Seems he’s making a hard play for Bernie Sanders supporters.
Has Libertarian Gov. Gary Johnson endorsed a socialist movement in a play for Bernie Sanders supporters?
The Libertarian candidate for president has been garnering unprecedented media attention with the unpopularity of the two major party nominees for president. Wednesday night, CNN held its second hour-long town hall with the Libertarian ticket, airing a third-party candidate at prime time on cable television.
During that town hall, a registered Democrat asked Governor Johnson how he felt about the Black Lives Matter movement. He responded by declaring his support for Black Lives Matter.
“My head has been in the sand on this,” Johnson said. “I think that we’ve all had our heads in the sand and let’s wake up. Discrimination does exist, has existed, and for me personally, um, slap, slap, wake up.”
The Libertarian vice-presidential candidate Bill Weld added to Johnson’s statement, characterizing the plight of young blacks as a “national emergency” that requires government action.
“[Young black men] are four times as likely to be incarcerated if they have intersection with law enforcement as white people are, their educational opportunities are not there, we have to get them into education and concentrate the power of the government to make sure there are jobs available for them,” Weld said. “When there’s a national emergency the government has to respond, libertarian or no libertarian.”
Now, there is cause for concern for libertarians and conservatives over Gov. Johnson’s endorsement of Black Lives Matter in light of the platform put forward by The Movement for Black Lives, “a collective of more than 50 organizations representing thousands of Black people from across the country.”
This platform, the first organized political statement from groups associated with Black Lives Matter, advocates for a hard-core socialist agenda that would seem anathema to libertarian and conservative principles.
The “Economic Justice” plank of the Movement for Black Lives platform alone calls for a “progressive restructuring of tax codes,” “an end to the Trans-Pacific Partnership and a renegotiation of all trade agreements,” “a $2 to $4 trillion policy that would both create government jobs for Black workers, and subsidize businesses to hire Black workers,” and a myriad assortment of new regulations and subsidies to pick winners and losers in the marketplace.
These ideas could’ve been lifted straight from the economic program of Bernie Sanders, an avowed socialist.
But in endorsing a movement even tangentially associated with socialism, Gov. Johnson runs the risk of further alienating small-government conservatives dissatisfied with the Republican nominee for president, voters who’s support he’s trying to win as well.
Positions Johnson and Weld hold, including a pro-choice stance on abortion, Gov. Johnson’s view that religious liberty is a “black hole,” and Governor Weld’s preference for Supreme Court justices like Merrick Garland, should give conservatives pause before they pull the lever for the Libertarian party.