Sunday, September 13, 2015

"Libertarian" Gary Johnson Is At It , Again

Gary Johnson. who was the 2012 Libertarian candidate for president (and may seek the 2016 nomination) is out with a terrible letter (below), from a libertarian perspective, on Kim Davis, the clerk of Rowan County, Kentucky, who was briefly jailed because she refused to issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple.

Though the letter ends with a Rand Paul-type convoluted ending, which makes the position in the letter somewhat unclear. In the middle of the letter, there is a strong statement by Johnson that Davis is wrong because she is "paid by the taxpayers."

But this isn't a libertarian position at all, from a non-aggression principle foundation. The libertarian position is that the government shouldn't be involved in issuing marriage licenses at all and that Davis should be booted out of her taxpayer supported job and replaced by NO ONE.

This should be the essence of the libertarian position on Kim Davis and Johnson doesn't come close to stating it.

I also want to note that this is not the first current event position that he has been horrific on. See, for example, "Libertarian" Gary Johnson Thinks the Term 'Anchor Babies' is Offensive.



There are 3,143 counties in the United States.

In each of those counties, a public official is responsible for issuing marriage licenses to those who are legally entitled to them.

As far as I am aware, none of those officials is empowered to deny a marriage license to a couple simply because he or she doesn’t approve of the marriage.

But then there is Kim Davis, the elected Clerk of Rowan County, Kentucky. Claiming religious objections, Ms. Davis refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. She even went to jail for a few days rather than carry out her statutory duty. Suddenly, Ms. Davis is a national celebrity, a martyr, a hero, a criminal or whatever -- depending on one’s point of view.

We even watched as presidential candidates literally raced to Kentucky to be the first to join Ms. Davis for a photo op outside the jail when she was released.

It was quite a spectacle, and it isn’t over yet.

Religious freedom is important. It is one of the liberties Our America seeks to protect -- and even strengthen. That isn’t the issue, despite what too many politicians would have us believe. Ms. Davis has every right to believe whatever it is she believes. But when she is sitting at her taxpayer-funded desk in her taxpayer-funded office in a taxpayer-funded courthouse -- collecting her taxpayer-funded salary, she does not have the luxury of impos ing her beliefs on those she is elected and paid to serve -- especially when doing so means denying marriage rights that have been confirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court.

It isn’t complicated, and her “disobedience” frankly isn’t worth the attention it has received. All over the nation, every day, public officials carry out responsibilities with which they may not be entirely comfortable. How many gun permits are issued by officials who are anti-gun? How many liquor licenses are handed out by teetotalers? Hundreds, if not thousands, of officials and public employees deal with such “conflicts” every day - - because we live in a nation that is founded on the idea that religious or personal beliefs, while preciously protected, cannot be imposed on the legally-protected freedoms of others. The alternative is tyranny.

Even in the case of marriage equality, while Ms. Davis is having her 15 minutes of fame, state and local officials across the nation are quietly and respectfully adjusting to a new, if long overdue, reality, including taking steps to make it easier for public employees to reconcile their duties with strongly-held beliefs.  If Ms. Davis can’t handle the conflict, then she can find another job. No one’s stopping her, and no one is stopping her beliefs.
It’s that simple.

No, this single County Clerk isn’t the issue. The REAL issue is that politicians, including some who want to be President, are using her behavior to promote an anti-liberty social agenda based on the notion that it is OK for government to impose beliefs at the expense of freedom.

This entire episode has reminded me why we created the Our America Initiative in the first place: To fight back against those who use the force of government to erode liberty -- through unnecessary laws, overreaching policies and out-of-control spending and taxes.

The millions of Americans who believe government should exist to protect liberty, not destroy it, deserve a voice. Your financial support of the Our America Initiative makes it possible for us to provide that voice.

I hope you will go to Our America today and make a contribution that will help us restore Liberty as the real American value.

Thank you!

Gov. Gary Johnson
Honorary Chairman


  1. I will offer my minarchist perspective. Marriage is a partnership contract between consenting adults. There are legal implications regarding inheritance, child custody, divorce, and medical directives. The state would only play a role when compulsion is necessary to hold one party to the contract, but there is no reason why homosexuals can't contract with one another.

