Nate Jackson / August 1, 2016

The Big Government Libertarians

Johnson and Weld are making it harder for conservatives to choose them.

Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson is somewhat of an enigma for conservatives who are looking Libertarian instead of settling for the primary two presidential candidates. Johnson had a reasonably conservative tenure as governor of New Mexico, and is considered fiscally conservative and socially tolerant. But he’s created questions for any conservative giving him a look with some recent answers to questions.

Johnson declared that religious liberty is “a black hole.” In fact, of laws protecting it, he explained, “If we allow for discrimination — if we pass a law that allows for discrimination on the basis of religion — literally, we’re gonna open up a can of worms when it comes to stopping discrimination of all forms.” Granted, his argument is that such laws are unnecessary because the First Amendment protects religious liberty, but he also says it’s the federal government’s job to stop discrimination “in all cases.” We’re not sure how he squares that circle when the Rainbow Mafia is out to discriminate against any Christian baker, florist or photographer who declines to participate in a same-sex wedding. Religious liberty laws protect those businesses from forced coercion. That’s not discrimination on the part of those businesses — it’s freedom of conscience.

Some 24 hours later, Johnson — well, technically his running mate William Weld — stepped in it again. Asked what kind of judges they would pick, Johnson started off well enough: “Really, there are going to be no litmus tests. … [We’re] going to appoint people that look at the Constitution of original intent.” But then Weld started in. “Steve Breyer has been a good justice,” he said. “Merrick Garland, I think, would have been a very good pick.” Breyer has voted to trample the Constitution at nearly ever opportunity, while Garland is Barack Obama’s attempt to look moderate and serious while actually moving Antonin Scalia’s seat far to the left. If they are examples of what Johnson-Weld think are “originalists,” then beware.

In reality, the pair seem to be more concerned with picking off Bernie Sanders supporters than wooing conservatives. Indeed, if this is the face of the “Libertarian” Party, conservatives should want nothing of it.

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