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Vote Gary Johnson For Patriot Act Sunset And End to Undeclared Wars

Before I get into the meat of this post, I want you to understand two things:

1) I’d rather vote FOR someone or something than AGAINST. I’ve been publicly articulating this position in my blog at least since June 2008 when I endorsed Obama over McCain.

2) My core national issues are the protection of civil liberties (especially surveillance and torture), the rolling back of Executive power with respect to the National Security State, and bringing our seemingly endless wars without defined objectives to a close.

When I decided for Senator Obama over Senator McCain, I thought Obama would handle these issues better than McCain would. Having listened to both men since the election, I’m still certain of my choice. I’m very disappointed with President Obama, but still would not have changed my vote in 2008 knowing what I know now.

However, for the time being there is someone who I believe will be better than President Obama on my key issues. That man is former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson and he is running for the Republican nomination for President.

  • President Obama believes that some terror suspects must be held indefinitely without charge. Gary Johnson says “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.”
  • President Obama has actively solicited Patriot Act extensions, including those provisions that allow your business or library records be examined without a warrant and the so-called “lone wolf” provision that allows the government to designate individuals as foreign powers.  Governor Johnson says, “The PATRIOT Act should be allowed to expire, which would restore proper judicial oversight to federal investigations and again require federal investigators to prove probable cause prior to executing a search.”
  • In my view President Obama, like President Bush before him, has been unable to define what victory means in Afghanistan. Without a definition of what circumstances would make us willing to leave the country, we are doomed to stay until the insurgents tire us out, as they did to the Soviets. Additional, it also appears that the Obama Administration is trying to stay in Iraq after the end of the year, sommething most Iraqis do not want. By contrast, Gary Johnson says, “With Osama bin Laden now killed and after 10 years of fighting, U.S. forces should leave Afghanistan’s challenges to the Afghan people. Saddam Hussein has been out of power in Iraq for nearly eight years. America must leave so Iraq can have a chance to grow into a responsible member of the world community.”

Aside from better positions on what I consider my core issues, I also appreciate Gov. Johnson’s intention to try and end Prohibition on marijuana, something President Obama has never considered. I believe the current “drug war” model is a failure that has ruined more lives than it has saved and is shockingly hypocritical in light of our society’s acceptance of alcohol.

So I’m in. I gave $25 to his campaign and hope other liberatarian-leaning progressives will do the same. I’ve changed my party registration to non-partisan so I can vote for him if his campaign makes it to Alaska.

My endorsement is not unconditional. I think his stance on taxation is completely unrealistic. But since the Congressional Democrats chose to extend the Bush Tax Cuts and President Obama chose to sign the extension, I don’t think Governor Johnson’s position is going to make a bit of difference. And if he is successful in realigning our military to a posture of actual defense of the United States, spending MIGHT just drop enough to save us from his tax policies. I’m willing to take that chance.

Sources for Johnson Quotes:

Gary Johnson – Civil Liberties – http://www.garyjohnson2012.com/issues/civil-liberties

Gary Johnson – Foreign Policy – http://www.garyjohnson2012.com/issues/foreign-policy

Gary Johnson – Drug Policy Reform – http://www.garyjohnson2012.com/issues/drug-policy-reform

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