Friday, May 20, 2016

I endorse Governor Gary Johnson for President in 2016

I have been publishing this and other blogs for more than eleven years, in addition to contributing to, Bearing Drift, and the Richmond Times-Dispatch op-ed page over that period.  I've spent countless hours discussing politics as a guest commentator (and guest host) on local radio and TV programs.

Throughout that time, I have refrained from endorsing candidates for public office at any level.  To be fair, I have written nice things about candidates I like and snarky things about candidates I dislike, but I have never issued an explicit endorsement.

This year, that changes.  This year, the stakes are too high.

In 2016, with Hillary Clinton on the left and Donald Trump on the alt-right, I am morally bound to oppose them both.  Yet I am not content to vote for the least of three (or four) evils.  Instead, I can enthusiastically endorse the most qualified of any of the candidates for president who will appear on the ballots of all 50 states plus the District of Columbia.

The letter below was released earlier today on Facebook.  I felt compelled to write it because of the risk that my fellow Libertarians may grasp defeat and despair from the jaws of opportunity and success.

Governor Gary Johnson represents the best hope for a Libertarian ascendancy in the 45-year history of the party.  Gary Johnson will have my vote in Orlando on May 29, and my vote in Virginia on November 8.

I urge my compatriots in the LPVA to do the same at the convention next weekend, and my fellow citizens to do the same in the general election.

May 20, 2016

To my fellow delegates to the 2016 Libertarian National Convention
and to all American voters:

I am firm in my support of Governor Gary Johnson and endorse him for the Libertarian Party’s presidential nomination without reservation.

To be honest, I have known Governor Johnson for six years and he is the warmest, most unassuming politician I've ever met - - and I've met many, including every Virginia governor since Chuck Robb and nearly every candidate for Virginia statewide office since at least 2001. He is also among the most intelligent and thoughtful people I know.

You can't ignore the unprecedented flood of positive media attention that Gary has induced. Polls show him winning vote percentages in the double digits, on the cusp of an invitation to the debates this fall, with the minimum potential of doubling or tripling the LP's record-high totals of 2012. If any other candidate wins the nomination on May 29, all of that will be dust in the wind, and the party's presidential vote totals will descend to Michael Badnarik - - or worse, Dave Bergland - - levels. The added advantages of drawing new and energetic members into the party, bringing libertarian ideas to a wider audience, and changing the terms of the country’s policy discussions are incalculable.

Disaffected Republicans who vow #NeverTrump will not cast their votes for another erratic businessman with no political foundation, nor for a never-elected neophyte with a thin résumé. They are looking for someone with solid credentials and a proven track record. Similarly, disaffected Democrats who prefer Bernie Sanders’ misdirected idealism to a Clinton dynasty will find Gary’s clear vision of fiscal prudence and social progress compelling.

Gary Johnson is a credible, pragmatic, experienced chief executive with a libertarian core. I can't imagine a better combination as the LP's standard bearer or as President of the United States.

-- Rick Sincere
   Chairman, Libertarian Party of Virginia, 1991-1996
   Cofounder and President, Gays and Lesbians for Individual Liberty
   Former Chairman, City of Charlottesville Electoral Board

I hope to see many of my readers in Orlando and I look forward to a vigorous, civil debate about the nominations and the issues.

No comments: