Why I’m Excited About Johnson/Weld 2016

Never before has the Libertarian Party nominated part of a ticket that has endorsed Barack Obama, but it may be about to do just that. This is great news for actual Republicans.


I must confess I have not followed the Libertarian nomination process as closely as I follow the Democrat and Republican nominations, but based upon what I’ve read Gary Johnson is the favorite, with the only viable competition being Austin Petersen. I read a profile piece / interview with him and I align with him more than Johnson, Petersen seems a little too radical and sharp-tongued to be able to present effectively as a presidential candidate. Nonetheless, their convention runs from May 26th to May 30th and I will assume Johnson/Weld will be victorious there.


This is exciting news not because I plan to vote for the ticket, it’s because I don’t. It’s exciting news because the Libertarian Party has chosen to run a Libertine ticket this cycle and therefore is much more likely to pull votes from the left rather than the right. Despite being constituted of two former Republican governors, the ticket is clearly defined by the most obnoxious elements of left-“libertarianism.” The ticket is anti-conscience rights, pro-abortion, pro-drug legalization, and both people on the ticket are political insiders. They both have condemned social conservatives, so no worries – I am happy to not vote for you and will urge others to do the same.


So the choice to me is clear. As flawed as Trump is, he is thus far the most unifying candidate in the race. He has condemned no one in the Republican or conservative movements and his theme is on restoring America to greatness. Hillary is running a campaign that ignores the male part of the electorate, and Johnson/Weld are going to try selling small government but, thanks to Bill Weld, they have no credibility. Endorsing Barack Obama, supporting eminent domain, supporting gun restrictions, and even more recently endorsing Democrats over Republicans, if the prospect of a Bill Weld candidacy appeals to you and you are a Republican, the exit from the party is right over there on the (political) left. The man has stabbed our party in the back repeatedly his entire political career for his own personal gain, up to and including the 2014 election cycle.


This is important because that trend of a backstabbing “Republican” later seeking higher office seems to be a plague specific to Massachusetts.  Budgets and government grows bigger on the premise that Republican can only “govern” if we cave to Democrat priorities to have a chance in the next election cycle. It is currently the case that more effort and money went into State Committee candidates than the party will spend on State Rep and State Senate candidates – or stated more bluntly and parochially, I do not anticipate there to be 4 district-wide mailers sent out on behalf of Sandra Wright, our Republican candidate against Marc Pacheco in my district. It is not as if the money can’t be raised, the dark money FFNM PAC came into being this cycle exclusively to influence the internal party races (and who knows what else), so clearly there are donors out there willing to spend money on the party. The question is, are those donors willing to contribute the money when Republicans intend to run against Democrats instead of other Republicans? We’ll probably never know, but unfortunately it isn’t outside the realm of speculation.


So I’m excited. The Libertarian ticket is more likely to split off liberal votes than conservative ones. We have a strong nominee who has proven himself able to win in a strong field of opponents from every element of the party, the party is coalescing around him while Clinton is barely dragging herself past Sanders. She is on course to ultimately prevail, but do remember Bernie has always been an Independent and he has never been more relevant than he is now. It depends on whether he believes a VP offer will be a compliment or a slight, or if he gets offered at all. Trump has shown no hesitance in attacking Clinton with statements made by Sanders about her being unqualified.


It is my hope my fellow Republicans will take advantage of this opportunity soon, and seek a four-year reprieve from an overbearing, aggressive government that keeps handing out everything from school edicts and zoning edicts through the bureaucracy instead of the legislature. It’s up to us.

About Brian Kennedy

Brian Kennedy is a conservative activist and Taunton resident with 6 years of extensive volunteer experience on political campaigns, with a focus on drafting and enhancing new talent to build the Republican Party's bench. He is also National Director for the Massachusetts Republican Assembly, a full-platform conservative organization nationally chartered by the National Federation of Republican Assemblies.