After the Libertarian Party nominated Gary Johnson and William Weld last month, I indicated I was open to voting for this ticket.
I have now just finished watching the Libertarian Town Hall on CNN which was hosted by Chris Cuomo and was a bit perturbed by what I heard.
When Johnson was asked about what he thought of President Obama all he could say was that he’s “a great guy.” Weld went further by saying that Obama was “statesman like” and “he’s picked up his game over the past couple of years.” How exactly did Obama pick up his game? By trading 5 Taliban for a deserter soldier? Calling ISIS the “jayvee squad”? Refusing to enforce his own red line in Syria?
For good measure, Weld referred to Hillary Clinton as “a wonderful public servant” noting that he and Hillary shared an office during the Watergate hearings when they worked for the House Judiciary Committee. Somehow I think the families who lost loved ones in Benghazi might not share Weld’s assessment.
Not surprisingly, Weld reserved most of his derision for Donald Trump whom he described as a “huckster.” Among other things, Weld criticized Trump’s proposal that Japan and South Korea be able to develop their own nuclear weapons. Yet given his praise of Obama and Hillary, one wonders what he thinks of the Iran nuclear deal. Unfortunately, that question wasn’t addressed during the Town Hall and I would like to know their position concerning the central piece of Obama’s foreign policy.
Although Johnson has a longer history as a Libertarian, it was Weld who came off as the guy who should have been at the top of the ticket. Johnson doesn’t project a great deal of authority or confidence when he speaks.
Johnson isn’t out of line with some Republican thinking when he proposes the elimination of the income and corporate tax as well as the IRS to be replaced with a federal consumption tax. But when I hear consumption tax I hear the GST. Canadians are all too familiar with federal consumption taxes (as are Europeans with the VAT). Johnson insists a federal consumption tax will be revenue neutral. That’s exactly the same thing the Tory government of Brian Mulroney said of the GST. When you hear a politician describe a tax as revenue neutral – duck!!!
With all this said, I haven’t ruled out voting Libertarian as a protest vote. But Johnson and Weld didn’t help their case tonight.