Dan Gilmore / Jun. 7, 2016

Gary Johnson: The Authoritarian Libertarian?

You'd think the party's presidential candidate would hold a Libertarian philosophy.

As the presidential candidate for the Libertarian Party, you’d think Gary Johnson would hold a Libertarian philosophy. Also, as a former Republican governor of New Mexico in the ‘90s working with a Democrat legislature, you’d think he’d know that the most successful governors are ones that don’t try to radically change government. But in an interview, the presidential candidate said he thought Barack Obama’s executive overreach in declaring mass amnesty was good, for it goaded Congress to act.

Politico’s Glenn Thrush asked Johnson, “Did you consider [Obama’s executive orders on immigration] to be a violation or did you consider that a reasonable use of targeted executive power?”

Johnson replied, “I saw it as a reasonable use, challenging Congress to action. And an untold story with regard to Obama and immigration is he’s broken up three million families. He has deported three million heads of households that have gone back to Mexico and their families have remained in the United States.”

It’s a bit hypocritical for the Libertarian candidate, who theoretically should eschew executive power plays, to applaud one. Power tends to corrupt, and maybe Johnson isn’t even a pragmatic Libertarian. Or perhaps it’s a calculated play to attract the support of slighted Bernie Sanders supporters who will refuse to vote for either Clinton or Trump.

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