Thursday, June 23, 2016

Last Night's Libertarian Town Hall Key Points

Despite a few knocks from Weld, they stuck to the issues and didn't stoop to name calling and personal attacks. 

Johnson abstained when given the chance to personally knock Trump and Clinton.
"I don't think either of us is going to engage in any sort of name-calling," Johnson said. "We're going to keep this to the issues, and the issues are plenty." (Indeed, Johnson was critical of Trump's immigration plan and other issues.)
When asked about President Barack Obama, Johnson called him "a good guy." He said Clinton was "a wonderful public servant." And Trump? "I'm sure there's something good to say about Donald somewhere."
Not so much for Weld, who called Trump a "huckster" and repeated a comparison he had made previously between Trump's immigration plan and Nazi Germany.

"I think the Republican presumptive nominee has succeeded in tapping into the very worst political traditions and in other countries," Weld said, adding that Trump's deportation plan was "directly analogous" to "Anne Frank hiding in the attic hoping no noise will alert the Nazis below."

Their stance on gun control became more clear.

Johnson has been a staunch advocate of Second Amendment rights but said he was open to a "discussion" around solutions to incidences of gun violence.
Johnson told Jeanette McCoy, a survivor of the Orlando shooting: "We're not looking to roll back anything" on existing gun regulations, adding that he would look into law enforcement solutions.
"The FBI came in contact with this guy (the Orlando shooter) three times. What transpired? Why wasn't this guy deprived of his guns?" Johnson asked.

Weld called for "a thousand-person FBI task force treating ISIS as a gigantic organized crime family."

They also cleared up any questions we might have had about their views on abortion. 

Johnson and Weld also both affirmed their abortion rights positions. Johnson said Republicans "alienate a lot of people" when they attack Planned Parenthood, a women's health organization that provides abortion procedures.
"We're not looking to change the law of the land in any way," Johnson said.

Above and beyond that Bill Weld stated that he believed the federal government should be protecting a woman's constitutional right to make that decision (about abortion) herself. He stated "That's not bad government. That's good government." Making it clear to me that while they both want a smaller centralized federal government they WILL go to bat to protect the rights of American citizens against the states if necessary.

They both agreed Trump's stance on immigration is ludicrous. 

They both had harsh words for Trump on immigration, leveling some of their strongest language against the Republican presumptive nominee.

Johnson, a former border governor, called Trump's calls for the deportation of all undocumented immigrants and the erection of a border wall "incendiary," and bordering on "insanity."
"[Trump] has succeeded in tapping into the very worst political traditions of the United States and other countries," Weld said.
He added that images of the Holocaust, including "Anne Frank hiding in the attic" was "directly analogous" to Trump's deportation policy.
Johnson went on to state that the deportation of 11 million people would probably include door knocking and in border states that would mean taking people out of every other house. 

Stupid personal questions make for difficult answers. 

Maureen Morella, an undecided voter, brought up the struggle her family had with her son's heroin overdose and took issue with Johnson's laissez faire approach to drug policy. Johnson pushed back on her concerns, saying government regulations had harmed drug addicts more than his policies would.
"Prohibition really is what your son succumbed to," Johnson said in a somewhat awkward response to her personal question.
He advocated a series of harm prevention programs, including needle exchanges and safe-injection zones. In response, Morella said: "You're keeping people addicted."
"We have the best policies in this country to kill heroin addicts," Johnson said, pushing for another way forward on drugs.
If I had been the one answering that question I would have asked Morella if she thought her son should also be on jail, after the harm drugs had done to him. Since that's what we're really talking about here, is jailing people for crimes that have already hurt them and their families. It is my opinion that the war on drugs has done nothing but fill jail cells and cost the taxpayers money that could be better spent on rehabilitation and treatment. 

There's a bit of descent between Weld and Johnson on Tax Reform. 

Johnson, who has often repeated the Libertarian refrain that "taxation is theft," advocated for radical reform of the U.S. tax code.
"Count on me to sign on tax policy that would reduce or simplify taxes in this country," Johnson said. "But If I could wave a magic wand, I would eliminate income tax, I would eliminate corporate tax, I would abolish the IRS and I would replace it all with one federal consumption tax."
The presidential candidate advocated a conservative plan known as Fair Tax, but pressed for specifics, said he would support any such reform so long as it was "revenue neutral."
Adding to his anti-Washington message, he said a total simplification of the U.S. tax code would mean that "80% of Washington lobbysits would go away. Because that's why they're there, to garner special tax favor."
Weld said: "I don't think you have to go so far as abolishing the IRS," as long as they could give people the sense that tax rates would go down.
In defense of them both, neither of them ever raised taxes during their time as Governor. Weld especially completely turned around Massachusetts financial crisis by lowering taxes across the board.

Let's keep the ball rolling!

When asked what the greatest hurtle facing them in their candidacy was, they both answered publicity. Johnson ran as a Libertarian in 2012 and failed to gain much traction. This time around, he's running with Weld, which may help add credibility, attention and fundraising prowess to a perennial long-shot White House effort.
Already, Johnson has shown his candidacy could have potency given voter disappointment in Trump and Clinton. A CNN/ORC poll released Tuesday showed Johnson earning 9% support nationwide and likely Green Party nominee Jill Stein pulling 7% support among registered voters. Among those voters who say they are not settled on a candidate in the two-way race, more than one-third choose Johnson (23%) or Stein (12%) when asked the four-way match up.
Ahead of the town hall event, the Libertarian duo got a boost from former Republican Rep. Ron Paul of Texas. The Libertarian icon told CNN's Wolf Blitzer that although he hadn't decided who he would vote for, it wouldn't be Trump or Clinton.
"I think people who say they want significant change, they want to protect individual liberty, are concerned about the Constitution, they should think seriously about voting for a Libertarian principle," Paul said.

So, let's get them to 15%

At 15% in the polls they have to be included in the debates. If you want to see Trump, Clinton, and Johnson head to head on the issues then share news articles. Tweet about #JohnsonWeld2016. Do what you can to help them gain traction. 

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