Potential Republican Presidential Candidate Runs Against DADT

Gary E. Johnson
Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson
Bookmark and Share   While a lack of proper attention from the media prevents people from knowing the daily movements of former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, he has nonetheless been crisscrossing the nation arguably more than other Republicans who, with the exception of making it official, are undoubtedly actively seeking the G.O.P. nomination.

At each of his events, and through each of his interviews, the Governor never fails to distinguish himself as the most unique Republicans thought to be seeking the presidency. He is a true Republican, who believes in the core principles of the Party and he always has. But within those beliefs exists a purity of heart that has not allowed politics to alter those beliefs and water them down.

That is why Governor Johnson recently came out in support of a court ruling which declared the military must put an end to its discriminatory policy of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

But the Governor suggested that President Obama‘s request to put a stay on that ruling so that all parties concerned can prepare for it is unnecessary. According to him:

“Let that ruling stand and move on,”

 Johnson added:

“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” has always been wrong and it is still wrong.”  “This policy is just not fair and it does not work — we need to get rid of it now.”

As a Republican, Johnson’s position on the issue puts him in the minority of the Party establishment but it reflects the purity of his interpretation of the core conservative principle which dictates that government stay out of our private lives.

His stand in defense of the rights of gays to not have to hide who they are, is just one of many breaks from the establishment of the G.O.P.. Johnson also is at odds with the mainstream of the Party establishment when it comes to his support of abortion rights and for the legalization of marijuana and prostitution. While he does not personally endorse abortion and does not encourage or participate in prostitution and pot smoking, he understands that government does not have the right to make those decisions for him.

Johnson’s stands on the issues, which include opposition to the wars in Iran and Afghanistan, will lead some to paint him as a liberal. Others will appreciate his libertarian Ron Paul-like streak. But like Ron Paul, will that appreciation be enough to overcome the Republican base in a race to be the standard-bearer of the Party?

The answer to that question relies upon two other questions.

Could the rise of TEA movement challenge the hold of the religious right enough to counter their influence over the G.O.P.? And at a time when social issues have taken a backseat to the economic crisis that we face, will Johnson’s untraditional positions on social issues be enough of a factor to dramatically hurt him after voters get to hear his commonsense conservative approach to limited, smaller government, states rights, fiscal responsibility and a free market based economy?  Afgter all, right now,  ‘it really IS the economy, stupid’.

Being one of the few libertarian thinking Republicans to be elected and reelected to govern an entire state, Johnson does bring to the table an advantage that others like Paul do not. He has proven that even with his unorthodox Republican positions, he can win widespread, popular support from the political mainstream. If he can do so on the national level is yet to be seen.  Competing for the Republican presidential nomination with these positions against an unusually large field of more traditional, well known, well financed Republican figure, will be a great challenge. But few have a better chance of facing that challenge than Johnson does.

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