    1. But why is the state necessary for that at all? In a contract, a private arbiter or court could be designated to judge any disputes?

  2. When she took the oath of office, she concluded with "so help me god." Setting aside which god, is it not implicit that the arbiter of the oath is higher than the oath taker and of the institution whose office is to be performed? I have been thinking about this and I am curious what others tthink.

  3. The stance that there is no libertarian position on gay marriage is incorrect. The libertarian position is that the government should get out of the marriage license business, BUT while the government IS in the marriage license business, the government should not discriminate against gay people. This position minimizes NAP violations given the current situation.

    If someone promotes a lower tax rate, would you respond that there is no libertarian position on lowering taxes, because the government should not be in the taxing business? I doubt it. You would go for the position that minimizes rights violations. The same position should be taken with respect to gay marriage.

    1. I find this view unacceptable. When we expand "constitutional rioghts" to any group the flip side is that these "rights" will become the basis for agressing against those who hold opposing views. It is never a libertarian position to expand government inference especially in the name of fairness.

  4. For reasons that escape me now, when the Libertarian Party of Michigan asked me to represent Gary Johnson temporarily in the Detroit U.S. District Court in 2012 until the “real” ballot access attorney could be sworn in (and since I was an authorized “electronic filer” in federal court), I agreed. Gary Johnson had needed to file an affidavit of withdrawal from the Michigan Republican presidential primary ballot but faxed it into the state offices 3 minutes too late in December 2011. Therefore, he was put on the primary ballot and lost. Therefore, he could not run in Michigan for president in 2012. I was asking myself why the party and Johnson would want to emphasize this episode to public by filing this lawsuit. Use your energy to explain to the public that inflation isn’t a mysterious force of nature. But what do I know?

    Gary Johnson, a former two-term Governor of New Mexico, ran for President of the United States in the 2012 election. He initially sought the Republican Party nomination, confirming with Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson on November 8, 2011 that he would be placed on the primary election ballot as a Republican candidate. However, in December 2011, he changed his mind and decided to seek the nomination of the Libertarian Party instead. Although he had been informed of the statutory withdrawal deadline, Gary Johnson submitted his affidavit stating he was no longer a presidential candidate of the Republican Party three minutes too late. Because his withdrawal was untimely, Gary Johnson’s name appeared on the Michigan primary ballot as a Republican Party candidate. He did not challenge his untimely withdrawal or appearance as a Republican candidate on the primary ballot, and did not ultimately win the Republican Party nomination. See Compl. ¶¶ 7–15. Johnson was subsequently nominated as the Libertarian Party’s presidential candidate at the national Libertarian Party Convention on May 3–6, 2012. On May 3, 2012, the Michigan Secretary of State notified Johnson that under Michigan’s sore loser law, he could not appear on the Michigan ballot as the Libertarian Party’s candidate since he had run, and lost, as a candidate in the Republican Party primary.


    The district court granted the Secretary of State’s motion to dismiss and denied Johnson’s motion for summary judgment, holding that the sore loser statute applied to presidential candidates like Johnson and was not a severe burden on Johnson’s or the Libertarian Party of Michigan’s associational rights, but rather was a “reasonable, nondiscriminatory restriction justified by Michigan’s important regulatory interests of preventing extended intra party feuding, factionalism and voter confusion.”

  5. The left really made a huge tactical error with putting Davis in jail. If her bosses were smart they simply should've fired her then conservatives wouldn't have much of a leg to stand on in regards to making her some of sort of theocon martyr. If they fired her for not doing her job they simply could've said she didn't do her job, and conservatives who claim to be for letting business hire and fire for what they want wouldn't be as noisy. However the real liberty position is that the state shouldn't be in marriage at all.

  6. I just opted out of his emails after that nonsense. He's not a libertarian at all. Small gov't liberal or or something maybe but not libertarian. He attacks Kim Davis but what about people suing bakeries for refusing to bake a cake for them. They are definitely using aggression/force! Also why jail time for Kim Davis? Don't they ever fire people anymore?

    The state is not needed in the marriage business at all that's for sure!