Pubdate: Fri, 21 Sep 2012
Source: New Hampshire, The (U of NH Edu)
Copyright: 2012 The New Hamphire
Author: Olivia Morley


Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson spoke on campus Sept. 
19 and drew many like-minded supporters in to hear his speech. 
Johnson, who served as the Republican Governor of New Mexico from 
1995 to 2003, will be listed on the 2012 ballot in 47 states as a 
third-party candidate.

Johnson is known for vetoing more bills than all other governors 
combined, and also for vetoing a whopping 750 bills during his two 
terms in office. He has been coined "Governor Veto" as a result of 
his tendency to veto most bills that are presented to him.

Johnson said he prides himself on having worked as a handyman in 
order to pay his way through college. He said he classifies himself 
as a businessman.

"I have been an entrepreneur my entire life," Johnson said. "I grew a 
one-person operation into almost 1,000 employees."

This "one-person operation" that Johnson references is his trucking 
company, which he sold in 1999.

Aside from his entrepreneurial background, Johnson said he believes 
that he can successfully address many of the difficult social and 
economic issues that the country now faces. Johnson's policy is 
libertarian, as he is fiscally conservative and socially tolerant.

The governor is a strong supporter of the legalization of marijuana 
- -- especially for medicinal purposes. Johnson himself used medical 
marijuana as a means to recover from injuries sustained in a 
parasailing accident, and stated in his speech on Wednesday that we, 
as a nation, need to "legalize marijuana now."

While Johnson supports a total end to the drug war, he wishes to 
concentrate on the legalization of marijuana for the time being.

"If we legalized all drugs tomorrow, the world would be in a much 
better place," Johnson said. "I think we go from where we are at to 
legalizing marijuana, and when everyone realizes that the world is a 
better place, why don't we then turn our attention to other drugs?"

Johnson advocates for ending the drug war, and said that our 
country's law enforcement officers should spend less time working 
against drug users and more time on other issues. He believes that 
less of a concentration on incarcerating drug users would also result 
in prison space opening up, and taxpayers ultimately paying less money.

Johnson's stance on drug policy is decidedly tolerant, as are his 
policies concerning same-sex marriage and immigration. He said these 
issues go hand-in-hand with his fiscal beliefs and asserts that the 
answers to many of the debates concerning immigration and marriage 
equality can be found in fiscally conservative policy.

"Over half the issues with marriage equality have to do with the 
income tax system," Johnson said. He said implementing a fair tax 
system in lieu of federal taxes and abolishing programs such as 
Medicaid and Medicare "arguably takes away half of the marriage issues."

Johnson also asserts that "implementing the fair tax means nobody 
avoids paying tax," which many claim is a large problem in 
immigration policy. While the elimination of the federal tax system 
may seem radical to some, Johnson said it is the most practical 
approach to solving the country's budget crisis. The only welfare 
program that Johnson said he does not want to cut, however, is 
veteran's benefits.

"I do not want to involve our military anywhere. I think that our 
interventions do us harm," Johnson said. He is a serious advocate for 
bringing the troops home and closing down foreign embassies around 
the world. "I think we need to have a strong national defense. The 
key word is 'defense,' not 'offense,'" Johnson said.

Limiting the amount of military funding needed for the troops goes 
hand in hand with his implementation of the fair tax system and 
balancing the national budget, he said. Johnson spoke wearing a 
T-shirt with a peace logo on it.

Ultimately, Johnson holds his fiscally conservative views, and 
practices social tolerance, but said he worries that, as a 
third-party candidate, nobody will know his name. When asked if 
voting for him would be a waste of a vote, he replied, "What if you 
all waste your vote and vote for Gary Jonson as president? I'll be 
the next president."
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom