A Postmortem On Libertarianism: What Happened To Gary Johnson?

Gary Johnson

by William C. Vaillancourt

This was supposed to be the Libertarians’ year.

Both major party nominees were disliked at record-breaking levels – and yet together they amassed nearly 95 percent of the popular vote. Gary Johnson flirted with the 15 percent polling threshold needed to qualify for the debates – and yet what little momentum there was fizzled out, dwarfed by the binary nature of news coverage. For a brief moment, the Libertarians seemed like rational, level-headed alternatives to the tiresome charade of the two-party system – but before alienated voters could take them seriously, they shot themselves in the foot, proving that they were just the opposite.

In June, I had written how Donald Trump should not overlook the threat that a strong Gary Johnson candidacy could pose, as he could be to the Republican nominee what Ralph Nader was to Al Gore in 2000: a spoiler candidate. If the race had been closer, then maybe this would’ve turned out to be true. But it was not. In hindsight, the Libertarian ticket failed because of self-imposed harm, reckless immaturity, and the unavoidable, unforeseen elephant-in-the-room of Donald Trump…

To read the full article, click here.

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