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Thursday, September 15, 2016

Gary Johnson: Can You Be Proud Of This Vote?

First, I would like to see Gary Johnson in the Presidential debates.

I'd like to see him respond to a question about this:

When asked "Should a Jewish baker be required to bake a Nazi wedding cake?", Johnson replied, "That would be my contention, yes."

I know Trump didn't disavow David Duke fast enough for some people, myself included. My guess is Trump, not being a career politician or a career Republican, didn't really know who Duke was--much like he didn't know what Brexit was--and was smart enough to not state an opinion till he knew. And if turnabout is fairplay, Johnson's "What-is-Aleppo?" moment is in a similar category of ignorance. But at least Trump didn't make modern-day Nazis a protected-identity class like Johnson did.

[On a side note, I do know how it feels to be wrongly lumped-in with hateful, bigoted, violent fringe groups, as left-leaning people are doing to Trump. You are just doing your own thing, but then these hate-groups come alongside and attach themselves to your peaceful group, and you can't defend yourself in the public eye because of the "optics" of the situation which were completely out of your control. You disavow those violent hate-groups, but a large chunk of the misinformed public never believes you and never understands how wrong they are.]

On the basis of Johnson's answer to that question alone, is this a candidate to be proud of voting for?

If I were Jewish, I would rather die than be forced to bake a cake for a self-proclaimed Nazi. Heck, I'm Catholic and I would rather die than be forced for bake a cake for a Nazi.

If anyone needs help answering my question, may I suggest this, this, this, this, this, this, these and this? (one of the tamer videos but still with horrific images- viewer discretion advised)

There are some enlightening discussions of what the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and its 21 different state versions really represent, at The Weekly Standard:

[Johnson] says [Republican Vice Presidential candidate Mike] Pence "took a divisive approach by introducing religious freedom bills that were clearly aimed at LGBT individuals."

This is a mischaracterization of what Indiana attempted to do, which was pass a version of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act at the state level. The federal RFRA passed in the 1990s under Bill Clinton with overwhelming bipartisan support. Twenty-one states already have state-level RFRAs.

John McCormack has an in-depth explanation of RFRAs and what they do, but in short, the legal term of art for legislation such as RFRAs is that they are a "balancing test." RFRA provide that the state must have a compelling interest for restricting religious freedom and that requires they use the least restrictive means possible. If someone charges that their religious freedom is impeded, they make their case in court, and there's no guarantee they will win. To date, there hasn't been a single RFRA case over compelled participation in gay marriage. And the statute has been used for many broader religious freedom purposes, such as authorities trying to seize ceremonial eagle feathers from Native Americans under the guise of the Endangered Species Act.

Far from RFRAs being "clearly aimed at LGBT individuals," it's exactly the vehicle for achieving the balance between religious liberty and freedom from discrimination that Johnson claims he wants.

Johnson is a sharp guy, so what's the problem with his understanding this? One likely possibility is that the pendulum has swung so far and so fast on social issues in this country that Johnson doesn't get that religious believers have a pretty credible claim to statist oppression. If being conservative on fiscal issues and liberal on social issues seemed like a good, quick definition of libertarianism once upon a time, well, attacking religious freedom has scrambled that definition quite a bit.
For months, Libertarian party candidate Gary Johnson has been pooh-poohing the idea of religious liberty, saying that he has no problem with private business owners being forced by the government to participate in gay nuptials that run counter to their religious beliefs. How a "libertarian" would be in favor of the government telling cake bakers, florists, and wedding photographers that they must participate in religious ceremonies they don't believe in is simply baffling.

What I don't understand is that not only does Johnson fail to understand America's religious liberty debates, but over time his articulation of his position has become even worse. Last week, the Washington Examiner's Tim Carney asked Johnson about religious liberty again, and Johnson said this:

"I mean under the guise of religious freedom, anybody can do anything. Back to Mormonism. Why shouldn't somebody be able to shoot somebody else because their freedom of religion says that God has spoken to them and that they can shoot somebody dead."

