Until yesterday I had never even heard of Gary Johnson former Governor of New Mexico and now Republican candidate for President. While watching one of the many news shows that I consume on a daily bases I learned that former governor Johnson had been excluded from the New Hampshire debate last night while Rep. Bachmann who until yesterday was not even a declared candidate was included. So I decided that I should take a look at the man.
Former Govenor Johnson’s web site is here: http://www.garyjohnson2012.com/ on the former governors site under issues you will find the topics of Foreign Policy, Internet and Technology, Civil Liberties, Spending and The Deficit, The Economy and Taxes, Education and School Choice, Drug Policy Reform, and Immigration. I examined each of these issues one by one fully reading each and while former governor Johnson did make some good points like all Republicans he was just plain wrong in some cases, used a lot of words to say nothing and proposes the same old failed solutions to the problem. While promoting for example the need for the Budget to be balance he like the current Republican majority in the House of Representatives refuses to acknowledge the fact that this country had a balance budget in fact a surplus budget until “Shrub”.
So while it would require a post resimpling a college thesis to analyse what former governor Johnson has to say on each of the cited issues point by point I feel that there are few thing that need to be pointed out. Lets start with Foreign Policy. Mr. Johnson begins by pointing out the obvious and that is National Security is a basic function of Government nothing new and nothing that has not been stated by every politician Republican or Democrat. He then points out that building roads, schools, and hospitals in other countries is not a National Security obligation again telling the reader something they already know. Now what by some could be considered a scrap of meat on a bone the former governor states “America simply cannot afford to be engaged in foreign policy programs that are not clearly protecting U.S. interests.” At this point one would expect some defining of the U.S. interests that we should be protecting and are missing. So what exactly is the former governor advocating? Well #1 the former governor says “Bring the troops home” ok again nothing new. The second foreign policy position of former governor Johnson is ”Lead by example” under this heading one finds three bullet points each of which are objectives or principles that should be followed and define us as Americans they do not comprise a foreign policy but those points do deserve to be acknowledged and are as follows:
1. No criminal or terrorist suspect captured by the U.S. should be subject to physical or psychological torture. (to do so would be criminal under U.S. law and signed treaties. Can anyone say that Chaney and Bush are not criminals?)
2.Individuals incarcerated unjustly by the U.S. should have the ability to seek compensation through the courts. (I agree but again not foreign policy. The readers should look at the Reynolds decision of the Supreme Court and how it has been used and abused.) the third and final bullet point from the former governor is ;
3. Individuals detained by the U.S., whether it be at Guantanamo Bay or elsewhere, must be given due process via the courts or military tribunals, and must not be held indefinitely without regard to those fundamental processes. Again a valid point supporting a fundamental belief of most American but not a foreign policy.
Now under the title “Spending and the Deficit” We find three goals, remember goals are not policy at this point it may be useful to actually define policy and the best definition for what concerns us is: b : a high-level overall plan embracing the general goals and acceptable procedures especially of a governmental body. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/policy . Now I am going to outline what the former governor has stated and you can decide if it in fact meets the definition of policy so here we go.
1.”Balance the Budget” (This is the goal. Remember when the Republicans came to power i.e. before Shrub we not only had a “Balanced Budget” but a “Surplus Budget”) So what is the policy to accomplish this goal? Well here it is or what I assume to be the policy “Federal spending must be cut not by millions or billions, but by trillions. And it must be done today.” Fair enough so what are the acceptable procedures for implementation of the “policy” here is what former governor Johnson has put forth.
It’s time to:
- End excessive spending, bloated stimulus programs, unnecessary farm subsidies, and earmarks.
- Reassess the role of the federal government and identify responsibilities that can be met more efficiently by the private sector.
- Recognize that you can’t have limited government at home, but big government abroad.
These points again raise more questions than they answer for example just how does the former governor define excessive, unnecessary, and earmarks. The gentleman needs to provide context. I will let you the reader explore the other two points on your own because as I said I do not want this to turn into a thesis on the candidate. But a point I will make here is former governor Johnson needs to settle on an amount that is being borrowed per dollar spent in a discussion of the budget the former governor states 40 cents and when discussing “The Economy and taxes he place the figure at 43 cents.
The bottom line is former govener Johnson is not ready for prime time but should have been included in last nights debate.