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Libertarian Party picks 2016 nominee
On Sunday, Gary Johnson, the former New Mexico governor, won the Libertarian Party nomination for president with former Massachusetts governor Bill Weld as his vice president.
Johnson is an impassioned proponent of the party’s small government message, and he told the crowd he thinks most people are Libertarians but don’t know it. At a news conference, he made a play for tea party voters, saying what started out as a fiscal, small-government movement was captured by Republicans, especially social conservative. He says his party is the real “home” for such voters. Johnson eschews some of the wackier Libertarian positions — e.g. he favors drivers licenses and the Civil Rights Act (!).
Johnson espouses the small government, laissez faire views of the party, vowing to cut government and reduce taxes. They do not believe government should limit marriage to heterosexuals or prohibit abortion. He also, to the consternation of many Republicans who might otherwise support him, has adopted the neo-isolationist stance most in his party holds.
However, as Richard Epstein and others argue, a strong national defense and projection of U.S. power to secure commerce and ensure a more stable world are in no way incompatible with the Libertarian philosophy. Epstein wrote:
Libertarian theory has always permitted the use and threat of force, including deadly force if need be, to defend one’s self, one’s property, and one’s friends. . . . Correctly stated, a theory of limited government means only that state power should be directed exclusively to a few legitimate ends. The wise state husbands its resources to guard against aggression, not to divert its energies by imposing minimum wage laws or agricultural price supports on productive market activities. Quite simply, there are no proper means to pursue these illegitimate ends. . . .
There is nothing in libertarian theory...
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