This is a foolish argument, not only substantively but as a matter of practical politics. As blogger Ace of Spades put it, "Apparently the right to have someone bake a cake endorsing your sexual choices lies on the same plane as the right to be free of unwanted religiously-motivated murder, and both situations compel the same analysis and conclusion."

...from the article, "Once Again, Gary Johnson Completely Misunderstands Religious Freedom: Is it too much to ask that the Libertarian espouse the libertarian position?", Aug 03, 2016, by Mark Hemingway

Conservative Review and The Federalist agree that Johnson isn't getting this right.

How about you?

Further information to consider:

Thursday, September 15

Trump vs. Clinton vs. Johnson vs. Stein----CBS News/NY Times-------Clinton 42, Trump 42, Johnson 8, Stein 4----Tie
Trump vs. Clinton---------------------------------CBS News/NY Times-------Clinton 46, Trump 44---------------------------Clinton +2
Trump vs. Clinton vs. Johnson vs. Stein----Rasmussen Reports-----Clinton 40, Trump 42, Johnson 7, Stein 2----Trump +2

Will Johnson's 7 or 8% of the polling votes tip Hillary into the White House? Or will it help Trump? At this point, I don't really know anymore.

I realize that Millennials believe they're not included well in those polls ("Millennials are missed because they don't have land lines, which are the numbers that get polled.")

[FWIW, I don't have a landline either, haven't since 2008, and it's my son who's the Millennial.]

I realize that some say "it’s been proven time and again that libertarians take evenly from both sides in most circumstances. In fact, there’s also evidence that some Libertarian candidates take more support from Democrats than Republicans."

I realize that one or a handful of polls don't (always) make a true fact.

I know that in the 18-24-year-old "Millennial" demographic, one poll also shows Johnson ahead of both Hillary and Trump. And that, as of July 1, 2015, there were about 31.2 million in that demographic or about 9.7% of the population aged 12 and up.

Here's the rest of us by age bracket:
25-34: 44.1 million (13.7%)
35-44: 40.6 million (12.6%)
45-54: 43.2 million (13.4%)
55-64: 40.9 million (12.7%)
65-74: 27.6 million (8.6%)
75+: 20.2 million (6.3%)

If you instead count 18-34 as the Millennial age group, the total is 75.4 million people (23.4%). And yes, that group surpassed the Baby-Boomers, my generation, this year, but only by 500,000 people, which might be considered still within any "margin of error." Boomers are still about one-quarter of the total population. And Pew Research finds that "immigration [is] adding more numbers to [the Millennials] group than any other," which might indicate a continued, more Democrat-leaning slant.

Do all Boomers vote Republican? Hardly. All Democrat? Probably not in fly-over country.

Gallup Polls "aggregated data from 14 separate Gallup polls conducted in 2014, including interviews with more than 16,000 U.S. adults", finding that "44% [of Baby-Boomers] identified as conservative, [33% as moderate] and 21% as liberal." 48% of "Traditionalists" (those born between 1900 and 1945) were conservative, 33% were moderate and 17% were liberal.

Gallup's aggregate data also showed that 18-34 Millennials identified 28% conservative, 40% moderate and 30% liberal.

Millennials: 75.4 million x 28% = 21.11 million conservative.
Millennials: 75.4 million x 40% = 30.16 million moderate.
Millennials: 75.4 million x 30% = 22.62 million liberal.

BabyBoomers: 74.9 million x 44% = 32.96 million conservative.
BabyBoomers: 74.9 million x 33% = 24.72 million moderate.
BabyBoomers: 74.9 million x 21% = 15.73 million liberal.

If you unscientifically split the moderates down the middle, one-half voting liberal, one-half voting conservative, what would be that result?

Millennial "mods+conservatives" = 36.19 million
Millennial "mods+liberals" = 37.7 million

BabyBoomer "mods+conservatives" = 45.32 million
BabyBoomer "mods+liberals" = 28.09 million

ALL "mods+conservatives" in both groups = 81.51 million
ALL "mods+liberals" in both groups = 65.79 million

Would the "moderates" split evenly like that? Would they even vote at all? Would the true conservatives all vote for Trump, even secretly, in the end, to stop Hillary? Who knows? It's just one way to consider what might happen. It's possible then that, even without "divvying up" those moderates, the true conservatives among the Boomers would still outnumber the true liberals among the Millennials--33 million to 23 million--even if the latter group outnumbers the former in total population.

