I’ve heard since the Convention that we need to put Pistolgate behind us. Austin Petersen has encouraged us, his supporters, to put it behind us and come together to support the party in hopes of ballot access because of the loathing in the country for the old party candidates.I had just about convinced myself to do all that…and then this drops today.
Moments after he won the Libertarian Party’s presidential nomination, Gary Johnson, the former governor of New Mexico, was handed a peace offering — a replica of one of George Washington’s pistols — by runner-up Austin Petersen.
“You have my sword, and my gun,” said Petersen.
Cameras rolling, Johnson accepted the gift. Then he watched Petersen tell delegates to oppose Bill Weld, the former Massachusetts governor Johnson had enticed to run for vice president, whose past views against marijuana legalization are seen as a deal-breaker for many orthodox libertarians.
Johnson is not so much about orthodoxy. In a snit as he walked out, he tossed the gun in the garbage. For days afterward, a busy network of libertarian blogs investigated the story, and got a confession. Fox News even ran with it.
“It wasn’t out of character,” said Johnson. “Maybe, what was out of character was doing it in a public way, where I kind of, sort of knew that it would be seen. In character would have been to do that in private. But to me, hypocrisy” — endorsing Johnson but not his running mate — “is the unforgivable sin.”
I wish I knew what hypocrisy the Governor is talking about. When Petersen endorsed Johnson, the Vice President nomination hadn’t happened yet. Was Weld a lock? No one really knew. I suppose in the eyes of the Johnson camp it was a lock but the rest of us were hoping and praying for a Sharpe and some were hoping for a Dearn but that proved to be false advertising.
It was hard enough to put such disrespect behind me to even work for Johnson’s ballot access in Kentucky. As I write this, I’m pretty sure that won’t happen either. I haven’t cared for Johnson’s demeanor throughout this entire campaign. His lackadaisical participation in the various debates, his complete abdication of the “party leader” role he won in 2012, and last but not least the behavior of some of his supporters has been very Trump-esque. Many of those same supporters are now saying the same things we hear in the old parties. “Support the Party!” and “We have to be pragmatic about this!”. Yeah well…I was pragmatic. I gave ground on issues in politics all of my adult life until 2010 when I had no more room to give. Since then I have been tacking further and further away from these “pragmatic” ideas and closer to a pure Individual Liberty model. I suppose this is the final step.
Unless something dramatic happens between now and election day, this may well be the first time in my voting life where I cannot and will not support any candidate for President…OR…I will go full on Cloward-Piven and vote for the WORST possible candidate in hopes that the winner and the following 4 years will wake more people up to the fact that Progressivism is a poison, that identity politics is a cancer, and that fidelity to an ideology and not giving on core principles is a virtue. I will wear the label of “Purist” like a badge of honor as it is hissed at me by those who care more about winning some mythical prize than advancing the radical notion that we own ourselves and we owe NOTHING to Caesar except what is Caesar’s.