believer in the Second Amendment and so I would not have signed legislation banning assault weapons or automatic weapons.” In the wake of ever-rising mass shootings and the death of far too many innocent people, I find this stance to be not only ludicrous, but dangerous to our society as well. For our Founding Fathers did NOT favor anybody and everybody having whatever kind of weapon they wanted at their disposal: they wanted these weapons to be made available to a “well regulated militia,” rather than in every Tom, Dick, Mary, or Harry’s hands! It is very BAD that the NRA and similar groups have perverted and twisted the meaning of that most important Amendment so much in recent times. By their crazy and incorrect “logic”, then, everybody ought to have the right to own their own nuclear weapon for protection – how utterly INSANE! Why have police, and why even bother with any type of military then? These Libertarians are pushing for a very anarchist, unstable, and wholly impractical and foolish “Wild, wild west” scenario which is the last thing needed today!
The Libertarian Party is, at best, impractical. At worst, it is unfair, unrealistic, and downright dangerous! It was begun by billionaires like Charles Koch for the benefit of billionaires like him. It offers little or no protection for the middle class, the poor, students, the elderly, or the vulnerable. By advocating as little government as possible, it allows reese uncaring billionaires to pollute without restriction and fails to protect the public from the very real excesses of these powerful, wealthy economic predators. It offers NOTHING to workers or anyone besides the wealthy, and that is why I am urging all voters to NOT vote for any Libertarian candidates, especially Gary Johnson! Instead, support your best interests by voting for PROGRESSIVE, fair-minded and forward-thinking candidates who stand a good chance of winning! Instead of pissing and moaning about the current, bought-out status of today’s Democrats and Republicans, DO SOMETHING about it! Write an editorial to your favorite newspaper or magazine – call and write your Representative and Senators and let them know, as THEIR employers, how YOU feel about certain issues – run for office yourself next time! GET ACTIVE!!! Most of all, though, do NOT be fooled into voting for the deceiving and dastardly Libertarian Party!
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