And who is Trump speaking to mostly? Not the Millennials. They aren't the ones who've lost livelihoods to bad trade deals, outsourcing of their jobs, closing down of American manufacturing, imposition of too much government regulation and taxation making staying in business untenable.

More statistics for those who really want to go spelunking are here at Pew Reseach and

Will Johnson's 7 or 8% in national polls actually turn out to be 15%, or even 35%? Will they hurt Hillary more than Trump? If the above Johnson stand against religious liberty is an indication, perhaps that last answer is yes, but I know at least a few young conservatives' votes he might be stealing from the Republican candidate, thinking that they in fact are voting more conservatively than I will be. I wonder if they're really following all of Gary Johnson's statements?

The radio ad Johnson is running in my state is about as demeaning to me as Hillary's recent "Deplorables basket" statement is. I've searched the Internet and can't find a transcript or audio link, so I will have to paraphrase from memory, but he himself is speaking in the spot and says this:

"If Americans are wise, we won't stand for the corrupt two-party system of rigged government, we will vote to break their power and vote Gary Johnson for President."
I guess Gary Johnson thinks that I am "not wise"? I guess he thinks I really want a corrupt two-party system of rigged government? Really, he could have been less condescending.

I wish I had a better alternative who would succeed in keeping Hillary out of the White House. I'm not corrupt, not jaded. I just think maybe I can see reality a bit better now that I'm older and have seen and experienced more. I've seen Nader, Perot, Buchanan and Paul, try and fail. I've worked with my family as a teenager on the 1976 campaign of third party Conservative Party candidate, James Buckley, the brother of William F. Buckley, the Father of American Conservatism. Buckley had earlier won a U.S. Senate seat with 39% of the vote only because the GOP and Democrat candidates were both left-leaning and split that demographic's votes. In 1976, he lost resoundingly to popular Democrat Daniel Patrick Moynihan and later in Connecticut, to Chris Dodd, to our state's everlasting misfortune.

We are too big, too miseducated, too misinformed, to break up the two party political system using mere politics, I'm afraid. I don't want to hazard a guess at what would do the trick. It would probably be a major, externally-imposed trauma to our nation that would bring it about, something I do not wish for.

For now, just bring on the debate, put Johnson on the stage, and then all three can duke it out.

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Obama On Abortion: A Summary 1990-2009

1) Obama Is 2nd-Highest-Paid Politician by Fannie Mae, Taking $126,346 in only 4 years as Senator; Now Derides GOP/Bush for Allowing Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac To Do Business, When It Was Democrat Presidents Bill Clinton & Jimmy Carter Who Passed The Law Requiring Fannie & Freddie To Give Out Bad Subprime Loans To Those Who Couldn't Afford Them, Which Caused The Entire Financial Meltdown … 2) Jim Johnson (Obama VEEP vetter and former Fannie Mae executive who made millions there) Backpedal … 3) Obama's hiring, connection, support of ACORN, which supported that very law and whose staff have been involved in voter fraud … 4) Rezko's Favor A "Boneheaded" Mistake … 5) Jeremiah Wright Backpedal … 6) Fr. Michael Fleger Backpedal … 7) NAFTA Backpedal … 8) Campaign Financing Backpedal … 9) Mr. "Negotiates-With-Terrorist-States" … 10) Bittergate … 11) Hamas' Chief Political Adviser Hopes BO Will Win Election … 12) Banning Handguns Backpedal … 13) Who Exactly Are "The Rich" He's Going to Sock it to? … 14) Flag Pin Backpedal … 15) Once Open to School Vouchers That Work, Now Deadset Against … 16) Now OK with residual force in Iraq...up to 50,000 troops. … 17) First voted against a law protecting babies who survive an abortion procedure, then lied saying he didn't, then finally forced to admit that he did vote to deny such born babies protection. 18) … "For the first time in my adult lifetime, I am really proud of my country." ~ MO

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